How I Choose a Business to Pursue

By Mike Cooch, EO Colorado member

I, like most entrepreneurs, have “entrepreneurial ADD.” 

I can’t stop thinking about new businesses to start. In order to sleep at night, I forced myself to come up with a filter that lets me narrow in on business ideas that have sticking power. I have started three businesses in all, two using this filter.

The first portion of this filter is focused on making sure I have the vision and emotional commitment to the idea. I must bring all of these commitments to anything I consider pursuing:

  • A clear Conception of what I want, a vivid vision, a goal clearly imagined.
  • A strong Confidence that I can attain my goal.
  • A focused Concentration on what it takes to reach my goal.
  • A stubborn Consistency in pursuing my vision.
  • An emotional Commitment to the importance of what I’m doing.
  • A good Character to guide me and keep me on proper course.
  • A Capacity to enjoy the process along the way.

I then add to that list the following criteria that are more focused on the business dynamics of the opportunity:

  • Fast to start and test
  • Can start with little or no outside funding
  • Payback of initial investment within 18-24 months – businesses in which you “work once, earn many times” (initial sale leads to many repeat purchases and initial product/service creation can be leveraged in multiple formats)
  • Ideally automatic, recurring revenue
  • Can be managed from anywhere— ideally Web-based
  • Something that I’ll still find fun five or 10 years from now, and that other people think is fun, too!

This has been a great filter for me, and it forces me to find ideas that will really be productive. More importantly, it helps me decide which ideas have “sticking” power and which are simply musings. I hope my EO peers find this as helpful as I do!


Categories: general


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