If you’re looking for an original idea for your business, you’re going to be waiting a long, long time.
I get dozens of emails from people every week who are afraid to start an online business because they don’t believe they have anything new to offer.
They think they have to find an original idea first.
If this includes you, then please stop this right now!
In business it isn’t the idea or its uniqueness that’s important – it’s you.
Let me explain.
If you look around you’ll see that most things have been done already.
This is especially true in the online space.
If you’re reading this then I’m guessing you want to become an information marketer.
You probably have a dream inside you; something that you’re passionate about that you want to turn into a business. But when you start looking at other people’s websites, you notice other people doing the same thing that you want to do.
You begin to doubt yourself, start overthinking and wondering if you’re good enough.
You question if you can talk with authority on a certain topic, present videos with such class and wit, or write brilliant blog posts like they do.
No Such Thing As An Original Idea
Even worse, when you do a quick check on Google you’re shocked by the number of results that pop up for your keywords.
Hundreds if not thousands, right?
You thought you were the only person with that original idea. But it looks like everyone else is thinking along the same lines.
So what can you do?
This is a reality check that throws many budding entrepreneurs off track.
When they see the competition many people lock away their dreams and crawl back to their day jobs. They let their fear of not being good enough overcome them, sometimes forever.
But as a thinking person striving for more out of life, I hope you resist the temptation to give up before you even start.
If you can accept from the outset that there is no such thing as a completely original idea, you will find it much easier to overcome your perfectionism and simply start.
The uniqueness of your business does not come from what you are doing but how you are doing it.
It’s your spin, your perspective and ultimately your execution of an existing idea— maybe even a time-tested one— that will allow you to present an original idea and in the process redefine it and your business.
Success Without An Original Idea
Here’s another way to think about the whole original idea question.
If you love to read fiction or have ever watched more than a few hours of television or a handful of movies, have you noticed how many of the storylines seem the same?
There’s a reason for that.
It’s because there are only two basic types of stories: Boy Meets Girl and Boy Goes On A Trip.
Boy Meets Girl is very straightforward. Obviously, it can be Girl Meets Boy, but it can also be reworked as Girl Finds Her Passion or Girl Finds Her True Self.
It’s the same story, just different elements.
The “trip” scenario can also be customized depending on the needs of the storyteller.
It doesn’t have to be a literal journey from A to B on a map – it can also be a metaphorical one or a spiritual quest.
As long as the main character starts in one place and ends up in another, he or she has gone on a trip.
This can be expressed as Helen Keller learning to read even though she is blind, Heathcliff searching for the love of his life, Catherine, or Batman beating up the bad guys to make Gotham City a safer place.
This is in the realm of fiction, where your imagination is supposed to be completely free and unbridled.
As you can see although the cosmetic details change from era to era and author to author, the basic outline remains the same.
Because these are proven formulas that work.
So much so that they are repeated over and over in the movies we watch and the books we read. In spite of the similarities in plots, Hollywood never struggles to churn out one box office hit after another and there is never a shortage of bestselling novels on Amazon.
Everything In Life Is A Remix
If this is true for make-believe stories, you can be sure it applies to art, music, science, politics, life and of course business.
There is almost no idea so original that someone else in history hasn’t already thought of or created some version of it.
This may seem hard to believe but remember, we human beings do not operate in isolation.
We live in a dynamic universe that is powerfully interconnected.
At the most basic level, you, me and everything around you, including your thoughts and ideas, are made up of energy.
This energy is constantly moving through you and around you. You can tap into it at any time in the form of inspiration, intuition and hunches.
That’s why you should never be afraid if you don’t have an original idea to base your business on.
Your idea doesn’t have to be 100% unique. In fact, it’s highly likely that it will be very similar to someone else’s idea.
This doesn’t mean you should go out and copy another business idea. That’s just sloppy and might not get you the results you want.
But it’s OK to be inspired by others and combine several ideas together to create something new.
Life by its very nature is a remix because your imagination is constantly fed by your external world and your internal influences.
So instead of getting hung up on finding that original idea, start to think of yourself as a novelist, a film director or even a DJ.
Find a way to synthesize the best of what has come before and turn it into something different.
You Already Are An Original
As entrepreneurs, people who are supposed to think differently, most of us are sold on the myth that an original idea is everything in business.
Thank goodness that’s not true because it doesn’t exist.
But if you want to be successful, no matter what your niche or industry, you must find a perspective that defines you to your market.
Instead of looking for an original idea, find an angle that is uniquely yours.
Draw on your personal experience, skill set, or career and share it with others to help them on their journey.
You are an original.
There’s no one in the world today or at any point in history exactly like you.
Among the 7 billion other people on this planet, you are one of a kind.
This makes you very special.
Your place of birth, your family, your ethnicity, your culture, your childhood, your education, your career, your relationships – they all define you and make you unique.
You are not even the same as another member of your family.
This is such a liberating, empowering belief to have because it means you don’t need an original idea.
Nor do you have to copy other people whom you admire because you are already an original.
Sadly, I see too many people online, especially female entrepreneurs, hide their brilliance because they don’t believe what they have to offer is enough.
Every Idea Needs Execution
Ideas are cheap. They’re free. They’re everywhere.
The British comedian Stephen Fry once said, “An original idea? That can’t be too hard. The library must be full of them.”
We live in a society that peddles the myth of the one Big Idea to would-be entrepreneurs. You’re told that if you crack this, then success is assured.
But you can drive yourself crazy pursuing a Big Idea. Because what no one ever tells you is that ideas aren’t enough.
You need to execute them.
The critical factor for success is not the idea itself but how you go about transforming it into reality.
In fact, an average idea that is well executed is much better than a good idea that never gets off the drawing board.
Today you can go from idea to execution faster and cheaper than ever before. Thanks to the Internet, there’s no reason why you can’t execute the idea that you have in mind.
It doesn’t matter how many other people have the same idea as you.
If four people have the same idea, two might fail, once may do so-so while the fourth person could very well thrive.
You’re probably never going to have a wholly original idea.
Learn to be OK with this.
It’s far better to have an idea that’s good enough and execute it well than distract yourself by looking for one elusive BIG IDEA that you’ll probably never find.
You’re more than original enough to succeed.
Have the courage to start today and show the world the true experience, skills and talent you have to offer. You might be surprised by how people respond to your uniqueness!
Do you think it’s important to have an original idea for a business? Please comment and share below.