All sorts of ideas, old and new came up during that phase of excitement and discomfort:
What about an app that provides more detailed user ratings on local services than the usual ‘5 stars’, so that people wanting a prompt and tidy DIY guy (rather than the cheapest one), or a reflexology-based pedicure (rather than just great nails) can find exactly what they’re looking for?
What about helping Line Managers with team communications: a notorious requirement coming out of most employee surveys that never quite gets the attention it needs?
What about an art website with pre-set titles based on feelings, like frustration, excitement, anger? Artists could upload works created for those titles; they could be shared on social media with people liking the ones they most identify with, then judged, sold, merchandised…?
What about a home PA by-the-hour service? Imagine all those busy, dual income parents who would love to get a bit of help with running errands, searching for holidays, sitters for houses/pets/children, even getting presents for nieces and nephews – they’d want to call just a single number.
The ideas kept coming. I started reflecting on who I knew in my Network who could advise or maybe get involved. I called some friends and ex-colleagues – what did they think? Would there be a demand? The responses all went into the melting pot:
- “Maybe change it a little”
- “Too much start-up capital required”
- “That’s a great idea, go for it”
- “It’s been done before…”
At the same time I thought about what would suit me, and what the practicalities were. Could I really start up an app-based business? “Why not?” was the response from a much respected friend and entrepreneur during one skype call. Doors started opening in my mind that hadn’t existed before. I imagined using my abilities to organise, manage and sell… and I started dreaming about how big these ideas could get.
Then I remembered the days of running my car-share business when ultimately, there just weren’t enough people willing to share cars with strangers: back then, I was blinkered, flippant and daring – I’d looked at rational not emotional needs. Now, I’d need to be better. I’d need to find the right balance between creator and censor to find a project that would work.
A year back I’d started learning the practice of meditation – just about 10 minutes a day – and found it gave me a useful kind of calm. I decided to come back to it to now, to help clear my mind and give me more balance in decision-making. My previous visualisation was that I was sitting on a raft at sea in the sun, my breath being the swell of the waves beneath me.
Now, a different visualisation emerged. I was high up in a big-top circus tent on a swing with long ropes, swaying gradually to and fro with the breath. Above and below me is complete darkness. I am relaxed and comfortable. I feel positive and safe. This was about being connected to the universe: accepting the way things are and accepting events that have not yet taken place. where I had control and influence, I would need to be careful and treat every step as important as the next. I’d need to call on my experience and trust my judgement. The momentum had begun and I can’t see a thing.