The industrial revolution hit, the internet era is in full gear, Japan is inventing robots with uncanny AI, and the world is experiencing exponential scientific growth. With 7 billion people, our brightest are constantly re-inventing the wheel to propel us further. More and more entrepreneurs are popping up all over the world, self funded and with great ideas to share. There are over a billion web pages, blogs, e-stores, and now that China has opened up, the world of global trade has exploded.
Without Steve Jobs and his peers we wouldn't all be walking around with iPads; without Bill Gates we wouldn't be logging onto Windows everyday at work; who was Mark Zuckerberg before Facebook? All of these guys started their multi-billion dollar industries in their basements and backyards, slogging through schoolwork and devoting themselves to their efforts. Could you be the next big entrepreneur ?
Anyone can be, and small ideas sometimes turn into the largest wheels. Nevermind that, look to your local community and you are bound to find fellow neighbours thriving off of ideas that they have taken to the next level. Do you have an ambitious mind? Here are a few places to turn up your brain's revolutions-per-minute and transcend to new entrepreneurial levels.
1. Any Retail Stores
This seems obvious but hear me out. More and more people today are selling things online and sourcing them from overseas. Next time you are in a store – fitness, pets, food, hardware, automotive, anything – walk through the aisles and take inventory of all the strange things you would otherwise never look at. Cat carriers, funny pillows, resistance bands, strange tools; all made overseas, and shipped to retailers by local sellers. Attract ideas to yourself by noticing sale patterns of easy to ship items that can be made and designed easily without much threshold for damage. Sometimes you just need to see something new to inspire a creative idea with yourself.
2. Etsy, Ebay, Redbubble…
These are a few examples of websites where people are able to sell things that they created. Although you might not be the world's best industrial designer, these websites are another source of valuable information about what people are buying. People go on the internet to safely satisfy their desire for impulse shopping. They can order things online without leaving home or even seeing money leave their bank account. They can purchase things that look interesting, at low prices, without feeling guilty about blowing through their savings. Here you will find different kinds of shelving units, creative dish wash brushes, alternate wall ornaments and graphic tee shirts that you haven't thought of before. The mind is easily stimulated – let it happen.
3. International websites
This one seems remote but it's not. Try to log on to some foreign websites in places like Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam and India. These are countries that although have lower GDP's than ours, have massive populations of people who love shopping and technological advancements. See what is popular in other countries, what young people are buying, what the market trends are in other places. You'll find giant Pikachu pillows, motorbike helmet ornaments, and strange fashion designs that are surprisingly fashionable and popular.
4. Celebrity buzz
Daymond John may not be a household name, but he is the founder of FUBU clothing, a billion dollar clothes company from America. He was also a judge on Shark Tank, a popular business reality show. He famously started off by selling hats in parking lots during sports games, and is now a millionaire. It didn't happen overnight, and it wasn't easy, but celebrity buzz helped his company explode when he got a famous rapper to wear his clothes in a music video that became huge. Everyone saw the style, and everybody wanted to become a piece of it. Celebrity news might not be our favourite source of entertainment but it is instrumental in determining what will be the next trends in fashion, style and public interest, and it's worth keeping an eye on for the business savvy.
5. Freelance websites
Did you know you could become a professional audio book transcriber? Or health and fitness blog writer? Through a myriad of websites people are now able to develop streams of income through peer-to-peer networking like Fiverr and Upwork. If you have any talents at all, they can be listed in your profile and certainly somewhere out there is looking for someone like you. All you have to do is a bit of groundwork everyday, and soon you could find you replace your salary with the work you are doing online. Amazing!