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Business Strategy

Will it Fly? 3 Smart, Strategic Ways to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time & Money

I recently decided to make time for one of the BIG loves of my life… books!

And I’ve been reviewing some awesome books lately (check out my first video book review and my second review) primarily so I can fill myself up with new, inspired ideas… and then share them with you 🙂

In today’s episode of my video book review series, I’m talking about Pat Flynn’s book, Will It Fly? How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money.

I’m sharing my top 3 takeaways from this awesome book so you can get some really good business lessons and insights right away.

This means you don’t have to read hundreds of pages to get to these top takeaways because I’ve already done that for you!

And if you’re feeling inspired after my review, go ahead and read Pat’s book cover-to-cover — and I just might send you a brand, new signed-by-the-author copy of the book for free… more on that soon 🙂

So, let’s get started with my first takeaway…

Takeaway #1: What’s Your Big Little Idea?

I love Pat’s approach to ideation and niching.

Pat says that it’s not necessarily about going for the biggest, flashiest, blockbuster hit, viral idea which is what most people tell you to do. It’s about coming up with an idea that’s big to someone because your earnings are a measure of how well you serve someone.

So that “someone” he talks about represents a small group of people and often it’s a very small percentage of the population.

This is a proven approach because Pat has built 2 hugely successful businesses targeting a very small percentage of the population.

One of these businesses was about helping people study for and master the LEED Exam for architecture, which is super niche and super profitable. The other business was around helping food truck drivers understand how to build a thriving food truck business.

So, both of these businesses were based on small audiences and small ideas or what I like to call “Big Little Ideas” that helped a small segment of the population do something big for them.  

Most people think they’ve got to come up with this gigantic, world-changing idea that’s going to end global hunger and global warming and all of that. But it can be paralyzing to try and think of something that big and transformative.

Your idea just has to be big to someone and sometimes if you focus on changing the lives of just a handful of people, you can profit beautifully and have a massive impact.

Takeaway #2: Eyes Wide Open

Pat is BIG on market research. He’s all about looking at the people and places that are already serving your audience so you can get to know your market really well.

And I’ve got to admit that I’ve been kind of laid back about market research!

When it comes to launching a business or an idea for a product or service, I’m an artist and I tend to go with my intuition. I follow my creative muse and it usually leads straight to success.

But if you really want something that’s a guarantee for success — of course there’s no such thing as a guarantee but if you want to get closer to a guarantee — then it’s about taking action based on meticulous market research.

Now, this isn’t always the sexiest way to launch a business or an idea but it’s way better to go in with your eyes wide open.

When you do your market research, you’ll understand your industry, who you want to serve, who else is serving your market and all those other important details you need to know to create a solid foundation for your business.

As I said, I’m an artist at heart and I’m all about doing what I love and following my passion when it comes to launching an idea.

But Pat uses a methodical, engineer’s approach that’s based on looking for what’s going to make you money and then moving forward step-by-step.

I like to talk about the combination of both of these approaches — what I call the Ikinomics approach to launching a business based on the Japanese concept of Ikigai.

Ikigai can be loosely translated to “a reason for being.” 

When you approach building your business in different ways — using the step-by-step engineer’s method and following your passion — you’ll make money and you’ll get to do what you love  🙂

And you’re also much more likely to make smart, strategic choices and not just take action on a whim.

The truth is “a whim” can lead you to a dead end and I can tell you from experience… that’s not fun!

In the book, Pat’s shares a step-by-step plan to business success based on methodical market research — the engineer’s approach — and I highly recommend you read the book if you want that.

Takeaway #3: The (True) Secret to Your Success

Ready for my third and final takeaway?

Okay, so Pat answers the question, “How can I know with 100% certainty whether my business idea will be successful?”

And he gives a very realistic and very grounded answer that I don’t hear often enough — you can’t ever really know for certain.

Ideas are a dime a dozen… it’s the way that you implement that idea that either brings you to success… or not.

The true secret to your success is YOU. It’s about being willing to do the work.

And if you want it enough, if you’ve got the desire and you’re willing to do the work then you can have any kind of success, any kind of business and any kind of lifestyle you want!

I’ve had so many people tell me, “Marisa, I wish I had your business!” And I say to them, “That’s great but are you willing to do what I do, every single day, to make your business a success?”

And that’s where courage comes in — the courage to do what it takes to create the results you want.

Success comes down to having a great idea plus great execution, being willing to do the hard work and a big dose of courage.  

So, if you’ve got a business idea that you’ve been dreaming of putting out into the world, then Will it Fly? is definitely for you 🙂

Pat doesn’t get into helping you come up with an idea but he does help you analyze the ideas that you already have and the markets that you might be thinking of getting into, so you’re much more likely to make that idea fly!

Also, I reached out to Pat and asked if he’d send me a signed copy of his book to give away to one lucky member of my tribe… and he said yes!

So, whoever leaves the juiciest, most inspiring, creative, fun or heartfelt comment below gets a brand, new signed copy of Pat Flynn’s Will It Fly?

And you can use the book as a guide so you don’t waste time and money on an idea that could crash and burn because time and money are things that you can’t get back.

So, here’s to your great idea taking off and taking the world by storm!

Now go out there and Live Your Message 🙂

Love it? Hate it? Let me know...

  1. Margaret

    I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse by my grandfather and a survivor of bullying by my father – his favourite saying “you’re big enough and ugley enough to…”. I developed bipolar disorder after three sudden deaths all by people close to me, one of whom was my therapist. Nevertheless I started working for myself and built a successful accountancy business just for my income, as part of a franchise.
    Then one of my clients came to me needing capital for his business and I joined him in it. Turns out he was a gambler and I then spent the next 9 years being painted into a corner by him and left with huge debts, my own business wrecked because I spent so much time trying and failing to stop him from stealing money from the company. Finally, I just pulled the plug without any notice to him.
    I’d love to know if writing a book about my experience and efforts to get myself out from under would be a help to me and others.

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      Margaret, you’ve clearly experienced some major challenges in your life, and have come through to the other side with wisdom to share on how to bounce back better and stronger than ever. My hat goes off to you <3

      As far as whether a book is the best way to get your experiences, thoughts and advice out there, we don't offer any training here at Live Your Message specifically on writing a book... but you may want to check out some of the free resources offered by the Self-Publishing School: https://self-publishingschool.com/ They do a free webinar that may help you get more clarity on whether a book is the right next step for you 🙂

      Reply ·
  2. Sarah Lange

    Loved this video! Honestly (and sheeplishly) I have to admit that the main reason I’ve been hesitating to build and launch a series of online programs is because I have been worried that I won’t get enough people to enroll, but am now realizing that even if only 3 people enroll, it will help them raise more money for their nonprofit, and that will make the world a better place. So now I’m going to dive in wholeheartedly to building those products. And thankfully, I’m in LYM Mentorship, so I’ve got lots of great people to help guide me! 🙂

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      Aw Sarah that is an amazing breakthrough, so glad you got that clarity here! Stay focused on the value you provide and go for it! Thanks for sharing <3

      Reply ·
  3. Mare` Simone

    A book like this would be I very valuable for me to help really refine my market as I keep switching niches. My work and my life story are intricately intertwined. As a survivor of sexual violence, I spent years looking for ways to heal so that I could feel love and pleasure again. That set the trajectory for my business as I learned to heal myself I was naturally driven to want to help heal others who suffer similar traumas. Apart from Marvin Gaye song Sexual Healing, doesn’t get enough attention. In this #Metoo era loads of people are speaking out against sexual violence. But not adequate support for the survivors. It took me decades to reclaim my body, my power and my sexual pleasure. I want to make it easier for others, because I can!

    Like Marisa I am an artist and follow my intuition. It would help my business grow to research my market and know who & how to best target them. I become a certified Sex Surrogate Partner and Tantra Educator, in order to help heal both genders. Specifically I help women become more orgasmic and I help men last longer so they can understand and meet the needs of their partner.

    I didn’t research my business before jumping in with both feet, I just did what felt like my calling.

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      Hi Mare, thank you so much for sharing your journey and mission <3 You're doing such important work... keep it up! And check back soon to see who wins the free copy of Will it Fly 😉

      Reply ·
  4. Frits Bos

    Dear Marisa
    I am excited to announce that on July 1, 2019, I will officially introduce a new LIFTOFF! Business Planning and Coaching service, the result of partaking of the “Finding your true north” program you offered last year. My service helps entrepreneurs to launch a business venture, or to manage change for a business transformation, or a business recovery.
    Creating business plans takes effort: LIFTOFF! introduces a completely new level of automation to streamline the effort. I built tools and methodology to streamline and create unbeatable value in business plans, using Excel™ with VBA to enable many “what if” simulations that explore risks and opportunities at no extra cost. I offer a coaching program to explain how to use the business plan models and to help entrepreneurs succeed in launching their business.
    I emphasize protecting entrepreneurs’ investments by making sure their business concept is viable, before creating a document that supports an application for external financing and/or to attract investors. I offer consumer subscriptions to serve entrepreneurs with an appetite for “Do-It-Yourself” planning, but our guide encourages them to seek accounting or other professional reviews, as required, to make sure that their ideas are sound.
    It has been an astounding journey and I highly recommend your insights into whatever people may have in mind – it has helped me enormously, so thank you for the work you do.

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      This is amazing Frits! I love this concept. Awesome work — keep it up! <3

      Reply ·
  5. Marisa Murgatroyd

    I hear you Heidi. It’s easy to be all impulse and intuition. This kind of due diligence before action doesn’t come naturally to me either. But it’s becoming more and more essential as the market gets more competitive.

    Reply ·
  6. Heidi

    A very honest and clarifying article on this topic — thanks, Marisa. I’ve studied the area of purpose/goals a lot and helped others with it but I’m aware I have a blind spot in how to apply it to locating the best audience for my own set of services. Ironically, one of those is called The Blind-spot Detective 😉 A broad view is less easy from the driver’s seat!
    I especially loved the Ikinomics diagram and will use your article to have another go at identifying what I now think of as various audiences, not just the one expanding outwards. It’s several niches with individual expansion capabilities. (I think…)

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      I hear you Heidi. It’s easy to be all impulse and intuition. This kind of due diligence before action doesn’t come naturally to me either. But it’s becoming more and more essential as the market gets more competitive.

      Reply ·
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About the Author Marisa Murgatroyd

Marisa is the founder of Live Your Message, where she turns entrepreneurs into Online Superheroes, and the creator of Start With You where she helps people just like you to discover the business they're meant to build, not just the business they can build. At 4’11 and a quarter, she’s called the shortest woman in marketing — and that doesn’t stop her from having huge ideas. She’s the “go to” brand builder for industry luminaries and heavyweights such as Justin Livingston, Callan Rush, Danny Iny, Alexis Neely and Susan Peirce Thompson. Marisa helps entrepreneurs create a business that is authentic and aligned with who they are, to empower them to turn up the dial on their “inner superhero”, so they can be the superhero to their tribe, as well as in their own lives.

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