My father used to have this exercise where my brother and I would try to come up with new business ideas, and we would all try to see what it would take to make it work. My brother and I would pitch idea after idea, and my father would have some kind of objection to each one. Soon, even my brother would start to have objections to the ideas. The entire exercise became very discouraging.

One night, I suggested opening up our own boutique yogurt shop, like PinkBerry and RedMango, right here in Colorado. At the time, there were dozens of yogurt shops in Colorado, but nothing like a PinkBerry or RedMango. We could corner the market, with each of us running a store in different locations. In my mind, PinkBerry and RedMango were proven business models. In my gut, I knew the idea would work. Again, my father and brother had objections to the idea.

Today, there are dozens of boutique yogurt shops all throughout Colorado, in exactly the locations I suggested, and they have been running for years. In fact, a former co-worker of mine actually quit her cushy job to start her own boutique yogurt shop in the middle of a one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Colorado, and she’s thinking of expanding.

Believe it or not, today, my father and brother still think the idea won’t work because they think the market is too saturated. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Guess what? PinkBerry and RedMango are considering opening up shops in Colorado. Obviously, someone doesn’t think the market is saturated enough.

Although the exercise of business ideation with my family was useful, I had to stop going to my family with business ideas. They seemed more interested in finding problems with the ideas than trying to see how to make the ideas work. As such, I think we may have missed out on a lot of great business opportunities.

I realized that if I kept waiting for their approval, I would never get to run my own business. I started to venture on my own to try out my own business ideas. Some succeeded, some failed, and through the process, I learned a great deal about what makes a business work and what doesn’t. Even though I never actually opened up a yogurt shop, given what I have learned, I still think the yogurt shop was a good idea.

Admittedly, there are no guarantees with starting a business. My prediction could have gone exactly the opposite direction. In the end, the speculations, the discussions, and the brainstorming sessions will never make a business idea come to life. They are only the beginning of the process. Sometimes, if you want to see if a business idea will work, you have to trust your gut, make it happen, and see what happens.

Author's Bio: 

Young (aka Young B. Kim) is a writer, artist, serial entrepreneur, and the creator of ideavist™. Young's mission is to help people make their ideas happen through his writing, coaching, consultations, and through speaking engagements on ideation, creativity, and entrepreneurship.