How to Put Your Business Idea Into Words

You have an idea – a nonprofit, a mobile app, a physical product. Close your eyes and you can see it. In your heart, you feel its potential. Then, you open your mouth and...nothing. We’ve all been there: we have an idea, but we don’t have the words to express it. Our goal is to offer an answer—a solution to a problem. But ideas don't come from answers; ideas come from questions. This is where we should begin.

What problem am I solving? Who is this for? How is my idea different than what’s already out there? This is what I call reverse engineering an idea.


You may be eager to formalize a business plan or build a pitch deck. Not so fast! First, take these questions and have a conversation. Record a voice memo and let yourself ramble. Or, have a dialogue with a trusted colleague and ask them to take notes.

Often the strongest words come to us when we’re not trying so hard to find them.