Don't quarantine your brain!

LET'S GET MOVING!

"It's too quiet, ...I don't like that very much, ... I prefer it when it's a bit less quiet" Edifis, Mission Cleopatra.

18 years after the film's release, it's not an attack by Roman legionnaires that we're dreading, but that of a virus named after a Mexican beer. We circle in a few square metres like caged wild beasts and only venture out into the deserted streets armed with written authorisation. In short, we've seen more festive times.

But confinement also allows you to take time for yourself and refocus on your priorities. If you've been thinking about setting up your own business for some time, now's the time to get to work on it. Contrary to popular belief, isolation is not just for hermits and creative types. Whether they are entrepreneurs, researchers or artists, many people draw their inspiration from the outside world and then isolate themselves to build the foundations of their projects. Albert Einstein, for example, discovered the theory of relativity while living confined to Germany during the First World War.

"An hour seems like a minute when you're next to a beautiful woman, and a minute seems like an hour when you're on a hot stove. Albert Einstein.

This colourful and humorous explanation of relativity by its author invites us to...... put things into perspective and think about how we use the extra free time we now have. Here are four simple steps to help you prepare to launch your first business in the next few weeks.

STEP 1: WRITING DOWN AND EVALUATING YOUR IDEAS

First of all, sit down in a quiet, comfortable place. Write down all the business ideas you can think of, no matter how crazy. Once you've filled your idea sheet(s) to the point of a sore wrist, examine each one:

👉 Does this idea meet an existing need? In other words: do you think someone would be prepared to pay for this good or service?

👉 Does this idea arouse your enthusiasm and curiosity?

"You have to be passionate about an idea or a problem you want to solve. If you're not passionate enough from the start, you won't last. [The only way to do a good job is to love what you do. Steve Job

Select the idea that seems most useful and exciting to you, then sum up your business project in one simple sentence.

"If you can't explain a concept to a six-year-old, you don't fully understand it" - Albert Einstein.

STEP 2: ONLINE RESEARCH

A good way of assessing the relevance of your idea is to look on the internet to see if this type of business already exists. If it does, that's a good sign: there are probably potential customers. Gather as much information as you can about these businesses. How do they go about marketing this type of product or service? How do they communicate? Are they growing? Think about a strategy to differentiate yourself from the competition. On the other hand, if you can't find any traces of your idea on the web, ask yourself whether you've done enough research, whether your idea meets a real need or whether you've really found the idea of the century.

STEP 3: TELL PEOPLE ABOUT IT

Now's the time to pick up the phone and put your idea to the test. Select a few people who are likely to give you constructive criticism and give them a call. Even if this stage may seem frightening, it's very important because we often lack perspective on our own ideas. Your contacts will be able to give you a different perspective on your project and help you to assess its feasibility.

STEP 4: CREATE A COMMUNITY

Based on your reflections and the information you have gathered, define a name and a temporary image for your future company. Create a page on the social networks and invite your acquaintances and existing contacts. Present the concept of your business to them clearly and share your progress regularly. Use the opinions and recommendations of your online communities to gradually improve your product or service. Make the most of it: in times of confinement, the French spend more time on social networks!

Has reading this article inspired you to take the plunge? Have you already closed your bedroom door and cancelled your Netflix subscription? Good for you! But the hardest part is still to come: persevering without spreading yourself too thin. Here's some advice from a successful and humorous investor:

"No matter how talented you are, some things take time: you can't get nine women pregnant and have a baby in a month" Warren Buffet

BONUS

Here are two inspiring videos on the entrepreneurial adventure:

Steve JobsStandford speech
CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005

Simon Sinekthe golden circle
TED talk

And what recommendations would you make to aspiring entrepreneurs who are hesitating to take the plunge?
Send us your comments just below.

Or read on 👉 return to the what'zhat blog.

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