Real Entrepreneurs Practice Brainstorming
It’s my belief, and I have no measured empirical evidence to support this, that real successful entrepreneurs practice brainstorming on a regular basis.
Brainstorming helps me be more creative. Because let’s face it, entrepreneurs live in their own heads way too much. Especially entrepreneurs that are self employed. And when you don’t have another creative mind to bounce ideas off of, your own creative juices can get very stale.
So I want to share with you the top 3 ways that I practice brainstorming that helps me leap forward in my business and could do the same for yours.
Top 3 Ways to Practice Brainstorming to Stay Creative
Brainstorming Tip #1 – Networking
Yes you think networking is a method of lead generation, and it is. But it can be so much more than that. Networking allows you to meet people, all kinds of people with all kinds of ideas and goals and expertise. Interacting on a regular basis with others, helps open up your creative channels because it gets you out of the office and out of your own head. New ideas find their way inside your thought patterns and have an impact on your creative process. It also gives you a variety of people to bounce your ideas on and sparks brainstorming conversations. I also recommend attending networking events that you’ve never been to before so that you consistently meet different crops of people. This will help you build your business and stay creative.
Brainstorming Tip #2 – Learn Something New
With the Internet literally at your fingertips, it’s quite easy to learn something new. Think about something you’ve always wished you could do. Some of my examples are: play the piano, speak spanish, sing in a rock band and write a book. Any step I take toward any of these “wishes” pushes the boundary of my “normal”. And when we push our brains beyond the normal, we start to think in ways we’ve never had to before. We go into problem solving mode. Remember when you were a student and constantly learning something new? That stimulation breeds creativity, exposes you again to new people and exercises your brain. That last bit is very important as you get older. Brains need exercise too. Challenging yourself to learn something new will help your brainstorming and problem solving skills at a cognitive level.
Brainstorming Tip #3 – Establish a Brain Trust
Having your very own brain trust can be a heady experience. My friend Alan Berkson of the Intelligist Group is fond of saying, “When you get smart people in a room together, good things happen.” And that’s the point of having a brain trust. Entrepreneurs often look for mastermind groups which is the same as a brain trust only with more rules and structure. A brain trust should contain people that make you feel creative. The very conversations you have spark ideas that get you excited. Some people you know will have that affect on you and others won’t. You know which people in your life have that ability to make you think outside the box. Establish a brain trust with them and try to meet on a regular basis,in person or over the internet. There is a lot to be gained from a brain trust and mine has been incredibly valuable to growing my business.
Bonus Brainstorming Tip
I know that only three tips were promised, and I chose that number because odd numbers appeal to me way more than even ones and I couldn’t think of 5 tips. One final tip on brainstorming is the use of mind maps. Mind mapping works for some people – not all. Mind mapping is a way to visually put on paper an image of your goals or a process that needs to take place. I personally love mind mapping which I suspect is because I’m a visual learner and engineer. One of my favorite free mind mapping tools is Mind42.com. Give it a try if the idea appeals to you. It’s not for everyone but it can be a great way to get all the ideas out of your head and on paper where you can begin to see the relationships between them and actually plan how to get them accomplished.
Brainstorming is a necessary part of my process to stay creative, how about you?