Changing The Way You Think Of Ideas
So, you think you have all the skills to become a self employed business owner, but you just can't think of any realistic business ideas? I know how you feel, I've been there, as have many others. This article aims to teach you how to generate ideas every single day. At first they will probably be terrible, but with time and practise your ideas will get better and better.
To start, you must think of ideas as the outcome of a neurological process. Much like throwing or kicking a ball is the outcome of a physical process. If you go to kick a ball for the first time, you will be all over the place! You won't have the proper technique in place, not to mention you'll be lacking the appropriate muscle strength to kick with appropriate force. To learn how to kick a ball first you must have a technique, then you must build up your muscles to gain power, and finally you must hone your technique to become both powerful and accurate. It is exactly the same with ideas! Don't just sit on your armchair, pen in one hand, paper in the other and stare into space waiting for an epiphany to come into your head, it just isn't going to happen very often.
This article gives you the technique needed to hone your idea generation skills, you must follow it and build up your 'idea muscle', and then as you get better and better you will hone your idea making skills until you realise that the ideas you're churning out are actually good!
Idea Generation - The Techniques
You should read every day. This doesn't mean reading a second hand romance novel cover to cover. This means reading a small amount of multiple books all on completely different topics. For example, you could read one chapter from an autobiography, one chapter from a novel, one chapter from an educational book. You get the idea, make them completely different books. This stops your brain from becoming fixated on a singular topic and teaches it to become more versatile. Think you don't have time to read this much every day? Well think again! It's very easy to boost your reading speed whilst retaining the comprehension.
Write Down Ideas
Ten of them, every single day. Sit down with no distractions from the television, the party going on next door or whatever else might drag attention away from the task at hand. Sit with a piece of paper and a pen and jot down ten ideas every day. It doesn't matter what the ideas are about, it doesn't even matter if they're good or not. This will be a lot harder than you think, but don't give up until you have ten ideas and your brain is aching from all the work you just put it through. You want to be tired from this exercise, that means you are building your 'idea muscle'. Just remember, you never have to look at these ideas again, the important part is coming up with them. You don't have to try and make every one of these ideas commercially viable, within your means or good. That will come with time.
What's The Next Step?
For each one of your ideas, write down a next step. If you were pursuing each one of those ideas you have just written down, how would you go about it? Did you come up with an excellent idea for a new design of lawnmowers during your idea generating workout? Write down a next step for how you would go about getting that design to market. This is sometimes even more difficult than the idea generating exercise itself, but it is just as important. If you can't think of your next step, or you think that next step is way out of your reach then it doesn't matter how good you think your idea is, you shouldn't pursue it. This exercise also helps you begin to think of ideas as business opportunities. It is also good for tracking your progress, within a few months you will start to have next steps for all your ideas and you will know your 'idea muscle' is improving in strength. If you do what I do and keep all the scraps of paper with your ten daily ideas on you can look back through them in six months time and see which ideas you couldn't come up with a next step for. Who knows? Maybe you can think of a next step to that brilliant sounding idea now.
Conclusion And Closing Thoughts
This will take time, the brain is a complex organism and it takes time and hard work to rewire it to become a solution giving, problem solving machine. But if you do this exercise every day you will notice a change within a few weeks, notice how you are constantly trying to find solutions to every little problem. After six months of doing this daily you will notice how you actually can come up with solutions to every problem you encounter. Keep doing your daily exercise and you will end up with thousands of possible ideas to draw upon and they will just become better and better.
A few closing tips on coming up with ideas:
- Don't put pressure on yourself, it will come!
- Think back to what your childhood passions were, these often generate the best ideas because it is something you are familiar with and interested in.
- Drift around online. Have you ever gone onto Wikipedia to search for something, only to jolt back to reality four hours later, realising you have somehow ended up reading up on a giraffe's nervous system? This can be a great way of discovering new interests.
- Search social media channels, what are people having problems with? Can you think of any solutions?
- Combine your ideas. If you think of a great combination of two ideas you have come up with you instantly have a specific idea that is quite possible unique to you.
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