Your business needs to do two things well. It needs to deliver something that people want to pay for and it needs to make those people aware that this ‘something’ exists and is worth their attention.
Both need you to be creative, to innovate and to differentiate – to stand out from your competitors and from the general noise that surrounds us.
Clearly this won’t just happen – you need to make it happen – you need to be strategic.
But, if as most business owners, your days are filled with interruptions that demand your attention or with a pile of stuff that you need to handle, how do you be the strategic leader your business needs you to be?
In recent posts I’ve talked about how imperative it is to be strategic and not opportunistic and how a holiday can be an ideal opportunity, away from the day-to-day stresses, to think about your business from a higher level and to get your creative juices flowing.
For most of us this time of year does present us with the opportunity to take a breath, to step back and to think at a higher level.
It does so because either you’re on holiday or some of your clients will be on holiday. Either way, just like there is perceptively less traffic on our roads around this time of year, the day-to-day issues and the demands on your time should also be less.
In that recent post about taking advantage of your holiday, I talked about feeding your brain by planting a seed (such as a problem) that will germinate in your sub-conscious and that your mind will work on in the background.
But sometimes that’s not enough and the equivalent of staring at a blank sheet of paper with writer’s block, can set in. Your brain needs some inspiration.
Inspiration can come from any number of sources, such as from a conversation, an image, a podcast or audiobook.
But for me by far the best source of inspiration is reading. Now, I’ve read passages in novels that have sparked ideas but if I’m purposefully after some inspiration then I’ll be more mindful about the books to read.
If you don’t have a specific challenge that you want to solve in mind, then read more general thought-provoking books like Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink or Seth Godwin’s Small is the New Big, or Daniel Levitin’s The Organized Mind.
These books can create small sparks that with a little encouragement can grow into a huge flaming idea.
If you do have a more specific challenge that you’d like to resolve then read a book that’s relevant to that challenge. They may not have the specific step-by-step answer you’re looking for but could feed your brain enough for it to come up with the actual answer you need.
If you have a particular challenge you need to overcome or an area of business that needs improving here are some examples of books worth reading:
- If you would like to be less busy doing things that don’t directly contribute to the growth of your business, check out Virtual Freedom by Chris Ducker.
- If you would like to learn more about how to inspire your audience then try Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo.
- If you would like help in how to best formulate your message so that your audience gets it then try Breakthrough Advertising, by Eugene Scwartz.
- If you want to know how to set your business in the right direction and stay on course to get to where you want it to be then (and apologies in advance for the plug) check out Your Business Foundation by yours truly.
If you’re about to go on holiday then do take the opportunity to feed your mind and it will eventually come up with the answers you need. And take a journal and a pen because before you know it ideas will begin to form and you may well need a few pages to fill.
If you’ve just returned from holiday then try not to let the daily demands of your business suck you back in and fill the creative spaces your relaxed mind has developed.
Of course, your business needs you to be inspired and creative throughout the year and not just on those family breaks. And so you need to develop a routine whereby you regularly feed your brain and relax enough for ideas to gel.
This is about you thinking about your business and staying relaxed and not reacting to your business and getting stressed. Feed your mind and let it bring you the answers you’re looking for.
I’ve created a lot of material that has helped to feed the minds of business owners all over the world. In addition to my book and my blog, there is also a wealth of material in my library of free resource. It’s a great source of information and inspiration and well worth checking out.
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