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 “Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress.”

– Seth Godin

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You’re tired of showing up to the same office, sitting in the same seat, and working the same 9-5 week after week. You’ve always dreamed of starting your own business and being your own boss. Never having to report to anyone, working your own hours, and you can be wherever you want to be at any given time of the day. You’ve read countless books and listened to hours of podcasts about passive income and starting your own business online. You’re feeling motivated, full of energy, and ready to ditch your 9-5 job. There’s only one issue you’re left with, How to Decide What Business to Start.


The scenario above is exactly where I was at, and where I’m partially still at. I’ve heard all the stories about young entrepreneurs starting these amazing companies, making millions of dollars, living lavish lifestyles that I could only ever dream about. My EXCUSES for not having the same?

“They got lucky”

“They must be way smarter than me”

“That could never happen for me”

It wasn’t until I read The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime! (Affiliate Link) by M.J. DeMarco that completely changed my way of thinking. The more I started digging into it, the more success stories I’d find. They never make headline news, but these entrepreneurs are living well beyond their means and are retired, or semi-retired, by now. As it turns out, there are a lot more successful entrepreneurs out there, living life by their own terms, than you’d expect. It’s very possible for anybody.


I’ve only just started my online business ventures. I’m still working long hours for my day job, but now I’m working with a purpose, and an end goal: Quitting my day job to focus solely on my own online businesses.


When you know you want to start your own ventures, deciding on a business can seem like a daunting task.

“Everything has already been done.”

More than likely, any idea for a business that you have, has already been thought of by someone else. An interesting article I found from November, 2017 on Babson College’s website, states that according to the Global Entrepreneur Monitor (GEM) 2016 United States Report, “more than 25 million Americans were either starting or running new businesses in the United States” (Brianna Radicioni – More Than 25 Million Americans are Starting or Running New Businesses).

That doesn’t mean that all hope is lost though. Actually, this is great for us! That just means that there are plenty of opportunities and possibilities for others like you or me to do the same. If they can, why can’t we?

Just because an idea has been thought of, or a business already exists in your niche, doesn’t mean you can’t be successful in that niche as well. We can learn from these companies that are already doing it, and improve on a model that is currently working. Now I’m not saying to go copy someone else’s business model to a “T” and try to get rich off their idea, but you can learn from their mistakes. See what’s working well for them and what isn’t. Then, you can develop your own business model based on what you learned.

So, now that we’ve gotten over the mindset of “Everything has already been done”


How to decide what business to start. Hand drawings of business related doodles in a notebook - graphs, thought bubbles, and icons with "Business" written and circled in the middle of the page.

First off…


The most common answer is probably, “I want to be rich!” or “I want to quit my day job!” That’s great, but so does everyone else on the planet. That isn’t a good enough reason to want to start a business, and to be honest, that’s probably the number one reason why new businesses fail every year. The one’s starting the business aren’t in it for the right reasons.

A good answer would have been, “to provide a product or service that people need,” or an even better answer, “to provide value or to solve a problem that a potential customer has.” Just because you think you have a good idea for a business, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be successful. Most people, aside from maybe your family and friends, aren’t going to care what you are selling if you aren’t providing them with any real value.

So how do you find a business opportunity that provides value or solves a problem then? One of the easiest ways to find that golden opportunity is to listen for what M.J DeMarco calls “code words.” Here are some of those “code words” in an excerpt from his book: The Millionaire Fastlane (Affiliate Link):

“I hate…”
What do you hate? Solve the hate, and there’s your open road.

“I don’t like…”
What don’t you like? Remove the dislike, and there’s your open road.

“This frustrates me…”
What is frustrating? Remove the frustration, and there’s your open road.

Listening for these “code words,” along with several other similar phrases, is a great way to spot opportunities for new businesses, services, or products.

If someone else is thinking it or saying it, you know others are saying the same thing.

I started listening for these words myself, and the ideas started flooding in.

Going back to our “Everything has already been done” dilemma, how many products or services, that you use, have something about them that you just hate? I know I catch myself all the time saying things like, “Why won’t this [insert product] just do this!” Or “I hate it when this [insert service] does this!” – Golden opportunity to improve upon a business that already exists!


After you’ve figured out the problem, you have to decide how you are going to solve it. What is the best way to solve your problem? There are various ways you could approach solving any specific problem:

  1. Manufacture physical products
  2. Develop software
  3. Build a resource site
  4. Start a blog

These are just a few of the options, but the list can go on and on…

With all the resources out there, any one of these options is possible for anyone and it doesn’t have to break the bank. Obviously starting a blog will require much less capital than manufacturing a product or developing software, but by outsourcing work, you could start a software company right now without any prior coding knowledge. Companies like Fiverr are filled with freelancers ranging from developers to authors.

It doesn’t have to be extremely difficult. You just have to be willing to turn your idea into an action. In reality…

An idea is just an idea, until you do something about it.


How to decide what business to start. Light bulb in a thought bubble that is drawn on a chalkboard

If you’ve come this far, hopefully some thoughts are floating around in your head and you have some ideas of how to decide what business to start. The only next step is forward. You can choose to do something about your ideas and get that business started, or you can let your ideas be someone else’s ideas. Set some goals for yourself and get planning. If you need help getting started with setting goals, I’ve outlined the 7 Ways to Set and Achieve Your Goals.

Don’t let your fears of the unknown keep you from starting.

Over 25 million people are doing it, so can you!

Let me know what you think in the comments below. If you have any questions or anything you’d like to add, I’d love to here it!

Question of the Day

What is preventing you from starting your own business?

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I am an entrepreneur and adventure enthusiast, looking to break free from the Nine-Five grind. I'll show you what has worked and is currently working for me, as well as what hasn't worked so well.


  1. Mashibaby

    That’s right. Believe in what you do and love it so share your passion!

  2. Kayleigh

    “Don’t let fears of the unknown keep you from starting”. I love this. I think this stands for so many things in life but DEFINITELY a change in employment (and potentially a lifestyle change). It’s true when people say “we only have one life” and so if we want something we have to take the leap. What’s the worst that could happen?

    Thankfully I love my job but before I got all of the qualifications I needed, and was working just to get me by, I would have loved to be able to say that my own ideas had allowed me to work from home. These tips are amazing for anyone stuck in a rut and wanting to bring their ideas to life! Congratulations on your business ventures & wishing you lots more success this year!

  3. irotchka

    You are so right! As soon as you start to write down something on the empty paper, ideas will come … Thanks for sharing!

  4. MC

    I agree, you don’t have to have everything figured out to start. It’s important to take a step forward and go from there! There are plenty of resources to help you along the way.

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