After Tim Ferris published The Four Hour Work Week, it seems like everyone is on the hunt for the “next greatest idea” that will bring them not just a tidy profit, but liberty. It might be the infamous millennial “entitlement” stereotype or alleged lousy work ethic, but one thing that’s for sure is that this model can exist.
There are, of course, limits to how many of us can sustain this kind of income at this level, but it certainly is possible. However, it all starts with a good idea. Then, after your fair share of hustling, lost sleep, sweat, and blood, you might one day enjoy this idealistic lifestyle.
But back to the idea- the hunt has begun and the clock is ticking! It’s time to start searching and here are some starting points you can use as a springboard into your dream life. From visiting different markets, engaging in things you love, to becoming a good listener, there are plenty of routes you can take.
- Hello Asia
Many see Asia just as an enabler of their dream, a land of factories and cheap labour. However, it’s worth taking the perspective of Asia as an incubator of ideas and a large test market that is relatively isolated from the North American market. Though not every idea that works in China or Japan will thrive in the States or in Canada, many could!
One thing that holds many people up from going this route is the language and cultural barrier. Stop worrying about this! There are companies offering Chinese translation and interpreting services from professional Mandarin Chinese translators. Utilize these to score deals, communicate designs, and negotiate contracts. A certified company offering certified translations will mitigate the risk of you getting into something you weren’t expecting.
- Follow Your Passions
When you follow your passions and interests, you are more likely to find a pain point and a solution to it. You’ll have a better insight into your target market, know what channels to use for marketing, and overall have more satisfaction working on your business. That way, business might just turn into pleasure and you won’t even keep track of which hours are work ones and which are ones that count as recreation!
Though having the gift of gab can help in the business development process, being a great listener can be what gives you the idea you need. Whenever you meet with people, whether colleagues, friends, or family members, analyze their conversations, constantly looking for a problem that you can solve or a process that you can improve. Chances are, if they are feeling like there’s an issue, many others are probably feeling the same.
Keep a running list of problems and start engineering solutions, whether that means a service, product, or idea worth licensing to a bigger company. Once you have something that you think would work, go back to the person with the pain point, get some feedback, edit, and keep repeating the process until you have a refined idea that you can see a lot of people buying into.
No one stumbles into a million-dollar company or has it happen on accident. It takes some work and effort from the outset before you can rest on your laurels and just maintain what you have. But as some say, if you aren’t growing you’re dying, so we’re not guaranteeing that this will happen. However, having a successful business is never a bad thing, so even if you don’t attain the lifestyle, you’ll still end up with something of value.