So last week we talked about the surroundings you need to formulate an idea. But what happens after that? What actually makes an idea worth pursuing?
I think the actual idea itself is becoming increasingly underrated. I mean just look at the sheer amount of cringe- worthy Instagram pages devoted to a “Billionnaire Mindset”, spewing useless motivation about ‘out- working your enemies’ and making fun of the ‘sheep’ who work normal jobs (its okay though because you’re totally a lion). Nowhere do they mention that you actually need a good idea.
It’s important to remember one key truth: If your idea isn’t workable, no amount of leg work will get it off the ground.
Of course, hard work is important. Like I said last time, this is going to be the hardest thing you’ll ever do- but if you believe as much in your idea as you should, it wont feel like work at all.
How I did it…
Take me as an example: after I first had the idea for Tyfy, I spent a month in the Ingenuity Lab putting together a prototype website and my days were typically 7am – 9pm. Following that, I got a job as a Paralegal, which I loved, and that meant my days transformed into working 9-5, and then working on Tyfy from 7 – 10. Weekends, evenings, birthdays and Christmas all became usable hours in trying to get a project off the ground. And fortunately we’re now trading so I’ve taken the plunge and gone full time- even if it meant leaving a job I enjoyed with a bit of a lump in my throat.
So yes, work is important, but my point is this: all of that would come to nothing if there wasn’t a genuine market for Tyfy, which stems from it being a genuinely good idea.
To find a genuine market you have to be on the look out for answers to two questions: What problem can I solve? and Does it matter?
Answer those and you just may have your idea.
What problem can I solve?
Allow me to put a bit of emphasis here on the “can I” . This could be anything, of course, but think about what you know and your skill set. Me? I was a mediocre journalist with a rudimentary knowledge of making a website through WordPress. I wasn’t going to solve world hunger or bring peace to the middle east with a sarcastic blog.
But I could teach myself some basic code and try to increase student connectivity – that was within my power.
My basic knowledge of WordPress let me set up a website, which lead to me learning how to customise my website through adding new functions, which lead to me having a basic version. Okay, so, that version seems ugly as hell now I look back, but I’d gotten my idea off the ground.
The point is, do something you can do, or can reasonably learn how to do.
Does it matter?
This is the really important bit.
The problem I had found was that there was a disconnection with my fellow students at university, and that this was a massively untapped resource. Does it matter? Of course it does – a good education is, by my view, a human right, and graduate employment is a terrifying prospect, so as there’s a way to fix both, why shouldn’t I try?
It was worth doing because doing something that helps keep students in University means there are more young men and women being educated and, resultantly, being empowered. Who knows, maybe if a scared young fresher sat in her room crying matched with a mentor who helped her with her studies, she really could go on to solve world hunger, or bring peace to the Middle East. I’ve watched The Butterfly Effect I know how this stuff works.
The most important thing is finding a problem that people actually want to be solved. If the problem matters to one or two people, good, if it matters to a sub-facet of society, great. If it matters to the world – you’re going somewhere.
Next week I’m going to talk about the greater support network you can find for free, and the Ingenuity Lab- my second lucky break. Go ahead and follow our Facebook page so you don’t miss it.
Oh and stay away from the ‘motivational’ side of Instagram. You’re wasting time scrolling. But i’ll leave you with this gem of wisdom: