Last weekend I reconnected with a friend of mine and owner of The Cupcake Lounge. Her story is similar to that of many immigrants. She came to Canada from Mexico to study English and eventually stayed.
When she had her kids, she stayed at home to take care of them. Her kids’ birthdays were the time she would get creative in the kitchen and would bake the most ingenious cupcake cakes. They were such a hit that the other moms would ask her to bake their kids’ cakes. And so a cupcake business was born – out of knowing and believing she was good at something, creating some demand and running with it.
Right now, her two physical stores are a staple in Ottawa for the last decade. During COVID, she pivoted into online orders and her sales haven’t suffered. There have been difficult times, but thanks to her passion and leadership, her businesses continue to thrive.
This is what happens when you know you are good at something, block the outside noise, own it and go for it – in good times and in bad.
You don’t have to have a business degree or an MBA to be an entrepreneur (in fact, the majority of business owners don’t go to school for business). I usually recommend the following things:
What are you good at? Like, really good at? Is it creating something, writing, math, organizing, cleaning, networking, etc.? Do some digging into it – do this without judging your answers. Be proud of the things you know you are good at and write them down – even the things you think are “not a big deal.”
BLOCK OUT THE NOISE
We tend to be our worst critics. In the time of social media, we also tend to compare ourselves (or our ideas) with super successful people out there and end up thinking our idea is not good enough. I’m guilty of this. Blocking out the noise, the naysayers, and our own critical voice will help you see your innate qualities.
SOLVE A PROBLEM
Now that you know what you’re good at and are ready to own it, can you determine if what you do solves someone else’s problem? It doesn’t have to be a ground-breaking problem. For the Cupcake Lounge, in its infancy, she solved the problem of moms wanting a unique birthday cake for their kids.
Are you unsure? Start talking to people and ask “when would you buy X?” Notice the question starts with “When” and not just “Would” – asking “when” will give you a deeper understanding on when a potential customer will feel inclined to buy it, and it’s usually the “problem” you will help solve.
So what are YOU good at? Are you ready to own it?
Need a little help in figuring this out? Join my Business IDEA Lab to help you nail this out.