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Finding Inspiration For Your Business Idea

Updated on November 8, 2012

The eureka moment...

Coming up with a business idea seems for some people to come in a eureka moment, everything seems clear and they know what to do. However, most of these ‘eureka moments’ are not really made just on that single moment in time. What do I mean? Well ideas can come out of nowhere sometimes through some of the most obscure moments you can imagine. Your mind will work by linking significant experiences where you gained useful information to other moments in time. Without you actually realising it you are constantly building a jigsaw puzzle without actually knowing what the final product will look like.

Steven Johnson has a great video expanding upon this idea:

So how do you gain more pieces in the puzzle?

1-Reading everything you can get your hands on

Books, magazines, posters, blogs, articles, newspapers, facebook posts, tweets…. Now I’m not saying that you should spend hours and hours crawling though every single article out there. Be selective, only read what you think might be interesting or useful to you. Filtering out all of the rubbish on the web is no easy feat, but once you have a good idea to look it’s not a difficult task.

2-Be social

Sometimes you will hold this metaphorical half puzzle piece, which to you currently might seem like a worthless pieces of information. However, someone else will have the other half showing you something that you might not have ever realised. Take time out to be social with your family and friends. They might have that missing piece. Scrap the whole ‘dont talk to strangers’ rule, try to talk to as many people as you can, whether that’s at the local coffee shop or at a social event. (Unless your standing on the tube at 6am on a monday morning and everyone looks like a zombie).


Excuse the cliché but it really does broaden the mind. Stepping out of your local environment can show you a completely different perspective of the world around you, helping you learn new things and understand new concepts. You dont have to travel to the other side of the world to find inspiration. (But if you can great, go for it!)

4-Follow influential people

With the internet you can follow businesses and and influential people in a matter of seconds. Twitter is a great platform to do just this. Create an account if you havent already and follow people that intrest you. Sometimes there tweet can help form an idea or give you an alternative presepctive.

5- Switch off

We live in a digital world. When was the last time you turned off your phone and didn’t turn on your computer? Quite a long time I guess? Sometimes you need a break from looking at screens as they can devour your time quite quickly, and actually help you lose focus (people who use youtube related videos know what I mean!) Try to keep a balanced digital life. Sometimes switching off can help you ‘turn on’ other aspects that you might have overlooked.

6-Join societies and attend lectures and talks

Societies can help you meet new people which is great, but they also provide you with a way to get involved in lectures. These lectures can be great for networking, and developing your own understanding of the chosen topic.

7-Volunteer at another business that you admire

Working for someone else is a great way to learn more skills, meet new people, and understand another business. Trying to find opportunities is quite difficult, but here are three websites that might help you out:


Escape from the city

Mykindacrowd (students)

8-Look at other peoples ideas

It’s not cheating to look at what other people are trying to start up. They can give you inspiration of your own, giving your start up idea a twist. Finding new businesses ideas is very easy. Just take a look at the crowdfunding websites around.

Here are a few:







People love to complain. There are always problems, and most of the time solutions. Find a market that you are interested in and pinpoint a specific problem. Conduct some market research into what people would like to see happen. You can easily conduct questionnaire from the confort of your home through internet services like Google Docs and Survey Monkey.

10-Get out of the house

Sometimes you are going to need a time out. Thinking too hard can give you the ‘blank page’ problem. Go for a walk in the park. Go to the local cafe, have an expresso. Remind yourself that there is a world outside of your house!

Got your own method or idea? Please share them below.


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    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      "Get out of the house!" Great advice on gathering information and finding new ideas. This is a very interesting piece.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • nightnight profile image

      nightnight 5 years ago from UK

      Thanks for the interesting comment. I had no idea of this system, I did a quick google and it looks pretty cool. I think you are right, these tips help you think about 'new ideas' that no one else has thought of already. I also believe however that you can create a successful business just from developing and improving already existing models out there. It's up to how creative you can be.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      There is a system called Blue Ocean Strategy. Here, business owners are tasked to think out of the box. The basic idea is not to compete for the existing market but create a a new market that you can dominate. Your tips here will definitely help in creating a business that is unique.