Being innovative is a good thing for an entrepreneur or business owner. It is essential to differentiate yourself from the competition and to grow your business.
For those just starting out, being innovative may feel very uncomfortable. It goes against the grain. It is not natural. Trying to be innovative often requires “thinking outside the box,” an uncomfortable creative exercise requiring a different headspace to the usual processes of business.
Very few people are willing to think creatively and less so for their own business. They are much more comfortable with the tried and true. Even when there is a problem, people are unwilling to admit it. They may run away from the problem rather than working on a solution.
Innovators approach their businesses and competition differently. That’s why advertising and marketing to innovators is so difficult. It requires a different approach. Instead of a fight, it’s a game. Here are ten ways to be innovative.
#1 – Brainstorm: use ideas as building blocks, not crumpled notes.
The key, of brainstorming, is to think of a lot of ideas without judging them. You’re not trying to figure out which idea is the best, but to get as many ideas into your innovation ‘funnel’ as possible, so you can then test and assess them.
In brainstorming sessions, if one person brings up an idea, be sure to go around the room to give other people a chance to add to that idea.
If someone has an idea and you just sit there saying “That’s a lame idea” and not adding anything, you’re helping the brainstorming session stagnate.
#2 – Seek unexpected inspiration.
Keeping only to the movies you regularly watch or books you regularly read will make it hard to be innovative. Innovation comes from finding inspiration from unexpected places. The same goes for visiting the same restaurant every week. You may think that you’re going there because you like it so much, but you may discover that it’s not.
#3 – When you get stuck, consider a fresh perspective.
If you find yourself stuck, consider a fresh perspective by asking others, particularly an outsider, for advice.
For example, if you’re having trouble writing an article, show it to someone else.
If an outsider can step into your shoes and help you solve the problem, it’s a sign you need to ask others more often.
If you frequently invite others to give you advice or opinions, you’ll learn and grow faster.
#4 Keep a journal of your ideas
Your mind is constantly generating ideas. These ideas are often fresh and original. But you may overlook them. You could think that they’re not good ideas. That they’re not plannable. Or are just not practical.
But if you capture the ideas in a journal, you can come back to them later. With fresh insights and a developing business, some might now be feasible and practical to explore.
#5 Get ideas from other people
Your own ideas don’t have to be brilliant. They don’t have to be new. They don’t even have to be yours. Discover, adapt and successfully implement the ideas of others – being mindful of ownership and intellectual property. It’s rare for anyone to have a truly original idea, often the key to success is in the implementation.
#6 Spend time around smart people
The people you hang around with most directly affect the way you think, what you believe, and what you’re used to. If you’re in a group of intelligent people, you’ll be much more likely to pick up new ways of thinking than if you’re hanging around with people who never read anything more challenging than a cereal box.
#7 Listen to more synthesizers of ideas
In an age of amplification, we forget that the medium is the message. With so many resources at our fingertips, we leap from blog post to blog post reading our favorite passages, quoting our favorite lines, learning our favorite techniques. Instead, we need to spend more time listening to the synthesizers of ideas. That means reading books with more concentrated arguments, or studying great leaders instead of the best quotations. Spend more time listening to synthesizers — and less time learning quotes.
#8 Don’t let things get you down
Nothing dampens innovativeness like negative thinking. Being positive can make you more innovative, and it also helps keep your spirits up when you’re facing obstacles.
#9 Read more
There is a direct correlation between the number of books you read and your ability to think innovatively. If you’re not reading, you’re not getting as much out of life. So start reading books, and let the wisdom of others flow into your mind. Try not to think about how stupid you were for not reading more.
#10 Think outside the box
There’s an old expression “thinking outside the box.” It means don’t just think inside the clichés or the situation that you’re currently in. Think on related or tangential areas which may be adaptable to solve the problems you face. This can be one of your best ways to be innovative.
This article was generated using SimpleMarketing.AI’s Content Engine with small edits by a human.
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