Starting a business is something that many young people aspire to do. But a common struggle that the entrepreneurs of tomorrow have is finding a niche or an industry in which to build their business on. There is a feeling that becoming an entrepreneur is impossible. I want to share how my entrepreneurial journey and business were sparked by realizing that it is not “impossible”, but rather “I’m possible”. I took a simple statistic that I learned in University and turned it into a thriving 3D printing business, and you can do the same.
Find the problem
While I was studying my Bachelor of Design at the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) University in Toronto, Canada, I learned a statistic that I could not stop thinking about: Children have the greatest capacity for creation at the age of 5, with creativity scores of 98%; by the time they reach adulthood, their score drops to only 2%. As a creative person myself, I wondered why, statistically, creativity scores drop so much as a person develops into an adult, and if there was a way for people to keep some of their childhood creativity as they grow.
For many young, or new, entrepreneurs, business plans start as an idea. A thought in their head that they can’t shake. Most successful businesses are formed on the idea that there is a statistically measurable problem in the world, and they have a unique solution that they can commoditize. Even if there are an innumerable number of businesses already existing in the industry you are interested in, your business can be successful if you can focus on a niche or come up with a distinctive solution to the problem that no one else is offering.
Do the research
After some investigation into the statistic, I found that a drop in creativity scores cannot be completely avoided. But perhaps the problem can be lessened if the natural creativity children have is given space to nurture and flourish. I wanted to give children the opportunity to express themselves creatively, and hopefully, extend their prime creative window just a little.
When researching your statistic of interest, focus on finding something that could be the cornerstone of a potential business model. For example, the number of people that might be affected by the problem. If enough people struggle with something, that could be the foundation for your business’s target market.
Form a plan
As I continued earning my degree at OCAD University, I brainstormed how to create a novel service that allows children to nurture their creative side. In the end, I decided to build an online platform where children and adults can create customizable 3D characters. These characters could then be made via 3D printing and purchased by consumers.
When forming a plan, rely on your creative skills to solve problems with a unique approach. For some entrepreneurs, this might be easy, and they might have a clear direction to follow. For others, this might be a little more difficult.
Turning Impossible Into I’m Possible
After studying, researching, and forming a plan, I was in a place to turn my idea into a real business. I pitched my idea to several incubators and Little You was created. My business is growing, and through it I am doing my part to nurture creativity through art in a way that children and adults can both enjoy.
Starting your business is scary, and it comes with a risk of failure. But there is no opportunity to succeed if you don’t try. If you find something you’re passionate about, do your research and form a detailed plan. Use the resources around you and take the steps, and risks, to get started building your company.
I hope my story has inspired you to take that piece of information or statistic that has stuck with you, and make the move to dive deeper into it. Find the motivation to research it and learn more. Build a plan around it and solve the problem that people are measurably experiencing. Face the risk and start your business. There is no shame in failure, only an opportunity to learn and do better next time. Realize that your dream isn’t impossible, remember that “I’m possible”.