Find An Idea

17 real businesses to help jumpstart your idea-finding process

We know the struggle. Finding an idea — the idea — it’s hard. We’re not going to pretend that it’s not.

So that’s the bad news. But there’s good news, too. Business ideas come in all shapes and sizes, and from unexpected places. Sometimes they’re out in the world, waiting for you to find them. Sometimes they’re right under your nose.

Almost 100% of the time, businesses are born out of something authentic and inherent about who you already are. Something you love. Something you’re great at — or had to get great at. Something so ingrained in your everyday, you don’t even realize that it could be a business. Until you do.

To show you what we mean, we put together this list of real, live businesses, all run by real, live GrowthLab students, who took something that they love, and turned it into a business.

Not all that long ago, many of these entrepreneurs were exactly where you are now: at the start of the journey, wondering, “But how do I find an idea?”

As you go through the list, you’ll probably find yourself saying, “Wait – that’s a business?”

You better believe it. What will yours be?

Greater Than Rubies

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Name: Greater Than Rubies
Quick description: “I help women all over the world feel more polished and confident through daily outfit tips, individual coaching, and events.”
Target audience: Women of all ages
Founder: Caitlin Skidmore
Website: greaterthanrubies.net
Products: Guides, events, coaching

Phyzzle

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Name: Phyzzle
Quick description: “Learn how top math, science, and engineering students ace their exams and crush their courses, without the stress, frustration, and long hours we’re all accustomed to.”
Target audience: College students
Founder: Tom Miller
Website: phyzzle.com
Products: Courses, guides

Freelance to Win

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Name: Freelance To Win
Quick description: “Learn what it really takes to be a successful freelancer.”
Target audience: Aspiring freelancers
Founder: Danny Margulies
Website: freelancetowin.com
Products: Courses

The Inertia Project

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Name: The Inertia Project
Quick description: “We help ambitious women conquer fitness anxiety and create lasting changes.”
Target audience: Women looking to enhance their fitness
Founder: Genevieve
Website: theinertiaproject.org
Products: Courses, coaching

Recording Revolution

Recording Revolution   Learn How to Record and Mix Your Songs

Name: Recording Revolution
Quick description: “Create radio-worthy songs from your bedroom or home studio.”
Target audience: Home musicians
Founder: Graham Cochrane
Product page: recordingrevolution.com
Products: E-books, courses

Introverted Alpha

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Name: Introverted Alpha
Quick description: “We help thoughtful men attract women naturally without being someone they’re not.”
Target audience: Single men
Founder: Sarah Jones
Website: introvertedalpha.com
Products: E-book, courses, coaching

Comme une Francaise

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Name: Comme un Francaise
Quick description: “The only place to learn to both speak real French, not textbook French, and understand French culture so you can cultivate your inner Gaulois(e).”
Target audience: Francophiles
Founder: Geraldine Lepere
Website: commeunefrancaise.com
Products: Courses, subscriptions

Viral Message Lab

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Name: Viral Message Lab
Quick description: “When you’re about to dedicate months or even years writing a book or sharing a talk, wouldn’t it be nice to be certain that you’re about to embark on something people LOVE?”
Target audience: Ambitious professionals, business owners, entrepreneurs, and “people trying to change the world”
Founder: Ryan Hildebrandt
Website: viralmessagelab.com
Products: Courses, coaching

Rice Lean

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Name: Rice Lean
Quick description: “The ultra-simple, millennia old, and crushingly powerful Asian secrets — that help you lose half a pound a day naturally!”
Target audience: Weight loss seekers
Founder: Leslie Chen
Website: ricelean.com
Products: Coaching

10X Travel

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Name: 10X Travel
Quick description: “Leverage the power of points and miles to make their travel dreams a reality.”
Target audience: Travel junkies
Founder: Bryce Conway
Website: 10xtravel.com
Products: E-book, affiliate partnerships

Successful Fashion Designer

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Name: Successful Fashion Designer
Quick description: “Further your fashion design career by gaining confidence in Illustrator.”
Target audience: Fashion designers
Founder: Heidi Marie
Website: successfulfashiondesigner.com
Products: Courses

A Mother Far From Home

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Name: A Mother Far From Home
Quick description: “Join tens of thousands of mothers to get tips, resources, and encouragement that’ll take the chaos out of life with your kids.”
Target audience: Moms
Founder: Rachel Norman
Website: amotherfarfromhome.com
Products: Guides, e-books

Byte by Byte

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Name: Byte by Byte
Quick description: “Your one-stop shop for acing your coding interview.”
Target audience: Job-hunting coders
Founder: Sam Gavis-Hughson
Website: byte-by-byte.com
Products: Coaching, e-book

Optimize Yourself

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Name: Optimize Yourself
Quick description: “Learn how to master your time, energy, and attention… [and] start treating yourself better than your technology.”
Target audience: Creative professionals
Founder: Zack Arnold
Website: optimizeyourself.me
Products: Courses

Personality.Media

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Name: Personality.Media
Quick description: “Video coaching agency which helps online entrepreneurs craft engaging videos.”
Target audience: Busy entrepreneurs
Founder: Jessica Eturralde
Website: personality.media
Products: Coaching, services

Get Style Confidence

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Name: Get Style Confidence
Quick description: “I save the day by digging into who YOU truly are to create a gorgeous style on the outside that perfectly expresses who you are on the inside.”
Target audience: Professional women
Founder: Hilde Fossen
Website: getstyleconfidence.com
Products: Courses, coaching

Speak English with Christina

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Name: Speak English with Christina
Quick description: “Get the reflexes to finally feel fluent speaking English.”
Target audience: Non-native English speakers
Founder: Christina Buffet
Website: christinarebuffet.com
Products: Book, courses, coaching

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Got a business you think belongs on this list? If your business:

  1. …has information products (think courses, coaching, e-books, seminars)
  2. …is generating revenue

We want to hear from you! Fill out this survey to be considered.

We’ll update this post occasionally to showcase even more amazing businesses from members of the GrowthLab community who are kicking butt and using entrepreneurship to live the life they love.

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There Are 5 Comments

Join The Conversation

Your “golden idea” comes from your expertise and perfect niche, which can take some to experiment with. The only way to know if something works or not is to just try it! Don’t let a saturated market get you down. There’s room for everyone.

Great post Katie! This is 100% true:

> Something so ingrained in your everyday, you don’t even realize that it could be a business. Until you do.

The only reason I ever thought it would be a possibility to start an online business was seeing examples like the ones you’ve featured here.

Thanks!

What a privilege to be featured here – thank you!

I just want to say for those reading and struggling with their idea – or contemplating a pivot: I pivoted 4 times and I know MANY successful entrepreneurs (including others included in this article) who tried a few ideas before finding the right fit.

Finding your idea IS an adventure if we approach it like we do other tests – not a daunting task.

So keep at it till it works! 🙂

I’d love to hear how folks pivoted and eventually found a successul idea. How did you ultimately know to let an idea go? What did you do differently that formed the golden idea?

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