Use Your Venn Diagram to Find Your Profitability Sweet Spot

A Venn diagram is a way to graphically illustrate the relationship between two or more sets.  For example, here’s a Venn diagram showing what two school children have in common:

Sample Venn diagram

Source: Graphic.org

If you are still deciding what business to go into then a Venn diagram can help.  In order to achieve your greatest success you need to find the intersection of these three sets:

  1. What you love to do
  2. The things you are great at doing
  3. What people are willing to pay for

This is the Venn diagram for a successful business:

Venn diagram for success

What you love to do

There’s an old saying, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”  When you are looking to start a business it needs to be something that you love to do.  That goes without saying, but there are a lot of people out there touting ways to get rich by flipping run-down houses or network marketing household products.  You need to think about how you would spend a typical day if you were to pursue such opportunity.  Would you wake up every morning looking forward to your day?

The things you are great at doing

Out of all the things that you love there are probably some things you are better at than others.  Hopefully there are one or two things you are great at.  Great means that out of a random sample of a thousand people you would be one of the ten best at this thing.  Really great means that out of a hundred people that are good at doing this thing you are one of the ten best.

Everyone has something they are great at.  Odds are, it’s probably something you love as well.  That’s because people like doing things they are good at and don’t like being bad at something.  So when you find something you have an aptitude for you enjoy the praise from others that you get for your efforts and you focus more on it and get better and better.

For me that thing is computer programming.  I enjoy programming because it is like solving a puzzle.  Each computer language has a small number of commands it can execute and your job as a programmer is to assemble them in the correct way to solve the problem at hand.  It’s satisfying and makes you feel powerful because anything you can imagine a computer doing you can bring into reality.  Over the last 30 years I have been able to structure the neurons in my brain to help me solve most computer programming challenges quickly and correctly.

So for me the obvious business choice would in the software industry.

For you. using the industry knowledge you’ve gained from your career is a good place to start if you enjoy your work; otherwise your hobbies and favorite activities can give you ideas.

What people are willing to pay for

The third set to consider in your Venn diagram of success is the market demand.  You love snowboarding, playing video games, and eating pizza, and you may also be great at all those things, but will somebody pay you to do it?

For each of the things that you love and can do well you need to ask the following questions:

  1. Can I create a sell-able product from my passion and talent?
  2. Will people pay me to perform a service related to my passion and talent?
  3. Will people pay me to teach them how to do my passion and talent?
  4. Can I write a book about my passion and talent?

This should help you brainstorm several ideas about how you could make money doing what you love and are great at.  You can pick what you think are the best ones and test each one using the Lean Business Process.

Using myself as an example, I could do all four with programming.  I could create a product, sell my services, teach, or write a book.  I’ve sold my services successfully for 25 years, but there’s only one of me, which limits how much I can make.    That’s why I created a product, dbEasy.com, a Software As A Service (SAAS) product which I will run through the Lean Business Process.  If you want to see if the profit experiment is successful then subscribe to this blog and I’ll keep you posted.

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