Idea Extraction - The Lifestyle You Need To Be Living
What is the best idea you’ve ever come up with?
Was it a stroke of genius on your part? Or was there some outside influence that led you there?
If you’re able to consistently develop successful ideas that solve a person’s pain or grievance AND provide obvious value...then this post isn’t for you.
But if you’re like most of us - it’s overwhelming and exhausting trying to come up with the next best clever or unique product idea. Don’t worry though, we’ve found a way around that - no stress, no anxiety and no more taking it personal when your “brilliant” idea doesn’t seem so great to your potential customers.
We call it Idea Extraction and it’s been the driving force behind our own most successful ventures, and also for our most successful alumni at the Foundation.
The best part? Anyone can do it.
You’ll need to practice though. Just like developing the mindset of an entrepreneur does no good without taking action, learning Idea Extraction without practicing relentlessly will get you nowhere.
So what exactly is Idea Extraction?
I was sitting in an office meeting with my Uncle and his team of real estate agents while he described to them all the different websites they needed to visit just to do their job. His embarrassment was obvious when one of the agents asked if there was one place they could visit with all of these links compiled - and he had to answer no.
I spoke up and said that I might be able to provide a solution to their problem. Suddenly all the attention in the room was on the timid 23 year old who suddenly realized he had happened upon something big.
This is how I developed my first successful business, and I refined a version of this for every subsequent business I started after.
The idea was good because it was providing a solution to an obvious problem that was draining time from the real estate agents in my Uncle’s office. But more importantly I had learned a process for addressing pain points that people were experiencing in their lives.
Discovering these pain points and generating a solution to them is at the heart of Idea Extraction. But it’s even more than that, it’s a lifestyle that will cause you to start viewing the world around you differently and listening to conversations with your friends and family in a much deeper way. You’ll start asking questions that drive at the heart of finding solutions to their pain points.
The core philosophy behind Idea Extraction is to serve others first, listen to their grievances and fill the need - and then personal benefit will inevitably come. But by acting as a servant first and working to find solutions for others...you’ll find that business ideas and personal gain come naturally.
And people will love you for it…
How can I start using Idea Extraction today?
So what can you do today to start practicing idea extraction?
Simply put...start practicing.
There is nothing that will improve your ability to conduct successful Idea Extraction calls than practicing until you feel like you can’t practice anymore.
But as you begin to conduct more and more IE’s, you’ll notice that you’re starting to feel more comfortable speaking with people about their pain points. You’ll also notice that you become more effective at asking the right questions.
So start by finding a market.
You should be looking for something niche that has opportunity. Now be careful about this though...you’ll be married to this market for the next 5-10 years so you need to be conscious of who you’ll be surrounding yourself with. If you don’t enjoy interacting with people in the market you select - you’ll hate it.
Even by solving an awesome pain point and having plenty of income opportunity...entering a market that makes you miserable will only create a miserable business.
Target industries using the same 4 criteria we use to build businesses at the Foundation:
- Automated sales - customers should be able to pay you for your product without you present
- Recurring monthly revenue - think subscription services like cell phones and insurance
- No accounts receivable - ideally your product should be paid for upfront, eliminating accounts receivable and the need for collections
- Selling tools instead of digging for gold - it was those selling shovels and other tools during the gold rush that made the most money, not the miners digging for gold.
Think of your business as a tree...
You can’t grow trees overnight. But as they get bigger they provide more and more shade and they certainly don’t go away quickly either.
It may take some time to find the right market for you. Don’t get discouraged. But the seed for your tree is the market you pick so do this right and put the effort in!
Idea Extraction is at the core of what we teach at the Foundation. It’s the same technique we’ve used to start our personal businesses and has helped hundreds of Foundation alumni build theirs as well. Anyone can learn it, but practice is required.
As you dive into speaking with people in your life and researching potential markets, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Solving problems is at the heart of Idea Extraction
- Personal gain and business ideas naturally follow serving the needs of others
- This is more than a technique for generating ideas, it is a way of life
- Practice will be the only way to become truly effective at extracting great ideas
We dedicate an entire learning module in our Flagship course to teaching, in detail, all the ins and outs of Idea Extraction because it is so crucial to the success of any business. This post should get you started, but if you have questions - or any other problems you’re running into trying to start your first business - Apply to the Foundation today and get the answers and resources you need to start your own profitable business.