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More than half of Americans think they have an idea good enough for ‘Shark Tank’

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(Photo illustration by Daniel Johnson-Kim with images via Shutterstock)

More than half of Americans have a business idea they think would impress investors on Shark Tank, according to new research.

A survey of 2,000 adults studied the increasing shift towards entrepreneurship and found that 59% have considered quitting their current job to launch their own business.

Many are looking to take more control of their future, as nearly half of respondents admitted to feeling unmotivated at their current job (48%). Three in four are constantly looking for ways to feel more inspired by what they do every day (74%).

Sixty percent of Americans are ahead of the game by having a side hustle or putting serious thought into launching one.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll in collaboration with Thinkific ahead of Amplify 2022, a virtual summit for digital entrepreneurs, revealed unique insights on people’s self-confidence when launching a business. It found that two-thirds of respondents expect they would be successful entrepreneurs. 

When asked what keeps them from taking the leap, a third (32%) pointed to fear of failure, while 37% said it was because they lacked the financial means.

Online content creation is the most popular type of business that people aspire to launch (51%), beating selling products online (49%), providing services virtually (49%) or in-person (46%), and opening a brick and mortar store (39%).

The internet also played an integral role in the way people access and pursue education. More than half of those surveyed said they’ve learned most of what they know online (54%).

One in five Americans said they learned their top skill from online learning/courses (18%), versus only 14% who said they learned it in school.

“These unique survey findings point towards a new era in the Creator Economy. They paint a clear picture of the next wave of digital entrepreneurship that centers around creating online content,” said Thinkific Co-Founder and CEO Greg Smith. 

“More specifically, it reveals an unprecedented demand in the market for online learning and skill-building opportunities. This represents a critical moment for entrepreneurs to monetize their own expertise by launching an online learning business.”

Two-thirds of respondents have been motivated to seek online learning opportunities since the pandemic began because it offers more flexibility (43%), accessibility (38%) and the ability to go at their own pace (37%).

While the appetite for learning online has drastically increased, so has the desire to teach.

Most Americans said they have a skill they can monetize (71%) and that people would pay them to teach (70%).

As many as three in five Americans (60%) have considered teaching others their skill to make money since 65% said they don't use their greatest skill at their current job.

“These insights show that entrepreneurs see the opportunity in sharing their knowledge and skills through online learning,” added Smith. “We are all about helping people to build businesses around their own expertise or passion to create impactful learning experiences. It is such a fulfilling feeling for anyone who both creates a positive impact by teaching what they know, while also building their own financial freedom.”

IF YOU DESIGNED A COURSE/LEARNING EXPERIENCE, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT AND WHY?

  • “A class on finding your passion, what you enjoy and want to do, because it took me years to figure out, I'd like to help others do that too”
  • “All aspects of grooming pets which would include behavior and training, breed knowledge, skin care, pest control, as well as the use of tools and styling”
  • “Constructive writing. That is where I have my utmost potential”
  • “Creative writing based on your life-how you think and you talk”
  • “Diverse ways to make ends meet. Why: we need many sources of income”
  • “Doing electrical work. That's a quality skill,  easy to assess, and increases quality and safety of life”
  • “Graphic design. Because it’s something someone can be profitable in and you can do from your own home”
  • “How to live below your means so you can pursue your passions”
  • “If I designed a course or learning experience, it would be about helping people harness their skill and becoming good at it because that's how innovations are born”
  • “If I designed a course, it would be a course in handwriting analysis and graphotherapy because it teaches you to learn about behavior patterns that you can modify or improve your life with”

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