Business Ideas: The Theory Of Pii
Let’s talk about how to find the best business idea for you. Not the best idea for most people or the best business idea based on demand for some product or service. I’m talking about the best business idea for you personally.
I invented a framework that I call the Theory of Pii.
What is the Theory Of Pii? Pii stands for Passion, Income, Impact and this is the simple summary of the theory: if the thing you’re most passionate about and the thing you do to earn an income are the same and they also have a positive impact – then you are much more likely to succeed and, more importantly, you’re living in the sweet spot of life. So let’s break this down.
The critical point to make here is that the business opportunity that you pursue needs to meet all three criteria concurrently. Meeting one or two of the criteria isn’t good enough. This is true for all businesses but it is even more critical for SE’s.
Some people have trouble finding their passion but this is a very simple problem to solve. Passion is not a wishy-washy concept. This is one of the central concepts in my TedxTalk. I’ve included a link in the description if you want to check it out. The only reason that people say that they have trouble finding their passion is they don’t know what passion really means.
This is the actual dictionary definition of passion:
a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something
a strong feeling (such as anger) that causes you to act in a dangerous way
In summary, the things you are passionate about are the things you feel strongly about. Take a second to let that sink in. So what do you feel strongly about? This is the part where everything gets real.
For example, how do you feel about dogs being abused then locked up in a dog pound then killed? Some of you feel very strongly about this and some of you just don’t.
Some of you feel strongly about looking like this. Some you think this is a frivolous goal.
Some of you feel strongly about living an environmentally friendly lifestyle. Some you agree with this in concept but you don’t feel strongly enough about it to want to actually change your lifestyle.
Regardless of whether it’s global poverty or dancing lessons, everybody feels strongly about something.
If you don’t feel strongly about the business you’re building, you will fail. Why? Because you will be competing with people that do feel strongly about what they’re doing and they will… eat you alive. Why would you pursue a business opportunity that you’re not passionate about and compete with people that are passionate about it? What do you think is going to happen?
The things that we feel strongly about are the things that define us – and this is the central concept. If someone makes a disparaging remark about the things that define us, it feels like they are making a disparaging remark about us personally. And, we won’t stand for it. This is why we instinctively leap to the defense of the things we feel strongly about.
In the meantime, if you do feel strongly about the business you’re building you will be able to act instinctively so you can better decisions in less time – instead of having to research everything. You will also spend more time in a state of flow and that simply makes your day to day life a lot more fun and enjoyable.
In most cases, you will grow your business and maximize your impact by selling a product or service that solves an important problem for your target market. Generating revenue and a profit is what allows you to be a self-funded enterprise that doesn’t rely on donations, so you need to make sure that you do enough research about your business idea to feel like it has a reasonable chance of succeeding financially.
If you want to learn how to develop your products and services, do customer research, competitor research, create a unique selling proposition, and everything else you need to start and grow a business, check out my course on ‘I Imagine’. It has a 7-day free trial so it won’t cost you anything. Yes, you can feel free to use it for free then cancel before the 7 days.
Why does it matter? The impact that you can have on other people or the planet gives you purpose. When you’re dead and people talk about your life nobody will a crap about anything you did other than the things that had a positive impact on other people or on the planet. When you’re having a tough day in your business and you start asking questions like – why am I doing this? The positive impact you’re having on someone will be the answer you’re looking for.
I have a separate video about how to think about the impact of your business.
Let’s look at some examples of people that actually live this way:
Taylor Swift: she is passionate about her songs. her songs generate income. the songs themselves provide a lot of enjoyment for people and, for some people, might even help to get them through tough times in their lives.
Elon Musk: he is passionate about eliminating the use of fossil fuels. Telsa allows him to work on his passion, generate income from it, and have a positive impact on the planet.
What about the local yoga instructor: she is passionate about yoga, generates income from it and the yoga lessons she provides have a positive impact on her customers’ lives.
How to use the Theory Of Pii
The next step is to put it all together. You can do this next step by using a spreadsheet or you can use a tool like Trello. Make a list of five things that you’re passionate about, make a list of five ways you can generate an income, and make a list of five things you can do that will have a positive impact. Then take a look at the result. Is there a common theme between all three lists. If the answer is yes, you’re good to go. If not, tweak each list until you find one niche or one project that meets all three criteria.
If you start getting confused just remember this simple Venn diagram or remember these simple examples.
Strategies for getting started
Now that you know what you want to do, how do you get started? If you have the skills, credibility and startup capital you can obviously just start now.
If you’re missing one or more of these then I recommend you get started on a small scale by creating a blog, youtube channel, or podcast about your topic. This will help you to get a better understanding of your niche, establish your credibility over time, learn and improve your business skills, build an audience that can become customers in the future and, if you need to raise capital or attract partners, this will significantly increase the likelihood of success.
This strategy will also allow you to start building your new business while working a regular job then quit your job when the business is big enough.
If you want a step by step for doing all of this, check out my course on ‘I Imagine’. Again, it has a 7-day free trial so it won’t cost you anything.
How to use ‘I Imagine’ for human optimization and starting and growing a social enterprise
The Lifewall breaks life down into 21 elements and allows you to rate each element on a scale of 1 to 10 – all according to you! It allows you to see a ‘big picture’ graphic representation of your entire life on one screen. Then you can use the result to create and manage goals.
The canvas is like a vision board that includes the goals you created in the Lifewall as well as images of people that are important to you, things you’re passionate about, meaningful quotes, what you’re grateful for. It was designed based on scientific evidence indicating that all of these elements can have a powerful positive impact on your mood, your ability to focus, and your overall mental health. It makes your day more enjoyable and it increases your likelihood of success. The Lifewall and the Canvas are both free.
If you’re a SE you can use the Idea management platform to crowdsource solutions to solve any problem. We believe it’s the most advanced Idea development platform in the world. Just create a listing that states the problem you want to solve then your friends, colleagues, employees, or followers can suggest solutions or comment and vote on solutions from other people. You can use it for product development, community management, or customer feedback.
One of the best ways to grow your business in the shortest amount of time is to collaborate with other SE’s in a way where you cross-promote each other’s products and services to each others’ customers and followers. You can do this by using the Collaboration platform and the Referral platform on ‘I imagine’. The more social entrepreneurs succeed, the bigger our collective impact.
Finally, ‘I Imagine’ is also a fully-featured social network so you can use it to connect with other SE’s.