As an entrepreneur, creativity is likely one of your strong suits. After all, somewhere along the line you decided to give up the status quo in favor of your own way of doing things. That takes a pretty creative person!
Unlike machines or computers, creativity is a scare resource. As technology advances, so does the demand for new solutions to old problems. As standard tasks become easier and easier to automate, individuals who possess the advantage of creative thinking will come out on top.
But when you’re caught up in the daily grind of running a business, sometimes your creativity can hit rock bottom. Where do you turn to get the juices flowing again? In this post, we’ve got nine thought-provoking ideas to get your creative wheels turning.
- Get social
Nothing puts new ideas in your head quite like reconnecting with an old friend. It’s funny how the people who know you best often know just what to say to spark fresh motivation or a new way of thinking about a project.
What’s more, your friends sometimes know you better than you think. They can often offer perspective you hadn’t seen yourself that will help you take the next step forward in your business or another area of your life.
- Have an internal brainstorm
As an entrepreneur, sometimes it feels like we’re surrounded by noise, noise, noise. Turn down the volume for a few uninterrupted minutes and have an internal brainstorm.
This might mean meditating on your problem and listing all the possible solutions that come to mind in a rapid-fire manner. Or, it might mean sketching your thoughts on a giant sheet of poster board. Whatever you do, try not to let your inhibitions (“that’s a dumb idea!”) interfere.
By allowing your brain an open line of expression, you may uncover solutions you wouldn’t have thought about when confined by the four walls of your office.
- Head outdoors
It’s scientifically proven that being in tune with the environment piques your critical thinking skills. Take advantage of it by spending some time in the great outdoors.
If you can’t swing a weekend camping trip, even a 30-minute stroll around the office park will help get you thinking more creatively.
- Peruse Reddit
Looking for new opportunities to expand your services? Wondering what makes your customers tick? Look no further than the internet’s most popular forum, Reddit.
After finding the subreddit for your niche, spend some time checking out the most popular topics. Users ask questions and share topical content that can give you great insights into the most important issues your target audience is facing.
You can even do some free market research and bounce ideas off of other users for honest (and--fair warning--unfiltered) feedback.
- Meet with similar minds
Hone in on a handful of mentors in your field, then invite them to coffee or lunch—no strings attached. Simply chatting with other successful people in your line of work can light your creative fuse, even when you’re not talking about anything business-related.
Need a little help finding power players in your geographical area? Twitter is a super-useful search tool. Just run a search for your field + your city name. Then, you can exchange a few friendly Tweets before extending an invite to meet.
Putting pencil to paper stimulates the brain in ways tapping on a keyboard simply can’t. Perhaps the answer to your problem lies in a few stick figures—however rudimentary!
Experts advise not to focus on the quality of your drawings, after all, no one but you ever has to see them. Instead, attempt to let your hand break free from your mind—it may hold ideas you never knew you had!
- Pick up a book
There’s a lot to be said for a temporary distraction from the things that are bugging you. Why do think your best ideas come to you while you’re zoned out, cruising down the interstate or taking a long shower?
To help your subconscious mind disconnect, get lost in a good book of the fiction variety. According to the Reading Agency, reading for pleasure helps lower our stress levels and chances for depression on a long-term basis, in addition to opening our minds.
- Pretend to be a millionaire
Think of the biggest business challenge you’re facing. How would you handle it if you had a million dollars at your disposal?
Though it may be far-fetched, putting yourself in an alternate frame of mind can help you come up with innovative solutions you may not have considered when boxed in by financial constraints.
- Forget it
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying again and again to finagle a solution, only to come up short. When all else fails, put your creative block out of your mind and focus on something else entirely, be it your family, a hobby you enjoy or a refreshing nap.
Research shows our brain has the power to provide us with insights even when we’re not actively thinking about a problem. So, get out of your own way and let your noggin get to work!
What are your favorite ways to break a creative road block? Share them with us by leaving a comment below.
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