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How to Turn a “Stupid Idea” into Profit

Get creative and learn how to turn "stupid ideas" into revenue streams.

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I’ve been meeting a lot of new small business owners lately through groups — some that I’ve helped to start, some online.

Entrepreneurs seem to be everywhere.

When I sit down with some of them, they are stressed out, worried, and excited. Some have business cards already, some have a client, some have just an idea.

The Inevitable “Stupid Idea”

I am not always sure what they want to talk about, but invariably they will begin the conversation with, “Maybe this is a really stupid idea.”

I usually respond that the “stupid idea” feeling doesn’t go away. Ever.

I have been a small business owner for some time now and there are still days that I sometimes think, “It’s a stupid idea.” In other words, get used to that feeling, but know that it becomes less of an issue over time. Also, the “stupid idea” feeling can’t do anything to tangibly hurt your actual business — unless you let it.

The Most Important Question

Profitability is another thing.

There are so many reports on how businesses fail within the first year that before you even begin you’ll likely have a heightened sense of the “fail factor.” Neat, huh?

The interesting thing about the rationale as to why some small businesses fail are related to profitability and funds.

In my own observations, this is a bit of a disconnect.

When a lot of new entrepreneurs start out, they are thinking: “I need a new logo, a website, marketing tools,” when they should be thinking, “How can I make rent?”

That’s it. Simply, “How am I going to pay my bills by doing what I know how to do?”

The Profitability of Stupid Ideas

Jason Fried of 37signals talks about revenue streams that are a byproduct of his business.

For example, some of his software products came into existence because his team needed a better way to organize themselves. Once something worked for them, they sold it to other people.

When profitability is a top priority, you might be surprised what you can think of to help make rent.

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