Bullish: Where To Get A Kickass Business Idea (Also: Whiskey And Knitting)

Jennifer Dziura writes Bullish, a career column, for The Grindstone and Bullish Life, a life coaching column, for our sister site TheGloss.

Where do business ideas come from?

I’ve got hundreds of them, like a pair of ovaries full of tiny, dormant ideas, some of them awesome and some of them terrifyingly defective  — and many, many more than anyone could ever bring to fruition. (This is a pretty good metaphor, except that you’re actually born with all the eggs you’re ever going to have, and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t born knowing that “Treelivery” would be the world’s best name for a Christmas-tree delivery business.)

In any case, here’s today’s question.

I was laid off this morning from a great job as an Executive Assistant for an upscale hotel company. I’m still in shock about the whole thing but have spent the last couple of hours brainstorming. I’m torn between looking for a “real” job and going into business for myself. I’m trying to come at this from the perspective you lay out in Bullish: How To Make A Career Out Of The 10,000 Things You Want To Do by not thinking of things I necessarily have a huge passion for (like whiskey and knitting) but things I think other people will be willing to pay for. So far, I’ve only come up with a prostitution ring or some amazing stupid pet product.

What I’m struggling with is generating ideas, because of course I come up with shit I love, and don’t understand the needs that may be out there, silently rolling around in the heads of rich people. (I should add that I live in an area driven by tourism, and we have loads of rich tourists and poor locals.)

What do you suggest for coming up with ideas? Besides personal exercises, are there ways I can do some research and find out what niche markets are waiting to be filled in my area? They have to exist, I just don’t know how to find them. In the mean time, will apply for those “real” jobs, especially if I can keep my hotel discount.



First of all, I think whiskey and knitting sound amazing together! Please buy the domain name. Start a blog. Drunken knitting is a kind of fun idea, except the needles are sharp and no one wants a sweater where you forgot to make a neck hole.

Perhaps a gentlewomanly knitter moderates her whisky consumption so she can still make very precise WHISKEY BOTTLE COZIES.

Photo: D.R.3D/Shutterstock.com

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