280: Turning Your Problems into Product Ideas

Have you ever found yourself feeling restricted in your occupation? Have you ever thought to yourself, that you could be so much more productive with your time if you were in charge of it? What would you do if you could design your daily, weekly, monthly schedules? Would you work early mornings? In an office? Or travel the world while working?

On this episode, James is joined by one of his podcast listeners, James Harrison, as he gives him a ride to the Melbourne airport. James, a twenty-six year old Aussie resident, currently works in a sales role with a basic 9-hour structure. Although he doesn't mind his job, he yearns for something that would give him more freedom in his work day. James feels restricted, and that he would be more productive if he was working on his own terms. James would like to explore the possibility of doing long-term travel, going to a new city for a few months, but make a living while doing so.

On this episode of the James Swanwick show, James gives James Harrison a few pointers on starting his own business, while helping him curb his thinking into a clear and concise marketing pitch.

Key Points

  • James Harrison wants to start a business in order to free up his schedule, so that he can partake in the long-term travel that he has always wanted to.
  • Went to University to get a Engineering degree, currently does not use that specific degree as he works in a sales position from 8:30am-5:30pm.
  • Wants to start his own business because he values freedom, flexibility, and being in control of his own life.
  • Feels restricted in his current job, thinks that he could be more productive if he was working on his own terms.
  • Ideally he would like to start a business on the side, while still staying in his existing job because of necessary income.
  • He likes the idea of having a physical product, creating something tangible that is his own invention.
  • Tips for starting your own business:
    • Spend five minutes each day with a blank piece of paper, thinking about simple problems you face, and then figuring out how to solve them.
    • All business is, is solving problems.
    • In marketing you want to make the message simple, in order for customers to hear the pitch quickly.
    • Try to eliminate unnecessary words, or phrases, and polish a short, and quick idea.
    • Whenever you are trying to tell someone your story, or business idea, you do not want to make people think.
    • Clear messaging is important, it should be so simple that it’ almost stupid.
  • James Swanwick’s advice for those that want to start their own businesses?
    • Determine a common problem, then find a simple solution.


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