Question: If you go fishing and were asked if you wanted 1 pole or 5 poles, which would you choose to give you the best chance of catching fish?
Logic would say that the more poles you have, the more chances you have of catching fish, right? When applied to all possible revenue stream ideas you have, the more you start, the more chances you have of making money.
It seems pretty easy to think this way. But the biggest challenges that you are going to face are doubt (whether the idea is good) and time (managing multiple ideas at the same time). Money is a third challenge, because you can only fund each of your ideas to a point.
In my personal experience, being the average guy, I produced a lot of self doubt about the services I wanted to create. I needed validation. I sought out those people who were either experts in the field or users of the service, to see if they thought it was a good idea. I’ll say it again and again, seeking out knowledge is always key.
In one scenario, I wanted to create a Web API for a particular industry, which didn’t have this service offered. It was a very niche idea, and the idea came out of my own curiosity. I’m a web developer, so the cost to produce this service would be low. But I didn’t want to waste time for a personal tool, so I went to industry users and asked them what they thought. Over and over again, I heard things like “yes, I would use that” or “I think that would be cool to have on my phone”. Vetting ideas helps reduce the risk of failure, and makes you confident that you have an idea worth building.
Another good idea is to write down your ideas and put them where you can see them every day. Visually seeing them helps you think about next steps and to motivate you to pursue them. I personally am a snail when it comes to ideas. I analyze them almost to the point that it seems unattainable. But I eventually look in the mirror and say to myself “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggone it, people like me.”
(Just kidding on that last one. What I was about to write reminded me of Stewart Smalley, and I couldn’t resist).
For real, though, I remind myself that if I pursued these ideas, the world would still turn and food will still be placed on the table if they failed. I’m not looking to generate capital investors. So the real question becomes “why not?”.
“There are 2 sure ways to fail: to think but not act, and to act but not think.”