When thinking about starting a business, that is the number one worry I hear from people.
Not knowing the answer to this question has caused more people to procrastinate than weed and xbox combined.
9 out of 10 businesses fail in the first 5 years. The statistics are grim. It’s a tough game, and almost nobody comes out on top… so your worry is a valid one. Why is it like this and how can we avoid it?
I am going to show you exactly how to avoid it right now. There is no reason not to be successful in business. Short of a physical mental disorder, I believe anyone can start and run a profitable business that funds a life of freedom and fun.
The problem is usually a couple of things:
- We are know it alls, have a lot of pride and have trouble listening
- The brain is a sponge and has been soaking up all of the negative, limiting, BS business and life advice for as long as you swan dived out of your mother.
Gary halbert called it Carbonized shit theory. That is, you have so much information in there from so many sources, not knowing what is legit or not, shark tank, your uncle, stupid magazines, every business you have ever dealt with, and every piece of advertising you have ever seen… the great, and the terrible has packed inside your head and hardened to the point that they can no longer listen properly to sound advice and wouldnt be able to know it when you hear it.
I want you to forget everything you think you know about business, marketing, and sales. Don’t worry, you can always pick up and put that stuff back in your head when we are done here, but for right now, clean the slate, listen to the logic of what I am saying… calm the chatter in your head… the worries… and clearly, and calmly understand business in a way you may have never experienced before.
Most people want to invent products. It is a natural human urge and that is fine. In my opinion, this is the riskiest, and can be the longest path to “get money”. It is definitely not the path of least resistance. But.. if you must. Here is a test:
Tell your idea to 25 people who would be your potential buyer (Not friends and family). IF they don’t say some variation of “Why the hell didn’t I think of that” or “Wow!” Then it is safe to say you are best tossing the idea. Facts don’t lie, and it is easy to have blind spots and delusional emotional attachments to inventions that haven’t even been invented yet and that do not have a proven HUNGER within a market for a solution to the problem your product solves, or opportunity it provides. Here’s one of the best pieces of advice you will ever receive:
There is a big difference between what a market (your group of people) wants and what it needs. After the basic needs, people buy WANTS. You cant make them buy what is “best” for them or what they should want.. only the government can do that.
If there is not a proven WANT… a sufficient DEMAND… a HUNGER that ALREADY exists… you will be making the most common and fatal mistake in business.
Your advertising campaign can not create desire for your product. Your commercials, enthusiasm, pretty packaging, and killer website can not convince someone to buy something they don’t want to buy.
All you can do is take the hopes, dreams, fears, and desires that are already THERE.. and focus those existing desires onto your product or service.
You are learning the KEY to building a successful business.
Your job is not to sell your product or try and create desire for it, but to get in front of a group of people with an existing desire, and present your product to them that matches the desire they want to fill… or problem they want to solve…
That is why the deceptively simple “25” test works. If you aren’t convinced after that, talk to 25 more. Their desire doesn’t lie and they arent assholes for not wanting your product. It’s either there or not. Never take it personally. Would you get mad at your dog for not wanting to eat jello… the damn dog doesnt want jello… dont spend a year training your dog to eat jello, you shouldnt be making it in the first place… make the mutt something that makes his mouth water.
Business is a game that requires accurate thinking. There is no room for guesses, emotional biases, delusion, or lying to yourself.
Physically ask them if they would buy it. For how much? Ask them if they think the idea is good enough to invest in… that will uncover their true opinions.
If you can’t sell it face to face, nose to nose, there is no way in hell you are gonna get rich selling it on the internet.
My point is that you need to test the idea on your actual potential customers for as little money as possible, and as early as possible… BEFORE… you decide to go ahead with the idea.
Truth: You Can not trust your own judgement when it comes to what you think other people will buy.
This is a proven fact (Unless you are one of the lucky few, but even they are smart enough to still test). You usually don’t have enough information and experience to have enough knowledge yet to make a proper decision. You can’t even trust your gut when it comes to this.. there are too many mental blockages and confusing thoughtsébeliefs to allow for a proper intuition yet.
That said… choosing a product is the backward way to go about all of this anyway.
Let me give you an example.
In order to fly a plane, you need an engine.
Without an engine, you don’t fly.
Now, you need wings, and propeller blades… and everything else that makes a plane fly.. but if you don’t first have the engine… the one thing that drives the entire machine… What good are leather seats without an engine? What good are heated leather seats without anyone wanting to fly on your plane!?
What good is spending all your time drawing up a logo… when you don’t even know if anyone gives a shit to buy your product
A great website with a great looking product nobody wants is a formula for broke.
A basic, ugly website with a halfway decent product that people are hungry for, can make you RICH.
Pull back… and lets find that hungry crowd… that desire… we can get in front of, then the product will become obvious.
Most decisions in business are counter intuitive, that is they will go against your gut, or against what you naturally assume… that is, until you get a lot of experience and begin to rewire your brain. Remember, business is difficult and most people get slaughtered, and for this very reason… they just do things blindly, thinking they know it all, then fall flat on their face and then blame everything else except themselves.
Now… in our world, we usually call this hungry crowd of people, a niche. You pick your niche.. where you “fit in”.
Most people think a niche is where you select a group of people to sell something to. Like a market. And this causes failure before you even begin. Because the definition in your own head is not clear, all decisions are made from an unclear place, and so you make inaccurate decisions and everything is harder, or even impossible.
Niche literally means “a form of nest“. “a recess in a wall, esp one that contains a statue”
Not too helpful yet, but getting close.
If a bird fits a nest, and a statue fit’s a hole in a wall… then your product fills a niche in a market. Put more clearly: A want some people have that your product fills.
Herein lies the secret:
You do not pick, or worse, create niches. You must find them.
Discover them… uncover them.
Finding a want, desire, or desire to fix a problem, then creating a product or service to solve it – and a message to sell it to them (Check out the 4 elements to crafting great advertisements here).
If you can’t figure out what to sell, or what niche to be in, or what market to target…. it is because you are asking yourself a terrible question. Completely backward. Light bulb moment. This should be exciting… I am literally giving you the keys to the kingdom here.
Your brain can only answer the questions you give it. It’s that simple. If you ask it “What product should I sell” it will not begin analyzing the problems, hunger, and unsatisfied desires of groups of people in order to uncover the perfect product idea… your brain will just derp around trying to think of random product ideas… just as you told it to.
Listen. You are officially a client of mine, and I am not going to blow smoke up your ass. You are getting the same advice I’d give my $19k / day consulting clients
You FIND wants that aren’t being satisfied, you don’t decide for people in advance they want your product just because YOU think it solves a problem or seems like a “great idea”. Test everything.
By the way… ALWAYS be surveying your customers, prospective customers, doesn’t matter… you NEED this data from the day you have an idea, until the day you retire. No guessing.
Products come and go, niches are forever.
QUICK TIP: Go narrow to start, then widen out as you go as a general rule of thumb.
We are strange humans and we tend to buy things that seem targeted to us specifically, even if there is no actual difference.
Tylenol pain relief.
Tylenol headache relief
Tylenol headache relief for seniors
Tylenol headache relief for seniors with daytime migraines.
Even if your product can serve everyone, do not go for everyone… pick a narrow targeted sub-group of them and sell them something they feel is especially for them. And… you can now sell the same generic product for more money since it is now “specialized”.
Does that mean you have to stop there? Hell no. But it is much quicker, easier, and more profitable to be a big fish in multiple small ponds and then consolidate… than to begin as a minnow in an ocean.
Nobody likes generic people, and the same goes for products.
So, I just taught you how to begin looking for business ideas. Now, that still doesn’t answer our original question: How do I know my idea is any good?
Well, we are getting closer aren’t we.
Now that we are training our minds to uncover opportunities, desires, and hungers BY LISTENING AND LOOKING AT EVERYONE AROUND YOU… mainly listening to what frustrates them….and having a few of these ideas in mind… the next thing to decide if any of your product ideas have ENOUGH people to justify going in business.
BIG POINT: Don’t feel the need to reinvent the wheel. There are 8 billion people on the planet. You can sell your own version of products and services that already exist… I assure you, in most cases there is ample room for you as you will soon see.
Now.. keep in mind I actually prefer you don’t go around inventing products. For your purposes (making cash fast, gtfo a job), I’d say just jump in front of a hungry crowd with either:
- Someone elses product (sell for them, jump right in the river and take your cut)
- Sell your own branded version of the same product (Your logo/content etc…)
- A service you offer (manual labour or done for you service)
- Sell information in the form of books and courses
If the crowd or niche is big enough, THERE IS ROOM FOR YOU. It is an almost universal common belief that just because other people are already doing it, I need to find something new, or there is no point going in because “they” are already there.
There is room for you. How many companies do you think are selling weight loss products, foods, courses, books, pills, camps, clothing, and any other damn thing? That market is more saturated than the bag of cheetos on your lap. But guess what… there are TOO MANY FAT PEOPLE DYING TO BE THIN to ever have enough good businesses satisfy the demand. Brings up a good point: There is an extreme lack of people doing anything right in the business world… usually you can simply copy what somebody else is doing and just do it a bit better… or even a lot better with even minimal effort. It’s not usually “harder” to beat your competitors, it is just a matter of doing the right things.
The biggest problem you really have right now is you’ve been lied to..
See you on the other side.