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I really enjoy coming up with new product ideas and improvements, but the problem I face is that my ideas are so broad that I don't know where to look as far as positions and even companies.

Just today I came up with a great idea for a tool accessory that I think would be a great idea, but I also came up with an idea for a zoomba/crossfit/rave/bar mash up that would probably do really well in a city like Seattle or something.

I also have many great business ideas, one of which I have already accomplished before 30.

I'm just really struggling to channel all of this passion into my career. I don't have a college degree and after looking at industrial designer positions, which is the closest position I've been able to find that checks off all the boxes, it doesn't seem like there is much room in the field for people such as myself who couldn't put themselves through college.

I currently work as maintenance technician (handyman) for a very nice real estate trust, so I can at least spin that as experience in creative problem solving, along with technical and mechanical problem solving, but I don't know what positions I should be looking for, if there are even any. Maybe I need to be a designer? I'm just lost.

Would a career counselor know the answer to these questions? is there a person I can call and talk to about all this? I've never really had this issue before so this is a new one for me.

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  • I'm editing your post into a better tone... now, this depends on what you want to do with your life. Some people don't have a college degree and are successful and happy...
    – DarkCygnus
    Sep 17 '20 at 5:29
  • What you are trying to tell us is that you want to find a "regular" job and don't know how to start or what kind of job? Or are you asking about the courses or college career that could best fit you? If you already have a great business up and running successfully why are you looking for another job? or why don't you continue expanding that business or pivot into something else?
    – DarkCygnus
    Sep 17 '20 at 5:32
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    it's called an inventor, usually you end up in debtors prison and die broke and alone, but decades later you're hailed as a visionary.... a few invest in themselves and make a living off one or more products, a miniscule minority intelligently market their idea and become billionaires like Bill Gates.
    – Kilisi
    Sep 17 '20 at 7:08
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    Ideas are cheap. Billions of people have a dozen great ideas a day each. I "invented" Facebook before there was Facebook. I didn't create it, so the value of my idea is pretty much zero. If I had actually done something with the idea, I might have been rich now. Millions of others probably had the same idea at the same time. One of them actually did something about it and is now a billionaire. Moral of the story: There is no value in someone having ideas, there is only value in someone who makes ideas reality. Which of those are you?
    – Morfildur
    Sep 17 '20 at 8:01
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    In addition to what @Morfildur said (all of which was true): if you only have ideas, you don't know if they're good ideas or not. Not only is an idea worthless until it's actually brought into being, but one's judgement of it as good or bad is worthless too. So you say you're extremely good at coming up with ideas, but... are you? There's only one way to find out, and it isn't to just keeping having more ideas. Sep 18 '20 at 0:06
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Would a career counselor know the answer to these questions? is there a person I can call and talk to about all this?

Yes, surely a Career counselor could help you here, so you can together come up with career options that you like and where you could be a good fit.

Remember that, at the end of the day, your career path and choice is up to you only... a counselor may give you ideas, but it all boils down to which of those ideas (if any) really rings a bell to you.

Now, you mention that you already have a business up and running, so that tells us that your entrepreneurship was successful (nice!), so this already suggests that perhaps doing that (entrepreneurship, or the kind of business you have) may already be a good path for you.

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Just comming up with ideas isn't all that useful unless you've got a load of money to throw at them, and it's rare to have enough experience in an area to spot something that no one else has. For example, if there's money to be made combining zoomba and a bar, I would imagine that it would have occured to one of the tens of thousands of people who runs a zoomba class or a bar. Either they considered it and could see why it wouldn't work, or maybe they tried it and found it was less profitable than the old way. Turning an idea into reality takes a lot of work and business ability, and that's a lot more valuable than the original idea.

Industrial design is largely about style, and style is definitely a marketable skill but it's different from having a good idea.

If you're interested in solving problems and creating things, I'd look at the world of software because everything else gets automated. That doesn't mean 'become a programmer' because if you're not already playing with code for fun, you probably won't enjoy programming but there are loads of other jobs in a software company.

There are loads of medium sized companies with a niche product that provide services to other medium sized companies, and each sale need to customisation for the client's particular needs. Working out exactly what the client needs, and how to achieve it with the existing customisation options often employs as many people as the actual programming. No one outside the organisation knows the software, so there's no pool of experts to recruit from and definitely no college courses in it. People in that job have often started in an entirely different area of the company, possible sales, support or testing.

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Business Development Manager might fit that quite well, maybe also Product Manager.

As you mention an industrial designer position, I'm not sure if I understood you correctly as this is only slightly in the contect of the before mentioned positions. An industrial designer, as the name suggests, designs products in regard to their looking. For sure, the looking has to consider functionalities and so on. But coming up with ideas and creating/realizing products out of them, I would say business development is quite that. But it will vary a lot in the field you are within: In the aircraft industry it will be different than in the gaming industry or garden tools.

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  • Frankly, my product manager doesn't have "ideas" and he doesn't have to need any. He has to manage a bunch of developers to make them achieve a common goal. If "I'm extremely good at coming up with ideas" is your only qualification, you'll have to live with the fact that your developers are likely a lot better at it.
    – gnasher729
    Sep 19 '20 at 11:11
  • So he shall become a developer. I'm fine with that.
    – Ben
    Sep 19 '20 at 11:52

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