Starting a Business

How To Find A Business Idea

Written by James Garvin for Gaebler Ventures

Trying to figure out what kind of business to start can be a dangerous way to go about actually starting a business. Very few businesses are started by trying to "select" a business, rather they are started out of passion and interest in a specific topic.

I often read several online entrepreneurial websites, including and enjoy some of the analysis and insights they provide, but the one topic that I see a lot that has no bearing on the decision you make as an entrepreneur are the articles titled "What Kind of Business Should You Start?"

A dangerous way to start a business is to pick a business from the "Top 10 Businesses to Start Today" on any website.

I've never heard of a successful entrepreneur starting a business by reading about what kind of business they should start. Most successful businesses were started by accident or by one's passion and interest in a specific topic. This is important, because if you're not passionate about the business you are starting, you are sure to fail at it.

If you're looking to start your own business, but don't know where to start avoid reading gimmicky articles like the aforementioned and focus on yourself to inspire ideas. Evaluate what you enjoy doing on a day to day basis and research ways that you can improve how you conduct those activities. Pick a problem that has been bothering you for years because odds are if it's a problem for you, it's a problem for many others.

You don't need to invent the next miracle drug, or become the next Wal-Mart, you simply need to find something that you are desperately passionate about and feel that you can succeed at doing it. I strongly believe that passion drives success. Passionate entrepreneurs seem to best handle the adversity they face with their laser focus to see their ideas come to fruition and rise against the pessimists to go on to be successful.

Rather than trying to force yourself into thinking of a magical business idea, take the natural approach and expand your passions into a business. Find ways to involve others in your hobbies or activities to validate your business idea. There are a ton of success stories of entrepreneurs who took their part-time hobbies and turned them into successful businesses. It's not the idea that creates success; it's the person and passion behind the idea that yields the winners.

James Garvin began his education studying biotechnology. In recent years he has turned his interest in technology to helping two internet startup companies. The first business was an online personal financial network and the second was an e-marketing platform created to help entrepreneurs demo their web sites. Currently a student at University of California Davis, James is spending his summer incubating two new online businesses and writing about his entrepreneur experiences.

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  • William posted on 2/27/2010
    I might also add that the younger you start your business the better as you have time to play with different business models or new ideas. Thanks, William

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