1.0 Introduction

ARE YOU SEARCHING FOR A BUSINESS IDEA? >> Each section contains key Action Items located within the downloadable Action Guide >> Click to Download Action Guide.

1.1       Why do you want to be in your own business?

You’re probably asking yourself, “What kind of question is this to ask?”

The purpose for this question is two-fold.

Do you believe in yourself and are you ready to achieve business ownership?  Or, are you looking at dwindling options and is this your only hope?

Seriously, why do you want to own a business?

The reality of a business owner is you may spend more time in the business each day than you had ever imagined.  It’s possible you’ll not make much of an income for yourself when starting a business.  Being in business is not a “cake walk,” you’ll put more energy forth than your current employment.  Your new business depends on you to be healthy, dependable, consistent, and be a leader.  Will your spouse/partner and your family, support you during the hardship of the startup phase?  Starting a business is a challenge and there are struggles, however, it also has rewards so keep walking with your eyes open.

As a franchise/business coach, I’ve heard a plethora of reasons on why people want to be in business for themselves, but basically they fall into one of two categories, you’ve had a burning core desire to own a business or you’re in some sort of pain.

A core desire or need to own a business might sound like:

  • I need more stability, money, or security
  • Control my destiny
  • Lifestyle
  • Be the boss
  • Freedom of time, environment, office politics

Pain indicators might sound like:

  • I’m unemployed and I can’t find a job
  • I hate my current job, or co-workers, or boss
  • Layoffs are inevitable
  • I’m bored, frustrated, having trouble walking into work
  • I need a change!

ACTION ITEMS: Complete the Action Items in your Action Guide.

Take time right now and answer these questions:

What does stress look like to you?

How would more control help you?

When will you become a business owner?

There are hundreds of reasons to want your own business.  Be excited to learn what your reasons are!

Consider this…if you’ve been thinking about owning a business for a while, I give you permission to explore with me by opening the door into a room full of opportunities.

1.2       Background – Experience – Knowledge

If you have an updated resume, it’s time to get it out.  If your resume is outdated, you should take time to pull out your last one and prepare to update it.

Learning key information about yourself can aide in the selection process of a business.

What are your likes and dislikes from previous jobs?  What we’re going to explore next is finding your goals, needs and expectations of business ownership.  Already, you’ve been through some unique experiences; use them to your advantage.  You’ve also found some strengths and skills that have been important to you, including some weaknesses that you should be aware of that may slow you down.

Focus on your strengths and outsource your weaknesses.

ACTION ITEMS: Complete the Action Items in your Action Guide.

Now let’s identify two areas, what do you want more of in your life and what do you want less of in your life?

Write down the answers to these questions right now.

More of in my life:

Which occupation did you enjoy the most?

What did you like about it?

What makes you successful at what you do?

Less of in my life:

Which job did you like the least?


Where did you struggle in your career?

Taking a moment to reflect in self-evaluation will lead to breakthroughs in finding a business idea, or knowing an area of business that could be right for you.  It takes time and patience, including coming back to self-evaluation over and over again to find your interests.

“He who knows others is learned.  He who knows himself is wise.”

- Lao Tse, a philosopher of ancient China.

1.3       Did you ever dream of a business you would like to be in?

“Hey, I’m not a dreamer. I’m a realist.”  Okay, settle down.  I hear you.

Yes, we need to be realistic and consider our limitations.  However, are you building a box around yourself?  Looking beyond what we’ve accomplished in the past, or stopped short of from the future, may define who and what we are today.

I recently asked a client, “Did you ever dream of a business that you would like to be in?” and the client responded, “You know, just last night, my father and I were reflecting on a time in my youth when I wanted to be an artist.”  “Is there a business that would allow me to teach children to draw and provide an outlet to be artistic?”  Eureka!  That was it.  A simple conversation with her father yielded a business idea.

ACTION ITEMS: Complete the Action Items in your Action Guide.

Answer these questions right now.

Do you have anything you like to do?

What do you do for fun?

When was the last time you asked a friend or family member what they thought would be a good business for you?

Open up, you may find out something new.

Careful, when talking with friends and family about your dreams of business ownership, you may get more than you asked for, as in dream squelching.  You know… crabs in the basket.

When catching crabs, with one crab in the basket, you need a lid.  But when the basket is filled with a few crabs, there’s no need: when one tries to climb out, the others pull it down.

Your question should be, “Are you going to let them keep you from making a change for your future?”  Keep in mind, they love you, they care about you, and they want what they think is best for you.  It’s a normal reaction to change.  In most cases, family members make the objection because they are sincerely fearful and don’t want you to do something stupid or to take on an unnecessary risk.

In sharing your dreams, goals and ideas with others (e.g., family), accept the mindset of seeking negative feedback and then figure out how to overcome those objections.  In sales, one must encourage objections from the customer and then overcome those objections to make the sale.  If you don’t get objections, the customer is probably not interested.

Accept that the family member does not like risk, but always keep in mind that if one wants to be successful as a business owner, high levels of risk are required.  To be willing to be a business owner, the budding entrepreneur has got to find a way to overcome his/her own fears of failure, as well as tune out the fears of family members. As such, with respect to the family members who are fearful; thank the family member for his/her concern, set the concern aside and move on!

If your dream is to own a business, then find out as much as you can about the business, the market, the competition and the opportunity so you can make an informed decision.  You’ll then become the expert in what you know.

1.4       What is ILWE?

Is this a sickness? Nope, it stands for four words… Income, Lifestyle, Wealth and Equity.

These are four important pieces of your life and business puzzle.  When owning a business, you want some rewards for yourself.  You might also consider these as goals.  Sometimes you’ll need to be careful because the business you own might actually become a business that owns you! So, know ahead of time what you want to get out of a business opportunity.

What do you really want out of a business?

Have you ever heard that a business is only a vehicle to get you where you want to be?  What if you found a business idea that had an affordable entry fee, the hours of operation were okay for now, the industry was not what you had imagined and yet the income was more than you ever expected?  Would it matter to you?

For some it might.  However, this business might be merely a stepping-stone to a better lifestyle and/or the mechanism to buying a different business in the future.  Are you keeping your options open?

ACTION ITEMS: Complete the Action Items in your Action Guide.

Let’s dream a little.  Take time now to write down the answers to these questions.

What income do you need to survive (minimal)?

What income would you like to receive in 3 years?  In 5 years?

What would you like your life to be like in 3 years?  In 5 years?

If you set a goal for accumulating wealth (ex. money in savings account, IRAs, etc.), what amount would it be in 5 years?  In 10 years?

What kind of equity (ex. own your home and a vacation home, boat, car, etc.) would you like to have in 5 years?  In 10 years?

1.5       Is the idea light bulb still glowing dimly?

Keep your chin up!  It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with a lack of focus of what could be a good business for you.

ACTION ITEMS: Complete the Action Items in your Action Guide.

What if you surveyed your family, friends and even work associates?

Asking a few questions might give you the momentum that you’ve needed to move ahead in an idea of your own, or someone close to you may see in you what you haven’t realized.  You know the saying, “sometimes we can’t see the forest because of all the trees!”

Do something out of the ordinary.  This is your time to break out on your own.

I’m sure you’ve heard Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity; it’s doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  Go ahead, lift your head out of the crab basket and see what else is out there!

Here’s an amazing statistic, 75% of the adult population says their dream is to be self-sufficient, yet only 5% get there on their own.  Will you be in the 5%?  How can I help you become one of the 5% who truly becomes self-sufficient?

What’s the biggest reason for missing the mark of business ownership?

FEAR!  The fear of failure.  The fear of doubt.  The fear of what if I succeed.

I like to break down FEAR into: False Evidence Appearing Real.

The way to combat false evidence is to find facts.  Fear needs a reality check.  Exploring change can be uncomfortable, stirring up feelings like fear.  But just because you have a feeling doesn’t mean those negative events will occur.  Find out the facts!

Will you stop short?  If a scratch off lotto player knows that one in a hundred lotto tickets is a winner, then he keeps scratching with increasing excitement as he gets closer to the one hundredth ticket!

Next — 2.0 Find Your Business »