Nobody wants to put in all that time and effort and money and end up worse off than when they started—especially if life isn’t all that bad right now.
One of the biggest, if not the biggest, worries we face when launching a new business is losing the pretty good, stable life we already have. That worry can turn into insomnia really quickly. But it won’t if you have confidence your business will find immediate momentum.
When it comes to choosing your market, validating your idea, and deciding what business to start, there are so many questions you might have.
How do you build a successful business that’s not only about making money but has a purpose and is about helping people as well? Is there a way to leverage your existing market knowledge or expertise (and what if you don’t have any)? How do you decide what type of business to go into if you’re more introverted?
And what do you do if you’re stuck or overwhelmed? Should you focus on following your passion and existing knowledge? Or on the size and potential of your market? And how do you choose your market if you do not have a strong passion driving you to any particular market or business?
You might have a host of ideas, questions, and concerns bouncing around in your head, and the worst part of it all is that you’re not sure where to start. You may be wondering: What’s a legitimate question and what’s just fear based? What are the questions I should be asking, that maybe I’m not even thinking of right now? What’s a solid idea and what’s bound to be a flop no matter what I do? What matters most and what can wait until later?
It’s through Choose Method™ that you’re going to learn how to measure demand for your idea, determine market size and potential, and find your unique angle. We’re going to cover the best way to evaluate your competition, determine how narrow your focus should be, choose the right business model, and decide what to sell and how much to charge.
The biggest mistake you can make when studying successful people is to look at what they’re doing now instead of what they were doing when they were at the stage you’re in right at this moment. Despite the odds and many setbacks, they chose to push through the unknown. They chose to keep going in the name of passion and progress. They chose resilience over fear. And of course, they chose the most important thing of all—the right market.
STAGE 1: BRAINSTORM
You don’t have to get it perfect. You just have to get it going.
Even if the best ideas drop out of the sky and into your lap, they most likely require some tweaking. When’s the last time your first draft was final, or your first take was a wrap? On the road to choosing your market, there are a handful of foundational decisions you need to make. And even if you think you already know what those decisions will be, there is way too much value lost if you don’t give yourself the opportunity to brainstorm.
Have you ever heard of the British rock band Pectoralz? Me neither. What about Starfish? Those were the two original band names of Coldplay. Same for the mega-successful band Nirvana. Before they cracked the “big time,” the lead singer, Kurt Cobain, made a demo tape under the name Fecal Matter, and then multiple names followed, including Skid Row and Ted Ed Fred. Even the iconic band KISS didn’t start out with that name. They used to make the rounds on the New York music circuit as Wicked Lester. The band Goo Goo Dolls was forced to find a new moniker after a club owner refused to put The Sex Maggots on his marquee. Van Halen originally called themselves Rat Salad.
And that, my friends, is the importance of brainstorming. If everyone went full steam ahead with their very first ideas, we might all be going to see the Rat Salad reunion tour on Friday night.
Some people get overwhelmed at the mere mention of brainstorming and claim they’re not creative enough for idea generation. If you put yourself in that category, you’re not giving yourself enough credit. Have you ever named a child or a pet? Have you thought through multiple routes to get to a location? Have you come up with a theme for a party? Have you written an email and then rewritten the first line? In all of these scenarios, your brain is managing ideas and then filtering them. That’s brainstorming.
STAGE 2: TEST
The name of the game is to stay in the game, until you win the game.
Before you buy a car, you test drive it. Before you release software, you run a beta test. Before you jump in the pool, you test the water. Before you drink expired milk, you perform a smell test. You’re not being overly controlling; you’re being responsible. Practical. Vigilant. And that’s exactly what you’re doing here in Stage 2.
Results can be disastrous when you choose the wrong market, and the test process within the Choose Method will give you the confidence to move forward without feeling like you’re risking everything: money (sometimes a lot of it), confidence (second-guessing yourself), or time (your most precious resource). Here in this stage, you can simply test an idea, and if it passes, great. If it doesn’t, it is far better to know now before you go ahead and invest in it further. This stage was designed to give you the highest chance of achieving business success, and it contains one particular test that was one of the most significant eureka moments of my life. It demystifies one of the trickiest parts of choosing your market and transforms it from being a dark mystery to being crystal clear.
With the Brainstorming stage complete, here’s what you’re going to do as you make your way forward with your handful of business ideas: You’ll get an official introduction to the Red light/Yellow light/Green light system as a way for you to gauge your progression. You’ll quickly learn how effective it is in taking all the guesswork out of evaluating which of your brainstormed ideas are viable. It’s an easy and clear indicator of whether or not your idea has passed each test and whether or not you should continue with it.
If you hit a Red light at any point through the test process, you’ll go back to your brainstormed ideas and run another idea through. If you hit a Yellow light, you’ll want to treat those ideas with caution. If you hit a Green light, you can move forward with assurance. And like I’ve said before, this is an iterative process, so it’s normal to have to keep refining and going back through it until you’ve been given the Green light.
STAGE 3: CHOOSE
Screw it, just do it!
You’ve followed the Choose Method all the way to this point, which means you’ve put in the time, effort, research, patience, imagination, and diligence to vet your ideas and identify an ideal market that holds the promise of success.
So here you are. It’s time to jump into the water, which hopefully doesn’t feel as perilous as it once did. If you’re still feeling a bit queasy, remind yourself that the scariest moment is always right before you start—that split second before you hurl yourself out of the plane, walk out on the stage, or sign your name on the dotted line.
And it’s at this point that you may be feeling an array of emotions. Everything from I’ve got this and I know exactly which one I’m going to choose through to I’m torn between two ideas and I’m not sure if any of these ideas are ones I want to pursue! Or perhaps you are feeling like you know which option to take, and you’ve known it for the longest time, but doing it scares you out of your mind. Or you may even feel a combination of all of the above!
And that’s normal. This is a big moment you are standing on the edge of. You’ve gone through multiple tests, come up with possibly dozens of business ideas and keywords, and likely looped back around a number of times as various ideas hit Red lights. You’ve summoned your strength over and over and it’s all led you to this moment, right here, right now.