This post is part of the Bootstrapped Startup 50 series. The goal for the BS50 series is to cover everything that matters when bootstrapping a new startup. The posts are sequential, so it wouldn’t hurt to read from the beginning if you’re just joining in.
In the last post I wrote about how to come up with ideas and filter them. This time I want to talk about choosing ideas that align with your skills and passion. Doing something that you love will save you a lot of time and angst in the long run.
Do What You Love
The best business advice that I can ever give anyone is quite simple… do what makes you happy. Why spend time working on something that you aren’t fully invested in emotionally? You should automatically reject any ideas that are related to things that you don’t like. For example, you wouldn’t want to start writing a baseball blog just because you think it could be profitable if you really and truly dislike watching sports.
Find your passions and try to see if there’s a business idea around them. Like cooking? How about a something to help home cooks? Keep making lists and see what ideas stand out.
Take A Step Back
Once you’ve identified a passion and a business idea around that passion you have to temper your excitement with reality. How good is the idea, really? Is it truly just a three star idea that you perceive as five stars because it excites you? Get some feedback from friends, family, etc. to see what they think. Always ask for honesty when getting feedback. Having someone tell you what you want to hear will only hurt you over time.
Identify Your Skills
What are you good at? Are you a designer, a developer, a business development-type? If you’re not particularly skilled at design you probably don’t want to get into the web design consulting business. Same goes for development. You can always augment your own skillset by bringing in other cofounders or team members, but that’s a decision that has to be made very carefully. Bottom line is that you should always try to do something that you’re actually good at.
In the next post I’ll write about why it doesn’t matter if your idea is original. What do you think of the series so far? Comments appreciated!