Which Business Should I Start: How to Think Through the Process

So you want to start a business, but you’re not even sure which business you should start – or even where to begin.

You’re googling ‘good business ideas’ or ‘best small business ideas’.

You are not alone. We’ve all done it.

Heck, I have countless articles on this site with money-making ideas.

I mean, I even get people to sign up for my email list by giving them 100 money-making ideas! (you can sign up for it too if you’d like).

I’ve started many businesses, and it’s going to shape how I talk about this topic with you.

Let’s get to it.

guy brainstorming with post it notes on the wall

Most Businesses Fail

Hey, don’t shoot the messenger.

Here’s the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics telling you themselves.

1 in 5 businesses is going to fail in the first two years.

It gets a bit worse before leveling out.

I used to be scared of this.

And then I finally realized how much of a learning process failing in a business is.

You learn about the industry.

Learn what not to do.

And discover if a specific business is right for you.

I’m in the online space.

I love a business that can operate remotely.

It’s a part of my life adventure.

To be able to operate my business from anywhere I choose.

I have lots of friends in the space.

And I start to see patterns.

Most of my friends failed at multiple business ideas before finding something that stuck.

I’ve watched them fail to drop ship or create a course — and later win on YouTube.

Or I’ve seen them try a YouTube channel, a podcast, write a book — and then win at blogging.

Here’s what I’ve come to find with this pattern of launching and choosing a business idea.

Related Reading: Traits Of An Entrepreneur – Click Here To Read More.

In Business, Everything Builds Upon Itself

I gave a talk to a group of entrepreneurs in 2022.

As I was planning for the conference, I had a light bulb moment.

Every business skill I’ve acquired has come from a previous project or idea.

Let me give you some examples.

This very online site is a good one.

I ‘started’ back in 2010, as I wanted to create an online blog about real estate and flipping houses.

Wrote a dozen articles and then stopped.

I later launched a site using my name.

Wrote a few articles, but it basically sat as an online business card.

I built a few other sites over the years and acquired more skills.

The skills were building upon each other without me even realizing it.

Then, in 2020, I revamped my site and got serious about creating content for it.

Everything that used to be difficult came more easily to me.

Because my skills had stacked.

Less than 15 months later, I crossed 100,000 monthly website visitors and had my first month with more than $5,000 in revenue.

It’s now given me content for YouTube, as I get to create content around the journey and share it with others.

I created a project called ‘The Road to 1 Million’ where my goal is to cross 1 million monthly page views within a 2-year window.

But it doesn’t stop there.

The experience keeps stacking upon itself.

Things that I try fail, and I just keep stacking.

I’ve been able to get good at the skill of SEO.

I’ve started other site projects to grow (and maybe eventually sell).

It’s led to affiliate partnerships.

And even the ability to consult with other brands.

It just keeps stacking.

There’s no way I could have started this in 2010.

But because I started and sort of failed in 2010 I was able to learn and grow.

This is business.

It’s life.

video about road to one million project

Why Is This Important?

Because knowing that failure is a part helps ease the pain of failing.

Once you understand that, you can start to decide how to choose a business idea.

And this is where the fun begins.

Choose Based on Money or Enjoyment?

Ultimately, you’re going to have to decide this for yourself.

It’s not an easy decision, and I’ve seen plenty of examples on both sides.

“Do what you enjoy and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

It’s a great saying.

But what if you aren’t meeting all of your financial obligations?

That doesn’t sound fun.

You might not be able to continue this activity that you enjoy so much.

“If you live like no one else now, then later you can live like no one else.”

It’s a good one.

Reminding you to work hard now to enjoy it all later.

But what if you die early?

What if something doesn’t go as planned?

I’ve concluded that there’s no perfect solution for the above.

I have taken the path that tries to carve out for adventure, family, and enjoyment.

I genuinely like to work.

There’s a euphoric feeling I get when waking up on a relaxing vacation and getting a bit of work done over a cup of coffee.

I’m not addicted or obsessed.

But there’s something I enjoy about being in a location that’s new to me and having a laptop on.

It’s just — well — cool to me.

I think I value enjoyment above money.

At the same time, I have financial goals.

I want my Conkle Inc. family to be cash flow positive but with no required effort on our part.

If assets that we own can sustain us without having to work, then this is winning at my financial game of life.  

The Conkle family is not there yet.

And when we are, I don’t think my interest in working or starting something new will lessen.

Just the endeavors may shift a bit.

But dang, I just love to start stuff (my wife is wonderful to support this).

What Are Your Skills?

Notice that this is the first time I’m getting to the idea of talking about anything that can translate into money.

Yes, this is on purpose.

There’s just so much that comes before the practicality of choosing.

It’s all the woo-woo stuff — your dreams, life goals, and more.

Hard to pin these down, but they’re just so important.

But you’ve done that.


What are your skills?

What would people pay you for?

You probably don’t already know this. Otherwise, you’d be doing it already.

Well, I’ll argue that you do know. You just need to be enlightened about it.

I’ll ask a few simple questions – if you answer these, you might have your answer – at least you’ll be on the right track.

What do you enjoy talking about in your friend circles?

What do people ask your advice about?

What do you do at work that people rely on you for?

What do you have formal training in?

Be objective and answer these.

They’ll provide you with insight.

video about personality traits of entrepreneurs

You Can Make Money With Any Skill

I mean it, any skill.

My brain explodes at the knowledge folks will pay for.

The first thing that just came to my mind was baking bread. 

So I googled for courses.  

Have a look. Dig in.  

That should be enough to prove to you.

But if not, there’s always laundry (I hear my dryer in the background).

There’s an industry for everything.  

You just have to be curious.

But are you willing to put in the work?

The Reality Is That It Takes Hard Work

The real question is: are you willing to work at something for years with no reward?

This is a tough one, but it’s one you need to answer.

What if it took you ten years?


Would you wait that long for success?

If you do, you’ll be like a bamboo tree.

It takes bamboo trees years to establish their root systems underground.

But once they do, they shoot out of the ground like a rocket (certain species are the fastest-growing plants on the planet).

I also see a recurring theme from business friends and business folks that I follow.

It appears like they’ve had overnight successes.

But, as you guessed, they haven’t.

They’ve been stacking up their skills.

Everything in business builds upon itself, remember?

They’ve taken the things they’ve learned from their losses and rolled them into their next idea, whether in the same business or a different one.

And the next thing you know, boom!

Someone’s reaching out to them to write an article about their story and how they knocked it out of the park with idea X.

Dig deeper.

You’ll see what I’m talking about.

Related Reading: Franchisee vs. Franchisor – Read More Here.

Final Words

Yes, I can give you ideas on what businesses to start.

But that’s the easy part.

Sticking at something long enough to see some success is the hard part.

Just don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis.

It makes me sad when I see the same people talking about the same ideas a few years later.

They tell me, yet again, how they plan to start X.

Don’t be this person!

Do your analysis.

And then Take Action.

Continue moving forward with action over time.

That’s how you win.

Disclosure:  this article might contain links to the resources discussed.
Some of the links are affiliate links, meaning that I will make a small commission if you purchase a product or service by using the link. You get the same price whether you use our special link or not, and sometimes I’m able to get you an even better deal through my relationships!  More info in my privacy policy.

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Brooks Conkle

Brooks is an Entrepreneur, Sponge, Father, Husband, & Follower of the Golden Rule. He has over 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur after graduating with a BSBA in Finance from Auburn University. He’s addicted to growing new business ideas and any food that includes chocolate and peanut butter. Brooks is a firm believer in creating multiple streams of income and creates content here on BrooksConkle.com to help other hustlers in the areas of marketing, online business, personal finance, and real estate. 

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