Being creative is not easy. Being original is not easy. Reading books on how to be creative and how to be original is not something that many people do often enough (myself included).
There's also a huge difference in being creative for the sake of exploring some new unchartered personal territory (like taking a class in sculpting), but it's not so obvious what to do when it comes to being creative in business. Many of us have Blogs, Podcasts, Twitter accounts, Facebook profiles and more, but are often stumped with what - exactly - to create and publish. What is the secret sauce for people who consistently publish content? While some have tried, it's not something that is clearly definable (hence the term, "secret sauce"). That being said, there are some ways to look at things differently and inspire your more creative business side.
Six Ways To Find Business Inspiration:
- Get A Clue(train) - If you have not read the book, The Cluetrain Manifesto (by Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls and David Weinberger), then that in and of itself should give you fodder for years to come. If you've dog-eared and post-it noted your book to death, then crack it open one more time to any random page, take a read and write out what you can do in your industry in relation to whatever topic you just consumed. Side note: Basic Books just released a special 10th Anniversary Edition hardcover edition with some new/additional content.
- Follow The Ads - Every year there are multiple advertising industry trade magazines that highlight the "best of the year." The ads include everything from TV and radio to out-of-home and online advertising. You may think that the 30-second spot is dead, but these award winners are clever and inspiring. How well can you convey your story?
- Never Eat Alone - Grab someone who inspires you and take them to lunch. You pay. Just enjoy the conversation and please don't have any set agenda or be thinking about how to create a deal. Just enjoy the conversation and company.
- Listen And Learn - Head over to iTunes and subscribe to a Podcast that interests you. Listen to a few episodes and write out what you've learned on your Blog. If you don't have a Blog, ask someone who does have a Blog if they would be open to a guest post from you.
- Learn about someone you hate - Read the biography of someone you never respected (in history or business). It might surprise you how they rose to power, what it meant to them and how it changed the world (for the better or for the worse). Sometimes we learn most by reading about people we would never want to act like. Learning what not to do is sometimes as important as learning what to do.
- Read a comic book - Odds are the story won't exactly rock your world, but reflect on what goes into a single issue of a comic book: from the story and art to the pencilling and publishing. If you have seen the blockbuster movie, Iron Man, you have to be able to appreciate that someone came up with the concept for him in the early 1960s.
It was Albert Einstein who said: "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand."
How do you get inspired when it comes to new thinking for business?