aka: how to have you ice cream and eat it too!
Last year I took part in a wonderful business course called Rich Happy and Hot B-School with Marie Forleo and one of the bonus sections of this course was Ramit Sethi’s guide on how to earn your first $1000. How and where to begin.
Now, if you are anything like me with grand dreams of being self employed, then Ramit is your go-to guy. (So is Marie Forleo on that note!) You can find out more about him at Earn 1 K and I Will Teach You to Be Rich. Here’s what he recommends.
Step 2: Define Your Strengths:
A close friend, coworker or family member can be a huge help in defining your strengths, so you may want to call someone up to get some feedback for this one.
Write down all the strengths you know you have. Strengths can be “good at negotiating,” “personable” or “decisive.”
Step 3: Find Your Interests
Write down everything you are interested in. If you are stuck, think about the types of things you do on your day off. Think about the blogs or websites you visit. When you find yourself with an hour of time, how do you spend it?
Step 4: Put it all together
Take your three lists, and look for intersections. Can you find a common thread?
Write down three potential services you could offer based on your lists. Keep in mind that it you don’t always have to incorporate all three categories.
Step 5: Find Your Market
Research your ideas. You can do some Google and Craigslist searches to see what comes up. Is anyone currently offering what you might offer? That’s a good thing.
Examples: Transforming skills-strengths-interests into viable business ideas
Here are three real life examples of what to watch out for when crafting your idea.
1) Example 1: Test the Waters Before Jumping In
Matt loves dogs, wanted freedom and wanted to try out running his own business bringing these two interests / skills together. Seems like he could put that together into something, right? He ended up coming up with the idea of a dog sitting business (this is a completely true story of Matt Cheney, who worked with me at IWillTeach last year).
In the VERY beginning of the business, Matt had a great time — taking care of dogs, getting some extra income, and doing preliminary marketing for his services.
But a couple of things started closing in on him — and these all had to do with execution. For example, Matt didn’t realize that he would also become the Chief Financial Officer, the counselor, the customer service rep, the cashier, etc, and bad stuff started to happen. If he had tested the model by starting out freelancing instead of jumping right into forming an S-Corp, getting a bad business partner, taking out loans, etc. he would have realized that this wasn’t a very good fit.
Lesson: Start small, get a few customers and test the waters. It’s low risk, and high reward.
2) Example 2: Where’s the Viable Market?
April D. loves yoga, and loves writing. Naturally, she figured she’d simply put the two together and dollars would start raining from the sky. Copywriting and newsletters for yoga studios — perfect, right?
Uh, do yoga studios need newsletters and copywriting? If they think they need it, how BADLY do they need it? Enough that they’re willing to PAY for it?
April was one of my Earn1k alums who went through the entire program and ended up doubling her income AND quitting her suffocating 9 to 5 job to go freelance full-time.
She DIDN’T get these results by copywriting newsletters for yoga studios.
April nailed down her skills, strengths and interests, and used Earn1k to perfect the critical last ingredient — identifying and testing a paying market.
The full Earn1k course — which took April from a stifled cubicle worker to an independent freelancer — includes exclusive HD video of some of today’s most successful freelancers, audio recordings, case studies, and original Master Classes with entrepreneurs who put together some of their top strategies for Earn1k members only.
You can’t join Earn1K right now — it’s closed. But Ramit will be re-opening the course later on. Stay tuned.
Around here, we do things a little differently...
Sign up to join the 10,000+ subscribers to my popular love-drenched notes sent directly to your inbox.
You're signing up to receive emails from Vienda Maria
This is great! Thanks Vienda :) I’m good at dreaming when it comes to my career but not quite as good at strategising, so little activities like this are really helpful xx
Emma, I’m the same! Always full of wonderful exciting ideas but less able to draw them out into something tangible and practical. Tips like these definitely help!
Ooh, you were part of RHHB? Very jealous. I’m keeping a keen eye on the launch this year, but I also keep telling myself it’ll probably be too expensive right now. Well worth every penny though, no doubt… I assume it comes highly recommended by you? :)
It is very expensive I have to admit, but for me, it was a well worthwhile investment. I’ll be doing it again with everyone this year to sort my stuff out a bit more. Every time you learn something new and gain more experience and knowledge that you can apply (and once you’ve paid for the course you have a lifetime membership). This year it looks like Marie is really upping the ante! I’m looking forward to it.
I just discovered your website. Loving all your business/blog -related posts… very helpful. And very much looking forward to your ebook! B-School does sound really awesome, but unfrotunately I had different financial priorities this year. Hopefully she’ll run another course next year. In the meantime, I’ll just have to trawl through lovely blogs like yours and continue to learn from other wonderful women!!!
You are wonderful Jessie! Glad to be able to help you out! Stay tuned for lots more exciting stuff xo