The start of a new year can be a good time to refresh your thinking about your business or creative project.
We can all get stuck in our modes of thought. We can end up recycling the same ideas and this can stifle needed innovation. The world is changing all around us and our business can soon get out of touch with the external environment. That can quickly hit sales and revenue as what we offer is out of sync with the market for our product or service.
Here are five ways to add a bit of newness and originality into the way you think about your business or creative project…
TIP 1 – Read something new. Buy a book or do some online research into areas and themes that you wouldn’t normally look into. Get out of your comfort zone and explore subjects that you’d normally avoid. For example, one business trainer started to read up about comedy and improvisation and ended up redesigning entirely his training courses in presentation skills, leading to a big jump in new client work.
TIP 2 – Meet someone new. Get new perspectives on your business or project. Go to a meet up you wouldn’t usually go to, start a conversation with someone you have never spoken to before. New ideas often come from fresh perspectives from people that aren’t part of your established network. So, set a resolution to get some new ideas on your business. For example, Steve, web site designer, spent one morning a week in a local cafe and soon enjoyed conversations with locals. One turned out to be a retired teacher who ended up giving him invaluable advice about organising his time better. Jan, a maker and seller of knitwear posted some questions on an online business forum and got a host of useful answers.
TIP 3 – Breathe out the old. Reflect back over one year, up until this point in time. What hasn’t been working? Where are you stuck? Take a piece of paper and make a list of the things in your business that make you frown. Put them in order of importance and resolve to finally take those problems on this year. These “blockers” are better out in the open. They can lurk below the surface of awareness and de-energise us. Get them on the table. Share them with colleagues to get new perspectives and ideas. Form the into “how to statements”. For example, “too many unread emails” becomes “how to declutter my inbox once and for all, and how to keep it clearer and cleaner..”
TIP 4 – Change the space and the place. We often get stuck in the old because of where and how we are physically located. Have a clear out, move your desk and even consider moving room or even office. Also visit somewhere you have never been before – a change of location can often add a new perspective or feel refreshing and new. Sue, a hypnotherapist, moved her business from Brighton to Guildford and doubled her client base overnight. John moved his desk to a larger, more airy room in his house and it literally felt like a breath of fresh air as he now had a view over the garden. It all felt more open and positive.
TIP 5 – Get artistically and creatively inspired. Art is the realm of creativity and originality. Holding your problem or questions in your mind, go visit an art gallery, or even do something creative – some sculpting or painting. Get into your “right brain” and find new perspectives and impulses through a dose of creative inspiration. You don’t have to be good at art to benefit from it and we can all stuck in technical, repetitive modes of thinking. Stephen, a owner of a small business, goes to a sculpture group once a week and also loves to visit art galleries. “It clears my mind and often I find answers come to questions I’m grappling with, just be being in a different, more creative space.”
The next year in the life of your business could be a more successful one if you increase the level and quality of originality and creativity in your business or project. It might just fuel the innovation your business or project needs. So, get going on that refresh!