Last night I had a highly insightful chat on gtalk with @naeem who runs a number of successful online businesses and interest sites out of Johannesburg, South Africa. Naeem is someone I admire for being able to see a business opportunity around almost every corner, you can tell he’s been doing what he does for quite a while.
He passed on a really great online business idea
It was Something really simple and with potential to make some good dosh online, which got me thinking about the way I have been approaching my career. I’m not about to share his idea with the world to run off and make it irrelevant to me, but after coming across the following post written by Bud Caddell on whatconsumesme.com, I also re-thought whether just any good business idea would do for me.
This Venn diagram gave me some serious food for thought in terms of how to go about sticking to what I do well, what I love doing and still making a decent living out of it. The post is entitled “How to be Happy in Business“. Apart from being a really well designed piece of informaton design, the concepts really hit me hard and also made me think back to my business ideas convo with @naeem. Would it do to get into just any type of business just to make money?
Budd lists the 3 problems highlighted by the diagram:
- We can’t determine how to make enough money from the things we want to do, and do really well.
- We’ve found things we want to do, and can be paid for, but we’re not the best game in town.
- We’ve come across things people want us to do, that we do well (or at least better than the competition) that we really don’t want to do.
I’m the type of person that generally comes up with business ideas connected to a direct need I have, and also most times relating to something which I’m really interested in, which helps me get my head fully inside the whole development process. Ok so I haven’t really succeeded with any of my crazy business ideas yet, LOL, nor have I even progressed to prototyping phase with some of the more serious ones, but this means that something disconnected to what I love doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance of even featuring. Then comes the problem of monetizing what I’m really truely passionate about.
Me gots lots to think about regarding this diagram!
On the same little stroll around the interwebs, I also found a really great way of identifying my own special business model, and applying my efforts in that direction. Gina Trapini, “software and self improvement junkie” wrote a piece on Freelance Switch where she says,
“While I do plan to make money as a freelancer, my ultimate goal is to generate satisfaction.”
(While money is a part of that, so is learning, service, and creativity, so we’ll just use the umbrella term “satisfaction.”)
She shares her personal “business model” in plain & simple terms, What’s important to her is more than just paying the bills while doing what she specializes in.
This particular concept highlights the importance of consantly tracking your activities based on what’s most important to you. Of course knowing what’s most important is step 1, having a plan to engage more in those areas comes next. I found in the last 2 months, tracking my activities in detail has given me huge insight in where the problem areas are. I’ve started taking a few steps in a new direction and these 2 posts/diagrams has helped wrap my head around the way forward.