I tried to catch on to my profession as an accountant and got a job and got back to work after failing with a startup brand, however, I had to resign. Work was very monotonous, and I truly knew that this profession is not meant for me, 2 months down the line I had to resign as my boss included a rather extreme clause in my contract that would limit me quite significantly if I were to work for another firm, thus protecting his so-called ways of working. Anyway, to cut the story short, I know I'm meant to do my own thing, however, I just can't find the right thing or business idea, and I'm not too sure what my real talent is. I have had a few experts tell me to find my strengths, but it's really confusing. My real passion lies at the intersection of Technology, business, and branding, however, I don't have the necessary skills in design, or in tech for that matter. I love business, and creating new products with designers, but this didn't work out in my previous startup, as i didn't have enough marketing budget which I honestly think is a silly reason to justify my failure, however, the market I got into was very commoditised, hence to beat the competition I would have needed a very deep pocket. Now the question is what do I do next, i have worked with a designer, and have beautiful branding, I just need to find the right industry but I am totally paralyzed when it comes to finding the right niche. Should I go into retail (e-commerce) again or try something new in tech, any ideas, advice, opinions would really be appreciated.
First, congratulations on going the entrepreneurial route! You have a situation that is very common and one that can cause frustration so you're smart to identify it early.
Branding, skills and experience are all external to you. They are the building blocks you use AFTER you've determined the type of business model that would work best for you personally. Here's are the first two steps in how to start:
1. Identify your values. (not strengths - that's external). Values are internal. They are the things that are most important to you. For many entrepreneurs, the values of Freedom, Accomplishment, Creativity, Recognition come to the top of the list. There are no right or wrong answers - only what is important to you.
2. Once you have your values identified, it's important to know your personal style - your way of being in the world. Are you introverted or extroverted? A mixture? (By reading your question I'd say both). Go toward pleasure? Away from pain? Want to help others?
Consider these items above or get a personal style test and values test to know quicker.
3. Once you know who YOU are and what drives you, you must build a business model that can serve what you want to achieve in not just business but life. Do you want to be a solo person doing all the work? Run a large company? Somewhere in between? Online or offline or both? Then compare your intended business model to your values and style answers. Now when you ask the "Should I" questions you'll have a blueprint to help you make the right decisions every time.
Hope that helps.
Answered 6 years ago
I completely agree with Stephanie.
Once you've identified who you are, your values and what's important to you, it's then a matter of finding a problem worth solving.
Start by talking to the people you think you'd enjoy working with or helping. Find out what challenges they have in their life and look for a potential solution that would solve their problems.
Once you've found 3 or so problems you could potentially solve, match these against your blueprint mentioned by Stephanie.
Then go out and do some research. See what is out there, who your competitors are etc.
There are some great podcasts out there that may help inspire you. A couple of my personal favourites are
Internet Business Mastery
Fizzle (you'll like their content I think as they talk a lot about "Finding your thing")
Answered 6 years ago
I can relate to you, and believe me, something great will come again. However, you can't force the situation. Great startups emerge because the founders couldn't stop from thinking about their idea and how much it was needed in the world.
From what you wrote, I see that you didn't like to go back to work as an accountant, and you want to do your own thing. I would suggest a middle-point from both ideas: Why don't you join an early stage startup with a good chance of succeeding?
If you join an early team, you'll have the opportunity to shape the idea and company as much as if you were one of the creators. Also, it'll allow you to put on different hats within the company, letting you discover your strengths.
Not being the founder of the company takes out the stress of fundraising or getting the funds so that you can concentrate on your work.
The outcome of this experiment could be that you end up loving the company as if it was yours and you'd be happy to stay, or that it'll get you prepared for your next startup: connected to better investors, better talent, and a better ecosystem than what you have right now.
Answered 6 years ago