No matter how creative, how motivated, and how driven you are, chances are you will at some point find yourself just plain stuck. The status quo will set in and the idea of coming up with anything new will seem completely insurmountable.
And yet, as a business owner, it is your job to come up with new ideas! To invent new ways of offering (sometimes the same) thing. Staying “fresh” is expected, but also quite difficult.
One of the most challenging things for me this year has been to be so far away from my market and my customers. It’s challenging because I can’t hear my market from this far away (I live in New Zealand, so it’s literally almost 10,000 miles away!). And when I can’t see them, or hear them, I often find myself getting stuck in terms of coming up with new ideas or business services.
SO I HAVE HAD TO FIND A FEW NEW WAYS TO GET UNSTUCK AND GET CREATIVE.
Here are my three ways of getting unstuck in your business:
1. Immerse yourself in creativity. One of the best ways to feel creative and innovative again is to hang out with creative people. The people whose ideas seem so wacky at first blush, but the more you think about them, the more you realize they’re actually brilliant. Reconnect with your friends who work in ad agencies or who are creative designers. Ask them what they’re working on, what they’re seeing in their own jobs, and what people are responding to right now.
2. Look for examples of how behaviors are being redefined. For example, I am fascinated that in New Zealand, every time you set your trash out to be taken on trash day, you have to pay with a $3 sticker. Recycling, however, is free. In that simple act, humans naturally adjust to ask themselves if they could recycle more because it’s a pain to always go get the $3 stickers.
3. Seek out the inventors. These are people who are taking an ordinary problem and making it better. I recently ran into a mom who blew my mind. She had decided to make her own bread and to grind her own flour to do so. Already she was way cooler than I would ever be. But what really blew my mind was that she invented a grinder that connected to an exercise bike so she could mill flour while riding!
Her concept has gotten me thinking: What else we could be doing ourselves if we weren’t so used to having it done for us?
And at the end of the day, this is what it is all about: How can you creatively innovate in your business in a way that feels inspiring and engaging to you (coming up with new ideas is fun, after all) and also delights your customers?