Pro Tips for Brainstorming a New Business Idea

“Follow your passion.” Powerful advice. Also simple to follow — if your lifelong dream has been to make little golden butterflies and, coincidentally, you inherited a safe full of gold bars that had been placed in trust for you, a hundred per year, since you were born. Easy peasy, passion followed!

However, if that is not exactly your situation, let’s get some advice from successful entrepreneurs who came up with ideas to make following their passion possible and fruitful.

Stop Focusing on Finding That “Big Idea” for a Bit

Tennis Focus

Image via Flickr by caesararum

Ideas can come from anywhere, but sometimes we’re so busy looking at everything that we “can’t see the forest for the trees.” Let the conscious mind wander to something new by doing something new. Talk to people you wouldn’t normally meet. Visit strange, new places and absorb the newness by focusing on what you are doing right now! 

Your subconscious mind knows what you are looking for and will present you with new ideas through these new environments. So why not let your subconscious do the work?

If you ever feel like you’re ignoring the problem by not focusing on it, try taking the opposite approach.

Organize Your Thoughts by Writing Them Down and Sorting Them Out

Libby Kane from “Business Insider” consolidated a number of articles by Ramit Sethi of “GrowthLab” and “I Will Teach You to Be Rich” in her post about how to generate 20 potential business ideas in 10 minutes. Ramit encourages readers to write five answers to each of the following questions:

  1. What do you already pay for? Can you turn one of those things into your own online business?
  2. What skills do you have? Now, what do you know — and know well?
  3. What do your friends say you’re great at?
  4. What do you do on a Saturday morning? This can be incredibly revealing for what you’re passionate about and what you like to spend your time on.

And … Bingo! You’ll have twenty ideas for a new business just like that.

Ask Others to Name Things That Could be Better

We all have our frustrations, even if they’re only minor annoyances. Maybe we wish that something spun a little faster or slower or that something came in different colors. Now imagine what we would have if we collected a list of those frustrations and could choose one to improve and build a business around it! offers ideas like that and more in an article called Starting a Business: The Idea Phase. They employ a list concept similar to the last tip but with a slight difference in naming three to five products or services that would improve your personal or business life.

Model Your New Business on Another Successful Business

According to Tony Robbins, one of the keys to success is to model yourself on someone who is already successful in your field. It makes sense to model your business after a successful business. Make the necessary changes if the model business is considerably different.

An example of a successful business with a strong component of independent ownership is a company like Amway. As a business model, it has been successful since its start in 1959. Whether the Amway model is right for your business or not, there is still much to be learned that could be helpful to make your business a success.

Take a Break From Brainstorming

This tip is similar to the first suggestion on the list, only deeper: Take a week off and do not think about your new business. Fight the feeling that you must decide or that you are wasting precious time. Do things that are fun or move you in some way. By the time your enforced vacation is complete, your passion will be right in front of you!

The tips above are a mechanical way to help to execute your entrepreneurial goals. Without the passion, it’s just a job. But without perseverance, it’s just another really long day.