Teens are starting businesses every day and I am not just talking babysitting and lawn mowing. I’m talking hundred thousand dollar businesses. I read success stories every week that prove to me that teens can do so much more than the adults of the world think. I am currently working on a post about teen entrepreneurs that are making six-figure incomes, so stay tuned for that.
You’ve probably already thought to yourself “I can start a (fill in the blank) business!” Maybe you had some ideas pop into your head but quickly dismissed them because you think you are too young or not skilled enough. That’s baloney and I can prove it! Go to Google and type in “teen entrepreneurs.” There are over 2 million results for you to look through that prove teens and even younger kids can start a business.
So what is the first step to starting your own business? Well, deciding what business you want to be in, of course! You may be thinking that you have no idea what business to start. I’m here to help you with that. We are going to do a little brainstorming, or to use the popular term these days,”ideation.” I’ve got a couple of exercises you can do that will help you with some ideas. So get out a sheet of paper, your iPhone or Evernote, whatever it is you like to use and let’s get started.
Take a piece of paper and write on the top Idea Storm. For the next 5 minutes, I want you to list all your hobbies, talents and skills. These are things that you like to do when you have some down time after school. Maybe you make model airplanes with your Dad, make jewelry for yourself and your friends, play sports at school, love to draw or sing in the church choir. Maybe you love to help your parents cook family dinners or love playing with animals. Anything you can think of in these 5 minutes that you love to do should be recorded. There is one important KEY to this exercise: You will be tempted to say to yourself as you get ideas “this could never be a business” and then leave it out. Don’t! Write it down. Trust me, right now is not the time to evaluate your ideas. Just write down everything you can think of. We are going to use this later and we want every possible idea on there.
Okay, are you ready? You have 5 minutes and ……..GO!
YOU ARE ALMOST DONE!
Hopefully, you have a long list of ideas, but we are going to add to that list. Is your brain exhausted from all that thinking? You couldn’t possibly have any more things to go on this list? Pssshaaw. You have more to add to that paper. I know. So how are you going to do that? Well, this is where the second exercise comes in.
Next, I want you to think about your community. Have you ever thought that something was missing from your community? Did you ever wish your community had an event or activity that you have seen other places that would be great for YOUR community? Is there a product or service you would buy if it were available? Did you read about something on the internet and thought how awesome and popular it might be in your own town? Yep, you guessed it. I want you to start adding to your list as many of these things that you can think of. I want you to spend 2-3 minutes listing anything you can think of that would be great for your community. Then, when you are done, I want you to find a couple of people, maybe family or friends and ask them the same questions above. What do they think your town is lacking? List those on your paper as well. Ready? Go!
Okay, so at this point, you should have a huge list of business ideas and no clue which will be the best business for you. You are going to put that list away and not think about it again for a while. The next blog post in this series will explore how to curate that very long list (I hope it is long) and come up with your one no-fail business idea.