A little while ago Robert Tuchman reached out to me to see if I would write a review of his new book “Young Guns: The Fearless Entrepreneur’s Guide to Chasing Your Dreams and Breaking Out on Your Own”. I gladly agreed since his book was right on topic with this blog as it discusses paving your own path to success. Although I haven’t finished reading the book yet and will write a review when I am done, I wanted to discuss an important step that Tuchman addresses in his book, the “I Hate Homework Test”.
Looking back to my days in school all the way from first grade until the end of college, there were certain courses that I enjoyed doing homework in while the majority of course work felt like a chore. The courses that I enjoyed doing homework for were the courses that I really enjoyed. The rest of the courses were basically, a means to an end.
Part of being an entrepreneur is seeing the world a little differently than everyone else and focusing on problems and how they can be solved. Being an entrepreneur myself, I find new problems and potential solutions on a daily basis. I get excited about these ideas and create plans to turn these solutions into businesses. I have files with hundreds of these ideas and plans of action but for most of them, the excitement fades away after a little while, as I get excited about the next idea. That is where the “I Hate Homework Test” comes in to play.
Tuchman writes that to find your passion and an idea that you can turn into a profitable business, you need to have a certain excitement for the topic that is unmatched by the excitement for the rest of your ideas. You need to be able to say “I love this” and “I can’t believe I actually get paid for this” about your idea. To find out if you have the right passion and excitement, just think about doing research on your market and finding out more about how you will move forward. Does any of this seem like homework or is this something you would do for hours on end in your spare time, even if it wasn’t your business? If any of it seems like homework, then this idea is not for you. Otherwise, you may have hit gold!
It is so simple and yet so accurate. Over the years, I have gained and lost excitement about so many ideas but the one that stuck is what I am passionate about, marketing and technology. I started Flid Media, a marketing agency specializing in digital media over a year ago and I am going strong. Even when I worked at a traditional marketing firm with almost no connection to social media or technology, I spent most of my free time reading about it and listening to related podcasts. Looking back, if I would have done the “I Hate Homework Test”, I would have started Flid Media even sooner.
Ideas are worth a dime a dozen so the next time you have a “brilliant” idea, do yourself a favour and take the “I Hate Homework Test”. It can save you hours of time and effort.
Does your job pass the “I Hate Homework Test?