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I want to start a business but have no ideas: How Moms Can Tap into Their Potential and Start a Business Without Any Ideas

Updated: Mar 14

A black blackground with a white, blank piece of paper and four balled up pieces of paper.
No idea how to get started with your business?

Starting a business is an excellent solution for moms who want to stay at home and have the flexibility to care for their families. The biggest thing holding most moms back is that they don’t believe they have any skills or talents that others would pay for, but I don’t think that could be further from the truth. I have been in awe of so many moms from playgroups for their baking skills, crafts, organization, creativity and many more talents they take for granted. So, how can you uncover your inner superpowers and build a business that brings you the flexibility and freedom to care for your loved ones?

Using the art of ikigai can help moms uncover their talents that can be turned into a business.

Key Takeaways

  1. Uncover your inner superpowers by asking yourself what you love, what you're good at, what the world needs, and what you can get paid for—a process known as Ikigai.

  2. Your marketable skill may not be about being the best but recognizing what people frequently seek your help for or compliment you on.

  3. When creating your business concept, focus on solving a specific problem, and consider what makes your product or service unique in a potentially crowded market.

I want to start a business but have no ideas. Start with Ikigai!

Ikigai comes from the Japanese iki (life) + gai (purpose) and involves a practice of asking four questions and seeing where they overlap. By asking yourself the following four questions, you can turn what you love and are good at into a business.

What do you love?

When you can map your business into something you love, you will bring passion to it that will help you stay motivated when the going gets tough (and it will get tough). Consider that you hope to spend many hours a week doing this thing for years; you want to love doing it.

The best way to determine what you love doing is to think back even to childhood. What types of activities energize you? What activities absorb you so much that you lose track of time?

When I decided to leave classroom teaching, I spent some time reflecting on what I loved about it. I realized it wasn’t working with children in a classroom. I loved developing objectives and researching and planning activities to help people reach objectives. Others would love being with the children all day but dread breaking down objectives and planning out aligned activities.

As I connected with what I loved about teaching, I realized that I could tap into my passions in another job without the parts of the job that I didn’t love. As an entrepreneur, you can focus on what you love since you craft your work. Still, you must reflect on how you like spending your time and what you are willing to do, even if you don’t get paid for it.

What are you good at?

You don’t need to be the best in the world at what you do, but you want some edge. One way to test your edge is to consider what people often come to you for help or what they frequently compliment you on.

Do people ask if they can buy your beautifully made cookies? Do they often complement your sense of style? Do they ask how you manage such healthy meals for your family? Do they love your Instagram posts? All of these are clues that you have a marketable skill.

What does the world need (that you can do)?

The classic business approach is to consider that you are somehow solving other people’s products with your business. If you can get clear on how you solve a specific problem, you will have a clear business concept.

The idea of a problem can stump a lot of people. Consider your beautiful cookies solve the problem that other moms don’t have the time, talent or energy to make enticing treats for their kids’ birthday parties, or maybe other moms don’t feel confident putting together outfits for their own wardrobe. Chances are you do something that solves a problem for other people, and it doesn’t need to be getting clean drinking water for the whole world.

What can you get paid for?

A quick internet search is one way to tell if you can get paid for something. When you search for ideas of what you can do or make, see if other people are selling them. You can also check Amazon and Etsy to see if books or products are on the topic. At this point, don’t worry about what you would charge or how you would make it profitable; see if it is something people are paying for now.

If you can’t find examples of other people selling similar items, don’t get too hung up on that. There wasn’t much of a market for coffee shops before Starbucks, online booksellers before Amazon, or streaming videos before Netflix. All good ideas start somewhere. You must do much more to educate and convince people if your idea is brand new.

You don’t want to be selling the same thing the same way as other people. How will you set yourself apart from a crowded market if you have a service or product similar to other items? What is unique or different about you or your product?

Put it all together to create your business

Give yourself a quiet space and time to reflect on these questions. The more space you give yourself, the more revealing and helpful your answers will be. You can start by just making 4 columns and brainstorming your answers to each question in each column. After filling in each column, look at themes or commonalities across multiple columns by circling or color-coding similar items. You know you have struck gold when you have the same idea in all four columns. No longer will you say, 'I want to start a business but have no ideas,' you will have a list of ideas to unleash your inner superpowers and be on your way to creating a business that is uniquely you and allows you the freedom and flexibility to care for your family.

Each week, Cordes will break down a business concept that helps mompreneurs increase their business success. Sign up to increase your business savvy and success!


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