When people find out I am a business advisor, I often get asked what business they should consider opening.
When I get that question, I am reminded of a conversation I once had with a GP. He told me that as soon as people found out at dinner parties that he was a GP, everyone wanted a consult immediately.
And often, it’s about a small bulge on their bottom. Now, my GP client tells me he has no chance of making a diagnosis because:
a) said bottom has not been inspected and
b) he does not have Superman x-ray vision that see-through pants and
c) He usually consumes a bottle of wine, which means everything he is looking at is bulging, so he would have no idea if this is a serious medical condition or a mosquito bite.
Anyway, I often think the same way. It is very hard to advise someone what business they should do. I have clients in retail, manufacturing and providing services. They all make money, but if I had to run them, would I do it? Some yes. Many probably not. Not because they are bad businesses but because I am just wired differently.
So, I tell people to follow Ikigai. Now, if you are Japanese, you will know exactly what I am talking about. If, on the off chance, you are not Japanese, I should probably explain.
Ikigai says that for a business owner to be balanced and content, they should only consider opening or starting a business if:
- You love doing what your business is about.
- You are fantastic at what you do.
- Whatever it is you are going to do, people will pay for it.
- And there is a market for it.
If you have 3 of the 4, it is still not good enough. You must have all 4.
Here is an example.
Let’s take my mechanic. His name is Adam.
- Whenever I speak to him, he loves talking about what they do. He loves and breathes being a mechanic.
- He is also very good at it. So good that many dealerships will use him for their cars that need repairing.
- People like me will pay him for his services. And he is not cheap.
- And finally, because he is constantly busy, there is a market for what he does.
But let’s change it a bit. Let’s say Adam repairs cars, but instead of charging the owner of the car, he charges people to watch him fix a car.
Well, item 1 & 2 is unchanged. Item 3 – will people pay? – you might get the odd person who will, but most people have better things to do with their lives and their money. Item 4 is there a market? – I doubt it. Which is why he will only find a few people prepared to part with their money.
The business is car repairing, but the way the business model operates will determine if you have Ikigai.
What happens if you have 3 out of the 4?
Well, let’s say you have items 1, 2 & 3 but not 4. Well, you will be satisfied, but the chances are you will feel a bit useless because no one wants what you are selling.
What about 1,2 & 4? Well, you will certainly feel content and happy, but you will have no wealth and have a daily money issue.
What about 1, 3 & 4? You will always be uncertain about the business because quality is likely to be an issue, resulting in customers coming and going.
What about 2,3 & 4? You will feel empty and disengaged and hate what you are doing. You do it because you must, not because you want to.
So, if you happen to be wondering what business you should start or thinking if you should continue the business you have, then think about Ikigai.
And once you think you have found an industry you would like to work in, make sure you speak to a professional to make sure there is money to be made, and there is a market for what you are selling.
A professional advisor or coach will ask questions and make you truly think because they know that these 4 things are more important than anything else.
Working out what business you should be in and operating is steps 3 and 6 of our 9 steps to more free time, money, and wealth. If you would like to know more, contact Hitesh at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ros at email@example.com or call 1300 440 316.