Many of us had read the inspirational stories of people like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or Elon Musk and at least briefly wondered "How do I come up with a tech startup idea so I can even achieve even a small fraction of the success that they have found?"
"Briefly" is all too often the key word, since most people quickly give up, thinking they don't have the genius, the startup funding, the connections, etc., to ever make it work.
However, like running a marathon, the keys are in training (in this case your mind), tenacity and a strong belief in yourself. Once these elements are in place, all the other things can follow.
While the second two are character traits we all need to develop, the first one, developing the right mindset, is where a lot of people miss it.
First, to develop the right mindset, you need to focus on being consistently curious, open-minded, willing to trying new things and willing to try new ways of thinking. By challenging yourself and taking on new habits, you can grow more neurons and create new neural pathways, i.e. become smarter. If you're not naturally that curious, the good news is you can work on it. Start simply by observing the world around you and start asking more and more questions about why things are the way they are - in any area.
With Google, Siri and Alexa - today we can get answers to just about anything in seconds. Where most people miss the boat is that when they read or hear something they don't understand they stop and quickly give up. Don't do that. Even if on the surface you don't seem to understand, your brain is taking it all in and maybe the next time you hear more about the subject things will start to make sense. Even if they don't - you're gaining something from it. They key is to never be intimidated and give up. Put your ego aside and don't worry if you don't get it and who else does, everyone will grow closer to their ultimate potential by being constantly curious.
Second, you need to think about your unique background both professional and personal and merge two or more areas you have experiences in most people don't. For example, even if you haven't had many different types of jobs, in your personal life you certainly have some knowledge, skills, experiences that not everyone in your office has. Think about a skill you have developed from those experiences and how you can apply it to solving a unique problem. If you do have a background in multiple industries, realize that this is a gift that you can use to your advantage. What problem can you solve or what benefit can you create for people, by taking knowledge from both of those industries and applying them to a single new idea?
Finally, mental health is critical. Diet, exercise, relaxation and sleep are crucial to being your best and keeping yourself in the right mental condition. All too often, even the most capable people never reach their potential, because they don't discipline themselves in keeping their mind, body and spirit in check, so they can consistently and effectively pursue their dream.
If you really want to accomplish your goals and come up with great ideas for tech startups or other businesses, lean in to these elements which have been common ingredients of many business legends.