Many great businesses as we now know them were created by founders who all they knew was that they wanted to work for themselves. They weren’t decisive about the business they should go into. Their passions and interests were never clear to them from the git-go. They had ambition and set out to strike it out on their own.
A great example are the legendary founders of Hewlett-Packard, Paul Hewlett and Dave Packard.
Starting a business is more of a process that evolves with time and effort than as a packaged or finish product arrived at by the founders in the early stage.
How to determine which business to start.
For many of us, we arrive at a better version of our dream business after a few stint with other businesses. There are ways you can use to determine what business to go into.
If the right opportunities present themselves or when you seek them out, I recommend you get a job and work in it for sometime. You can switch departments at your job to better understand how that industry works and to determine if you’re interested in that line of business or any part of it. While working there you get exposed to people of different backgrounds. Out of the people you meet, you’re likely to find someone whose interests,passions, and work ethics appeals to you. You make friends, get mentors, and other connections that will come handy when you start running your business.
Research as many industries as you possibly can if you don’t already have special interests in certain industries. Read about different sectors in the Internet. Research ideas on the Internet and learn to come up with your own ideas. That way you’ll stumble upon a few areas you’re fairly interested in.
Start by learning and practicing general business skills like sales, marketing, writing, public speaking, and project management. Most of these skills can be learnt for free online and you can apply them to a job as stated in (1) above or build a side gig around it or simply write about it in social media or though a personal blog. You can set up a blog for cheap. Research that.
Take it a step further by learning specific business skills that apply to doing business in the area of interest you’ve now developed. After going through step 1 to 3, you’re more than likely to have discovered businesses you’ll be interested in. Pick one industry and begin the arduous task of studying it in details. It’s OK to switch jobs to this industry if you’re already working in a different one. Still, learn as much as you can.
Now start your business. Most of what you’ll learn comes from after you’ve started. So, do not hesitate to kick the ball rolling. Making adjustments as you progress.
Part of starting and running a business is learning how to make good decisions and discovering and developing your own interests as an entrepreneur. Decide now about the business to start based on the interests you discovered.
This article also appeared on Quora