Find Your Start-up Idea (You Won't Have to Look Far)

    By Mark Peter Davis | Small Business

    The best businesses are extensions of their founders. If you're hunting for the right idea, look in the mirror.

    If you're an entrepreneur, it's common to find yourself speaking to people who also want to start a company but haven't yet found an idea.

    If you look at successful entrepreneurs, you'll quickly see that they typically figure out something they personally do or understand very well and build a business around it. Fashionistas help you pick the right style. Tech wizards build your software. Retailers launch e-commerce shops. Companies are simply extensions of the founders.

    Your secret sauce doesn't have to be focused on a specific industry or sector. If you're great at organizing, managing social media, or making people happy, there might be a business in that. What's essential is to abstractly think about what makes you special, what you can give to the world.

    Investors understand this. When they meet an entrepreneur who has spent his life studying maps and modes of transportation and is now launching a travel-related site, investors will say: "He's the right guy for this company." That's an investor's way of saying that the founder is the one who can illuminate the path to building this particular business. The company will need to "productize" the person.

    If you're thinking you aren't good at anything, you're wrong. Everyone has something he can uniquely offer the world; the biggest challenge is knowing yourself well enough to understand what it is.

    Once you find it, you'll just need to put your unique perspective in a box and sell it.

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