Discovering Business Ideas From Your Strengths and Skills
Using your strengths to find business ideas can be an excellent tool for finding that one idea you’ll run with. Your strengths come from both your passions and your natural abilities, to form the strengths you have. They also allow you to work continuously without it seeming like work.
In this article I am going to show you why your strengths are SO important, the types of strengths you can possess, and how to find them. From there, we will dive into how you can think of business ideas from your strengths, along with examples from some famous entrepreneurs!
Let’s dive in….
Why your Strengths are important
It is extremely important to know your strengths for a couple of reasons.
1) When starting a business you’ll need to take account for your resources and capacity to develop the idea into a company. By assessing your strengths you are part way there. All founders need to know their strengths and weaknesses so they can find co-founders or key employees that fill the weaknesses with their strengths. When the right team isn’t in place and everyone’s strengths don’t fit the business idea, it will usually fail. After interviewing several founders in my life, all of them agree to this point.
2) It will help you kill potential industries or sectors due to your strengths possibly lying in a certain field or industry. For example, if I had a strong analytical and Information Technology strengths, I would be better off in an analytical business idea related to artifical intelligence. A business idea such as a vertical garden company may not fit as well, as you may need different strengths to execute this business idea.
The main message is that it is important and advantageous as an aspiring entrepreneur to know your strengths.
Types of Strengths
There are two sets of strengths that everyone has, and it is important to assess both, as they both bring significant value. They are your “soft skills” and “hard skills”.
These do not get mentioned too often, however, with the increasing use of technology advancements replacing the hard skills people have, soft skills will be essential. Business leaders are already recognizing this.
Your soft skills can be anything from:
- Teamwork, and
- Problem solving, to name a few.
Usually as a new entrepreneur, you may possess a lot more soft skills than hard skills, so keep that in mind and use them to your advantage (we’ll dive into an example later how you can).
Looking to discover more soft skills? Check out this extensive list by Simplicable.
This one is more obvious, but your hard skills are the skills you possess such:
- Digital marketing,
- Advanced Microsoft excel analysis,
- Writing, etc.
Hard skills play a critical role when thinking of business ideas because it can limit what business ideas you pursue. For example, if you didn’t have a co-founder that had a coding background, it would be harder for you to start a company that is based on coding like software or apps.
How to Discover Your Strengths
Finding your strengths can be the trickiest part of this process, however, there are both free and paid ways to do so.
1) Asking friends/ family – people who you know and trust.
This is a great place to start because the people that are closest to you, your friends and family, will know a significant amount about you and your life. All this knowledge lets them create strong insights as to how they see your strengths.
Ask five people that are close to you, the following questions to gauge your strengths…
What are my obvious strengths?
What are my hidden strengths?
What am I doing when I am most happy?
What skills do you think I possess?
What natural talents have you seen in my life?
This is a great free exercise you can do that will only take a few minutes. You will notice that not everyone thinks you have the same strengths, however, you should notice some overlap with one or two matching from each answer. These ones are essential to pay attention to because they are the strongest ones in your life.
2) The second free way to find your strengths is to do your own personal assessment. This involves taking 10 to 15 minutes to think about what you do well and excel at.
Ask yourself, what tasks do you “get lost” doing? The kind of tasks where you completely lose track of the time because you are excelling and enjoying what you are doing. This is what is known as your flow tasks.
Another question to ask yourself is “what do you excel at, at a greater pace than others?” The answers here will tell you what your strongest strengths are.
The third way you can find your strengths is using the paid assessment, Strengths Finder 2.0. This strengths test is not free, however, it is extremely accurate and I highly recommend it. If you are interested and want to take a deeper dive before purchasing, you can check out the review here.
Discovering Business Ideas From Your Strengths
Once you know what your strengths are, we can now go ahead and come up with some relevant business ideas. This exercise will take you about 10 to 15 minutes, and you will have business ideas worth executing on.
The first step is to convert your strengths into value that can serve others.
For example, if someone possesses the strengths of great programming and analytical skills, you can leverage those skills to build software or computer programs that can fix problems. Many day-to-day problems people face could be reduced by having sophisticated programs. An entrepreneur with similar strengths that you can relate to would be Elon Musk. He has a very strong analytical and programming background that helped him develop Paypal, SpaceX, SolarCity, and Tesla. Musk committed countless days and nights building his businesses from scratch using his own knowledge.
Another great example would be if you had excellent interpersonal and communication skills as a strength. Someone like Gary Vanyerchuk has created a lot of success for himself due to his excellent interpersonal skills. His interpersonal skills drove sales through the roof for his companies in the past because he knew who could truly benefit in his widening circle.
So ask yourself, how can you add value to the world by using your strengths to help and give to others?
The second step is to apply the strengths you have to a problem that you can solve. If you have a solution.
Looking for how to find problems to solve? Check out this post here where I explain in-depth where you can find quality problems that need a solution.
Get creative with how you can bring value. For instance, if you have a strength of being a connector (you connect people with others for great outcomes), you would have the ability to put together strong start-up teams. As a service, you could provide the tools to bring together the foundational teams that others seem to struggle so much with.
Now that you have discovered your strengths and are off to the races thinking of business ideas that solve real problems, make sure you don’t loose track of your ideas! Check out this blog about The Top 5 Tools for Keeping Track of Your Business Ideas.