For the budding entrepreneur there may be no more trite piece of advice than “do what you love!” This assumes that a.) there is something that you love and b.) that you can make a living from it. If you check out all the struggling actors, musicians, painters, sculptors, etc. in this world it’s pretty clear to see that “loving something” is not necessarily a route to success. Then there’s a whole bunch of folks, me included, with no particular passion – should we give up on the idea of entrepreneurial activity at all?
Do What You Love?
Does it seem likely that the magnates involved in sewerage or water treatment began their lives with a desire to immerse themselves in well… you know? Of course, not.
The truth is that while there are passionate people in spheres like these and people who are doing what they love now; most folks don’t fall in love with fields that are a bit unattractive until after they start work in them.
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You see hours of dedication and effort to master a field or a subject are likely to turn your efforts from “passing time” into “a labour of love”. You’d have to be a little odd to grow up dreaming of running your own sewage works but plenty of people end up doing it. And plenty of people are happy, content and proud of doing work like this. So don’t despair. You can fall in love with any area of work – assuming you’re willing to put the effort in.
If you don’t have a profitable passion then you can turn to user research for ideas instead. The best entrepreneurial inventions solve people’s problems. It’s really as simple as that. Entrepreneurs are not born, they create themselves and they do so by coming up with new ideas or improved ideas that solve people’s frustrations.
Author/Copyright holder: Pimthida. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
If you want to start doing some user research into an entrepreunerial venture – you don’t have to spend a fortune. You can begin by visiting people in your neighbourhood, or at your work, or even your family and asking them; “In your day-to-day life what are the things you find most frustrating? What would improve your existence if you could do it more easily or without any effort at all?”
The answers that people give you will provide seeds for ideas. Some will be fantastic responses which you lack the means or resources to solve (We’d all love to solve the problem of malaria, for example, but without the Bill and Melinda Gates’ Foundation’s Resources – you’d have no hope of doing so). Some will be plain silly; no-one wants to take out the trash but automating trash disposal from the home to the bin is going to be ridiculously expensive and people won’t pay too much for convenience.
Author/Copyright holder: bealluc. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-NC 2.0
But some will be relatively easy for ingenious mind to solve and in a meaningful way. Keep a note of those ideas – you’ve still got some more research to do. Check out the rest of our entrepreneurs UX series this week. There’ll be a new piece every day.
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