Be prepared to discover your deepest inner self, your hidden desires and uncharted talents. Because that’s what “brainstorming you” is all about… to mute your inner critic, allow the most unusual and weird ideas to flow freely, write them all down, combine and refine them until you arrive at your destination… your inner entrepreneur, waiting to be unleashed, ready to propel you to astonishing financial and personal fulfillment.
Imagine we had never seen these great talents and new technologies because no one believed in them…
“This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” – Western Union internal memo, 1876.
“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” – Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.
“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” – Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943
After Fred Astair’s first screen test in 1933, the MGM testing director wrote a meme saying:
“Can’t act. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.”
Astaire got the memo and kept it over his fireplace.
Are You Ready To Brainstorm You?
Great. Let’s start at the beginning. What actually is brainstorming? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “the mulling over of ideas by one or more individuals in an attempt to devise or find a solution to a problem.” Brainstorming works by focusing on a problem, and then deliberately coming up with as many solutions as possible and by pushing the ideas as far as possible.
- Whether you do it in a group, or on your own, these 4 basic rules apply…
- No criticism
- Welcome unusual ideas
- Quantity wanted
- Combine and improve ideas
With the theory covered, we jump right into action mode.
The Surefire Guide To Brainstorming You
Step #1: Define the problem
We are here to launch your inner entrepreneur, right? So you state your problem like this…
I want to find THE topic that truly resonates with me AND has business potential.
Step #2: Look inside yourself. Write everything down
Observe your daily life and write down everything that comes to your mind… your skills, experiences, daily life activities, books and magazines you read, movies and TV shows you like to watch, topics you just can’t stop talking about, things that upset you or make you feel good.
Look at your current occupation. What activities do you enjoy most about it? Is it research? Helping customers achieve their goals? Managing other people? Teaching or explaining things to others? Talking/selling on the phone? Organizing things? Making a process easier? Discovering or creating new products or services? Marketing products?
We all encounter obstacles, problems, nasty people in the course of whatever it is that we do every day. What are the three biggest problems in your work place? What are your biggest pains as a parent, or as a step-parent, or as a gardener (etc., etc.)?
Do you have solutions to these problems? Would they be of value to a lot of people?
Call friends. Ask your kids. Phone your parents or your siblings and anyone else who can jog your memory. It’s so easy to miss what others see.
Step #3: Look outside yourself. The World Wide Web is your best friend
There are lots of resources on the Net to stimulate your idea generator. Try these approaches…
- Browse through Amazon products, categories and descriptions. To see the top selling items, scan the bestsellers of all categories.
- Use Ebay’s vast inventory. Whatever can be sold, you will find it at Ebay! Especially their categories listing page is a treasure trove of inspiration.
- Skim through the merchants and products of Affiliate Networks. Some networks, e.g. Commission Junction and Rakuten Popshops require you to register before you can access their inventory. Others, like Clickbank and ShareASale allow you to see all or part of their listings without having an account.
Step #4: Use tools to speed up the brainstorming process
A clever way to not only trigger new ideas, but do some market research at the same time is to use Google Instant. As you start to type your search into Google’s search box, Google Instant automatically shows results for a popular search that begins with those letters.
So, if you want to find out for which kind of problems people search for solutions, you would type “how to a” into the search box and see what comes up. Next you type “how to b” and see what comes up. Then c, and d, and e, etc…
Taking this a little further, you could type “how to ab” and then “how to ac” and each time you will get all sorts of ideas.
Other prefixes to try instead of “how to” are “get rid of” or “eliminate”. Or think of major themes in society, like “how to overcome…”.
One of the tools that comes with every SBI! and SBI! for WP subscription is Brainstorm It!, a sophisticated niche research and brainstorming tool. Its Seed Generator functionality is extremely helpful for generating lots of possibilities from a single word or term.
How does it work? Seed Generator takes ANY particular topic that may interest you, and delivers hundreds of possible related ideas for profitable web based businesses. Not only that, it also keeps you from choosing “losers,” i.e., topics that will either be too competitive for most people to win, or too small to earn much income.
Let’s say that travel is a general topic you love, but it is far too big to cover. Seed Generator brings back a multitude of possible sub-themes, e.g. rail travel, park travel, travel advisor, car games, etc. – uncovering gems that you’d have never thought about.
Brainstorming You… Much More Than Business
While the initial goal was to find a topic for a profitable niche business, the effects reach much further…
- You discover hidden talents and develop new skills.
- You find deep satisfaction in what you do.
- You do things you had never thought you’d be capable of doing.
- You connect with like-minded people near and far.
- You touch other people’s lives with your knowledge.
This article is part of SiteSell’s 6-week series, highlighting the benefits of “Being Yourself.” For more tips on how to “Launch Your Inner Entrepreneur,” check out the Be Yourself page.