Have a Good Business Idea?

abizideaThe business world changes every day and if you want your business idea to succeed tomorrow, then you should pay attention to what’s trending today.

That’s right, by keeping an eye on the current market and successful business ideas; you can make an informed decision based on changing consumer needs.

When it comes to learning from current business trends, here are just a few types of businesses that are expected to grow for years to come:


Whether it’s for small businesses or individuals, everyone needs help running numbers. If you have a knack for the financial side of life, then starting an accounting business is definitely a promising career. Accounting is a growing business landscape that offers plenty of job opportunities. The field of accounting isn’t something you can just jump into. To become a certified accountant, licensing and training is required. However, if you do have experience, turning your accounting business idea into a reality is a relatively easy and affordable process. From handling company balance sheets to general tax accounting, there’s no end to the growth possibilities of accounting.

Computer and Smartphone Repair

The popularity of computers and smartphones is going to continue to increase exponentially as time goes on. With a little training and basic licensing, you can turn your computer and smartphone repair business idea into a full-fledged career. There are a growing number of repair businesses that specialize in on-site computer hardware and software repairs as well as smartphone screen repairs. In addition, there are also a number of mobile repair businesses that can take care of repairs quickly and on the spot. No matter which direction you take, the computer and smartphone repair industry is really taking off.

Business Planning

If your business idea involves helping others develop their own business plans, then you’re on the right track. As the following article shows, starting a business plan service is 1 of 3 business careers that are actually fun and rewarding for both parties involved. The startup costs for a business planning service are minimal, but the career opportunities are huge. From preparing and formatting business plan layouts to creating financial outlooks, helping others plan their business will provide you with steady work for the foreseeable future. You can even offer add-on services like ongoing business consulting, which will provide you with a steady workflow as opposed to a freelance-style business approach.


Editorial services take a number of different shapes and forms nowadays. Whether it’s copyediting for online publications or proofreading company documents, businesses and individuals are always in need of quality editors. The best part is, being an editor means you’ll have a flexible career that you can take on in a full-time, part-time, or freelance capacity. Copyediting and proofreading are probably the two main editorial services that come to mind, but you can expand on your business idea to include other services too. Developmental editing, indexing, copywriting, blog writing and editing, ghost writing, and book doctoring are all much-needed services that fall under the editorial services umbrella.

If you want to know your business idea is a worthwhile venture for the future, then take a tip from the top trending businesses above.

Photo credit: Image courtesy of ddpavumba at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including business planning and career outlooks.

I Meant To Do That! How To Turn A Mistake Into Success

By Jon Norwood

I’ve started four businesses and successfully sold three. The common factor in all of them is that I made at least one serious error right out of the gate. When you’re faced with a fixed and immovable object, caused by either a mistake or due to matters outside of your control, if you cannot change it stop fighting it. But simply embracing it is not enough however. Adapt your plan and make this obstacle part of your intentional offering.

Military strategists, as well as every mother of little children, have learned how to roll with the punches. Adapt to the environment and its challenges. If you want to guarantee your failure, approach your business (and life in general) with a stiff neck and refuse to be flexible. If you don’t believe me, just picture all those poor suckers that collapse while standing at attention with their knees locked!

Real World Example

A businessman opened a “ropes” course for corporations. After he founded the company, spent the revenue building the course and marketing the opening of his new venture, he was informed that he could not sell alcohol. He didn’t think it would be a major problem, but as the months went on, he discovered just the opposite.

The corporations discovered that they had a hard time getting “buy in” from their employees and volunteers that were asked to spend an entire day that far out in the country, and not be able to have a happy hour after the event. In fact, the promise of a happy hour was a major selling point for his competition!

After 2 years of struggling, he was considering closing the doors. Then he had the idea that he could embrace the problem. In other words, he could look for organizations that would choose him over his competition BECAUSE he CHOSE to not serve alcohol.

Religious and conservative organizations found this marketing enticing. To his surprise, many organizations began to choose his course because they would no longer be vulnerable to law suits due to alcohol abuse and driving under the influence! His limitation became a powerful selling point.

Embrace your limitations and find a way to position them as strengths.

Bad location? Say it was on purpose and adjust your offering.
Spent a ton of money on a typewriter when everyone else is buying a computer? Learn to research for the next time. Say you love the quality and send out letters from that typewriter with marketing about your dedication to quality!

There is always an angle! You just have to stop freaking out to see it. It’s not a matter of being misleading in any way, it’s a choice of looking at the situation from a positive mindset and marketing from that perspective.

Author’s Bio: Jon Norwood writes about business and technology at http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/tech-talk/. He is also the author of internet providers by zip code. You can find him on Twitter as @mobileinformers.

6 Advantages “BYOD” Brings to a Business

By Miles Young

One major trend in business now is BYOD, or “bring your own device.” This basically means that employees are responsible for buying and choosing their mobile device. It allows businesses to save money, while keeping employees happy at the same time.

There are also several other business advantages, such as fewer headaches for the IT department, more employee choice and freedom in their devices and a better connection with today’s consumers. Businesses that are newly introducing BYOD do face some roadblocks, but it is worth the effort once the transition is complete. Take a closer look at the advantages to BYOD and what it could mean for your business.

#1: Your Business Saves Money with BYOD

Successful businesses always look for ways to save money. Reducing monthly spend on employee mobile devices is one of the best and easiest ways to do this. In a true BYOD business environment, employees cover the full cost of their devices, including minutes and data usage. This saves businesses thousands of dollars each year. However, most companies offer incentives to employees through discounts or usage stipends, especially at the beginning of the transition.

Only a few short years ago, employees would have complained a lot about BYOD. However, a recent Good Technology State Report shows that 50% of employees are more than happy to cover the costs. This is for several reasons, but the biggest is that it gives them more freedom to choose their own device and upgrade as desired. Many people are dedicated fans to specific platforms, so this allows them to remain loyal to their favorite brand of device. As more businesses turn to BYOD environments for its cost savings, employees will get more used to the idea.

#2: Employees Can Choose the Device They Like

People get very attached to their mobile phones. As a matter of fact, one Mobile Mindset study showed that 73% of mobile phone users admit they would go into a panic if their phone went missing. This obsession is one reason most employees prefer to choose their own mobile device — they have an intimate relationship with it. Everyone has a different preference over the brand of phone they like and what features are must-haves. Businesses can keep their employees happy by allowing them to choose their own mobile device with a BYOD policy.

#3: Businesses Stay on the Cutting-Edge of Technology

Typical smartphone users want to have the latest and greatest technology. This is a major advantage to businesses because employees usually upgrade to the newest phone as soon as they are eligible for an upgrade. This is especially true if you have a younger workforce. Having technology-savvy employees translates to more efficiency for your business, which is why giving your employees more freedom with BYOD is such a good idea.

Additionally, many businesses have spent a lot of money on creating a mobile infrastructure, such as putting business information in the Cloud so it’s easier for employees to get access to. By allowing employees to choose their own mobile device and other gadgets, it encourages them to use the infrastructure your business has spent so much money to create.

#4: Employees Only Have to Manage One Device

With BYOD initiatives, employees no longer have to worry about carrying separate phones for business and personal use. This was a major hassle for employees in the past, and it often meant missed calls because employees only carried their business phones during business hours. With a BYOD environment, your business will have fewer missed calls because your employees will have fewer gadgets to juggle. Plus, the phone will be with them whether they are working or not.

Managing only one device also increases employee productivity, because they only have to get used to one phone. Every mobile phone works a little differently and there is a learning curve, even for technology savvy employees. If your employees are allowed to choose their own device, they will be more motivated to learn how to use it effectively, which has all sorts of advantages to your business. Increased productivity means more profits for your business.

#5: Your IT Department Has Fewer Headaches

If you don’t have a BYOD policy, your IT department probably spends a lot of time fixing mobile phones and plan issues. With BYOD, employees have to seek help about their phones from their cell phone carriers. This means fewer headaches for your IT department and less wasted time. Of course, your IT department still has to find a way to make sure everyone has good security to protect your business information.

All smartphones today have the basic features businesses need, such as access to the Internet and email alerts. So, there’s no reason a business should have to require all of their employees to use the same device, except for security purposes. Your business can make BYOD recommendations about security, such as requiring all employees to use the RIM platform, but there are also other ways to make sure employees have the proper security on their phones. This includes things like requiring two layers of passwords and encrypting all business information. Security is a major issue for IT departments, but policies can be put in place to protect your business.

#6: Employees Care More for Their Device

Another advantage to BYOD is that employees will take better care of their devices if they are responsible for the costs. Your business won’t have to worry about replacing phones or paying for insurance policies related to gadget use and ownership. This saves money and it also means that your business information will be protected with more care.

According to an ARCchart report, 65% of business owners have already transitioned to a BYOD environment or have a plan to transition in the near future, while only 11% have no plans. There are obvious advantages to BYOD if you can successfully get your employees on board with the idea.

Has your business already made the BYOD transition? Do you have any advice for others that want to follow suit? Leave a comment below.

Author’s Bio: Miles Young is a tech geek, business blogger and all around cool person. Follow him on Twitter @mrmilesyoung.

Five Stimulating Ideas to Spark Your Creative Juices

Have you ever found yourself staring at the screen, mindlessly sipping coffee, hoping that the caffeine will jump start a creative idea? Perhaps you’ve fallen victim to “the creativity crisis.” Or perhaps you just need a little slap upside the head.

Consider this your friendly nudge (my mom told me slapping isn’t nice).

Chris Brogan’s Blog Topics
If you’d like a dash of community with your writing prompts, Chris Brogan’s blog topics is your place. For $97.00, you’ll get 45 weeks of email newsletter updates with 10 or more blog topic ideas, writing advice, and more.

Mindmapping (Biggerplate or MindMeister)
Sometimes what you really need is to write things down and organize your thoughts. I’ve found that a creative block can happen like a logjam, where you have too many different ideas. Using a mindmap tool can break the logjam by getting some of the ideas out of your brain and into a repository. Both of these tools also offer access to community mindmaps…maybe someone else’s mindmap will spark an idea for you!

Unstuck App
If your primary issue is being “blocked” in general, the free Unstuck App comes to the rescue with a step by step action plan for moving forward. It doesn’t matter if your block is creative, emotional, work-related, or otherwise, this beautifully designed app will nudge you out of inertia.

Get creatively unstuck

Tour the Louvre Online
Step outside of your routine online, and visit a place that contains the creative juices of generations. Schedule 30 minutes with yourself, and wander around virtually, exploring the museum with no crowds moving you along. Sometimes getting away from your same-old industry blogs will get you thinking in a new direction.

This is a very simple creative writing app that does one thing effectively–it offers hundreds of prompts and opening lines to jog your creative brain. Extra goodies are kept very minimal; there is a sharing tool, writing reminders, and habit tracking feature to discover your best days and times to write. If you have trouble staring at a blank page, this one might give you that little nudge you need. It’s $3.99 in the iTunes store.

What are your secret weapons for getting out of a creative block?

Author’s Bio: Rosemary O’Neill is an insightful spirit who works for social strata — a top ten company to work for on the Internet . Check out the Social Strata blog. You can find Rosemary on Google+ and on Twitter as @rhogroupee

How to jump start your creativity

Sometimes the ideas stop.

When The Muse takes an extended vacation and you’re left with nothing but cold coffee and a blinking (accusatory) cursor on your monitor, what do you write? What do you say? Whether you’re writing a business plan, a marketing report or advertising copy for your business (or website), sometimes your creativity hits a roadblock.

My go-to as a kid writing letters home from camp always started with:

“Dear Mom,

I am fine. How are you?”

Even then, The Rut was showing signs of its presence. 😉

Even the most creative of us can encounter a dry spell. But if you hang in there long enough, you’ll also realize that the dry spell doesn’t last. But let’s suppose for the sake of discussion that you are hip deep in the middle of What Am I Going to Write About Land? What Is It That I Want to Say?

Glad you asked. Warm up your coffee and keep reading.

How do you get the Muse to land on your shoulder again?

1. Exercise. Seriously. Even taking a 20 minute walk around the neighborhood will jog the writing cylinders. If you’re determined to generate an idea on this walk, literally say aloud before striking out, “I want to think of a blog post about Penguins Who Wear Sweaters.” (or whatever your particular sticking point is). Then start striding. Your internal Girl (or Guy) Friday will fetch an idea from the Grey Matter Files while your feet do their thing.

2. Throw a bunch of words and phrases into a hat. These can be about any given topic: an industry, an idea, a discipline or craft ~ whatever you want to write about. However, also include some weird stuff, for example, things on your shelf or stuff outside your window. Maybe what you ate for lunch. Then draw out two or more pieces of paper from the hat. See if the phrases you pull out spark a sentence or a theme. Random collisions of unusual suspects will prompt new synaptic connections.

3. Read someone else’s blog. Ix-nay on the agerism-play. That said, reading something outside your area of expertise or outside your normal sphere of influence brings new ideas into your head. New = creativity. Shake things up. There are a lot of smart people with opposable thumbs in this world using keyboards. Read their stuff. Let it inspire you.

4. Read your old stuff. Pull your posts from your blog archives, review any journal articles you may have published… dust ‘em off and see if there is anything worth saving or if they’re still relevant. If they are, tweak them and update them to reflect your current state of mind. You may have learned more stuff. You may have changed your mind. See what happens when you hop in Mr. Peabody’s WABAC Machine.

5. Quotes. There. I said it. Google quotes about a subject that is running through your head and see what other Big Brains have had to say about it. Goodreads is another great spot in the interwebs to read what other SMRT people have to say about all sorts of stuff. Something they say will spark a reaction. Run with it.

If you’ve read this far, you are a creative person. You just forgot that it was true for a second. Go brew some more java and start writing ~ you’ve got something to say!


Molly Cantrell-Kraig is a woman with drive. Possessing an innate sense of purpose and a pragmatic, solution-based approach to empowering people, she fused these two traits in order to establish Women With Drive Foundation. Based upon its founder’s personal history, Women With Drive Foundation is a means through which Cantrell-Kraig may effect change on both a micro and macro level. By providing women with something as essential as personal transportation in order to transition them from poverty to prosperity, she, through Women With Drive Foundation, seeks to empower women to help them help themselves. Through this action, the individual applicant benefits, as does society as a whole. Follow Molly on twitter as @mckra1g or @WWDr1ve (Women With Drive Foundation) or “Like” them on facebook.

Writers’ Resolutions for the New Year

By Tiffany Matthews

One of the things that resonated with me as a writer during the new year is a wish that one of my favorite authors shared:

It’s a New Year and with it comes a fresh opportunity to shape our world.

So this is my wish, a wish for me as much as it is a wish for you: in the world to come, let us be brave – let us walk into the dark without fear, and step into the unknown with smiles on our faces, even if we’re faking them.

And whatever happens to us, whatever we make, whatever we learn, let us take joy in it. We can find joy in the world if it’s joy we’re looking for, we can take joy in the act of creation.

So that is my wish for you, and for me. Bravery and joy.

If you are familiar with this, then you know I’m talking about Neil Gaiman’s New Year’s wish. This is a wish that I feel resonates with every writer who is shaped by his or her experiences.

Bravery is a mantra that I think everyone should embrace this year, especially when we’ve been given a reprieve on doomsday last December. This is the year to make things happen and here are some resolutions that will help you achieve your writing goals.

Cruise, Drive, Fly

No matter how busy you are with writing, always set aside time for travel, to de-stress and unwind. Most writers, myself included, tend to be perfectionists and workaholics, which when combined can lead to being overworked and burned out. This is why taking a break every now and then is vital to keep your creative juices flowing.

Still not convinced? Perhaps this checklist can help shed light on why writers need to travel. Before you go on your adventure, keep in mind that travel is very unpredictable; therefore, it’s better to be prepared for the worst that could happen. Always take travel insurance with you as your backup plan.

Make a Booklist

You might wonder how a must-read list of books will help you achieve your writing goals. Author Stephen King in his book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, shares this valuable piece of advice to writers:

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”

The importance of reading is reiterated throughout his book, which is woven with his often humorous insights on writing as a craft. He further states, “Good description is a learned skill, one of the prime reasons why you cannot succeed unless you read a lot and write a lot.”

One Word at a Time

Getting published is one of writers’ dearest dreams, a dream that is riddled with hurdles like trying to survive daily life. Dreams don’t come true overnight and the reality is you have to work to survive. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can just abandon your dream of becoming an author. It can still happen, if you make it happen.

Set aside time to write for yourself and not just for work. You might feel overwhelmed at the sheer volume of words needed to create your book, but it’s never really about the words. It’s the story that you’re telling. Like what a friend of mine said when he paraphrased Lao Tzu’s famous quote, “The journey of a thousand words begins with one word.”

Swallow your fear and try to be brave as you take it one word at a time. Take comfort in what Stephen King said:

“The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.”

Author’s Bio: Based in San Diego, California, Tiffany Matthews writes about travel, fashion and anything under the sun at wordbaristas.com. You can find her on Twitter as

Genius is made, not born

By Andy Crestodina

Laszlo Polgar started with a belief: “geniuses are made, not born.” The Hungarian chess teacher felt this notion so strongly, he wrote a book called Bring Up Genius! The book was basically a how-to guide for raising brilliant children. And through his children, Polgar had a plan to create a chess champion.

It was basically a social experiment. First Laszlo found a woman, Klara, to be the mother of his future champions. He married her, and together they had three daughters: Susan, Sofia, and Judith. From the age of three, the girls were immersed in the game of chess.

How did it work out? Today, the Polgar sisters are chess legends. Sofia is an International Master, and both Susan and Judith are Grandmasters. Judith actually became the youngest player to ever achieve that title. She was 15 years old. To this day, she is one of the strongest living chess players, male or female. She has defeated World Champions with names like Karpov, Kasparov, and Spassky.

Mr. Smith goes to Hollywood

Actor Will Smith is another example of planned success. He set out with a deliberate purpose to not just be an actor, but to be the most successful actor in the business. His manager James Lassiter said to him “Listen, if we’re going out to L.A., we probably should have a goal.” Smith replied, “I want to be the biggest movie star in the world.”

So together they looked at a list of the 10 top-grossing movies of all time. “We looked at them and said, O.K., what are the patterns? We realized that 10 out of 10 had special effects. Nine out of 10 had special effects with creatures. Eight out of 10 had special effects with creatures and a love story.”

In minutes, Smith and Lassiter had deconstructed the formula for Hollywood blockbusters. Smith’s conclusion? “Independence Day, no-brainer. Men in Black, no-brainer. I, Robot, no-brainer.” He pursued opportunities that would lead him down a specific path. It wasn’t an accident. It was a plan.

Vision + Work + Environment.

Success requires vision. In the case of Judith, that vision began before she was born, with Laszlo Polgar’s dream of raising a champion. With Will Smith, he started by analyzing the greatest successes in his field. They both understood Stephen Covey’s principle of “beginning with the end in mind.”

Success requires work. You must put in the work! You may have heard the “10,000 hour rule” made famous by Malcolm Gladwell. It takes 10,000 hours of dedicated practice to become an expert. They both started early, but both Polgar and Smith have pursued their goals with intense determination.

Success requires the right environment. All that practice has to happen somewhere, so a favorable setting is critical. Polgar himself said, “Genius equals work and fortunate circumstances.” But your environment and circumstances can be controlled. If you’re not in a good situation for reaching your goals, change it.

Make your own genius

Your goals may not be as lofty as chess Grandmaster or Hollywood movie star. Success at this level requires almost total dedication. But all accomplishments at any level require these same ingredients. Whatever your goal, set your sights, create your environment, and get to work. Great things await you.

Author’s Bio: Andy Crestodina is the Strategic Director of Orbit Media, a web design company in Chicago. He’s also the author of Content Chemistry, An Illustrated Guide to Content Marketing You can find Andy on and Twitter.

How to blast past your competition over the holidays

This is a bit more of a worky-work post today, but it’s also geared toward fun. Let’s see what’s possible, eh? :)

Some of your colleagues or competition may have started to ease up on the productive “pedal” right around Thanksgiving, with the idea of coasting through the holidays all the way through January second. While there is nothing wrong with celebrating, if you have one iota of ambition in your cells, you’ll wish to capitalize on everyone else’s ease and propel yourself past them.

There are a number of actions and steps you can take to maximize your time at work while still leaving plenty of time for egg nog or spending time with friends and family. These are five suggestions for making the most of your efforts.

1. Project the first quarter, based on history and current projects’ trajectory. Spend just a few minutes a day (or a solid afternoon) reviewing company information, competitor’s trending data and your respective industry’s future capacity. If you have a solid relationship with your boss, you may wish to see if (s)he would find anything you generate of interest. Keep in mind, projections are just that: educated guesses. However, taking a moment to visualize possibilities puts you in a strong frame of mind to act on what occurs.

2. Go through your files and purge the inessential. Admittedly, this is not thrilling work. Crank up some RATM or Souza and blast through the detritus (digital and otherwise) that is clogging your workflow. Be brutally honest here. Ditch the junk; keep the treasure. If you really have a difficult time pitching something, create three boxes labeled: Keep, Pitch and Possible. You may find a piece of dormant business while you clear your decks.

3. Prioritize the “Keep” pile. Once you’ve narrowed down the actionable business, put it in a tickler file or other type of system that will remind you that it needs doing. Evernote, alerts, Outlook calendar… whatever. The KEY is to sift and LABEL as you go while it’s fresh in your mind. That way, when the “ping” comes up on February 17th, you’ll have all of the actionable information right in front of you (ie. Call John about the Tasty Wheats contract. Mention Neo and how everything tastes like Tasty Wheats. They want to order 75 gross for the Nebuchadnezzar).

4. Read. During the course of 2012, you probably had at least four books per month that you wanted to read for work or pleasure. Add to this any industry-related reading and you probably could stock a small library with the stuff you would benefit from knowing. Mark off at least an hour a day to catch up on reading that will help you remain competitive as the new year rolls around. Keep in mind that “reading” also means audiobooks (iTunes etc.) that you can listen to during a commute, on the train or while on the treadmill.

5. Network. Go through your Rolodex and find someone you would like to grow with/mentor or learn from in 2013. It could be a superior; it could be a peer. Perhaps it’s someone within your company; perhaps it’s someone you met at a conference. Reach out to at least three people and send off a HANDWRITTEN snail mail piece of correspondence that says a few key things:

• Where you met or your common connection
• Why you are reaching out (“I admire your knowledge of Tasty Wheats.”)
• What you bring to the relationship (“My graduate thesis was about the derivation of the Tasty Wheats from cellulose fibers from urban gardens.”)
• An offer to meet or collaborate in 2013
• Thanks and closing

You’ll find that with very little effort, you can zip by your coasting colleagues or competition (who will be essentially moving in reverse in comparison to you). Keep it simple; follow through and enjoy the holidays. You deserve it.


Molly Cantrell-Kraig is a woman with drive. Possessing an innate sense of purpose and a pragmatic, solution-based approach to empowering people, she fused these two traits in order to establish Women With Drive Foundation. Based upon its founder’s personal history, Women With Drive Foundation is a means through which Cantrell-Kraig may effect change on both a micro and macro level. By providing women with something as essential as personal transportation in order to transition them from poverty to prosperity, she, through Women With Drive Foundation, seeks to empower women to help them help themselves. Through this action, the individual applicant benefits, as does society as a whole. Follow Molly on twitter as @mckra1g or @WWDr1ve (Women With Drive Foundation) or “Like” them on facebook.

3 Ways to Recharge Your Business Creativity

Stephen Key


Why Letting Your Inner Child Out Can Benefit Your Business

How many times have you watched your son or daughter’s imagination shine as they play with their friends or by themselves? Children are incredible dreamers and creators who have no inhibitions about letting creativity dictate their actions. To me, entrepreneurship is synonymous with creativity. People often talk about business and art as if the two couldn’t be more separate, but both celebrate the value of looking at the world a little differently than everyone else. The best entrepreneurs see possibility and opportunity where others have failed to, because they’re able to spot unique and powerful ideas that will resonate with consumers. Developing and celebrating your creative energy can benefit your business in countless ways.

I’ve spent the past twenty years bringing my product ideas to life. Thinking creatively has helped me invent and innovate, but even more importantly, I’d argue, it has helped me problem solve. Business owners are constantly surprised by new and different conflicts to overcome. You’ll never be able to predict them all. The more comfortable you become with quickly brainstorming solutions, the better your business will be. There’s never just one answer. And that’s why being able to think outside the box when your business is faced with a seemingly impenetrable roadblock is important. Somewhere along the way most of lose the ability to dream and imagine as easily as we did as children; being able rekindle these skills will help your business.

3 Ways to Recharge Your Business Creativity

I don’t believe that certain individuals are inherently more creative than others. The belief that ‘you’re just not creative’ is an excuse. We’re all creative! As children, we’re all able to dream and imagine with abandon. But like any other skill, creativity requires practice, commitment, and inspiration. I’ve found that playing games helps recharge my creativity.

The first one is, ‘What If?’ When I try to imagine new product ideas or encounter a problem in my daily life, I allow myself to ask any question I want to. What if we lived in a world that __? What if I were able to __? There are no right or wrong questions (nor answers!). I remember my own three children asking me question after question when they were little. Questions lead to answers, answers lead to more questions, and creative juices flow during the process!

The second game I play I call, ‘Mix and Match’. I combine several ideas together, even if they don’t seem to make immediate sense. Someone really hit the nail on the head when they matched a camera and phone, after all…. Some of the best ideas actually combine existing concepts or products in interesting ways. Think about all the times you’ve watched your son or daughter play with their toys in unique ways. They are no strangers to mixing and matching to make things new and exciting.

The third creative game I use is called ‘Solve It’.
What do you wish was made better? What would you do to change it? Some products and services have been around for so long, we no longer even think about what it would be like if they were different. Don’t take any assumptions for granted, and stop subconsciously assuming what is and isn’t possible.

And finally, don’t forget to get inspired.
Seek out friends, family, and peers who, like loved and empowered children, believe that anything’s possible and embrace the alternative. Some people are more receptive to new ideas than others. At the least, find someone whose first word isn’t always ‘no’.

Break out of your normal mold and schedule. How can you imagine something different and unique if you always do and see the exact same things? Change your route to work. Try a new restaurant instead of your neighborhood favorite. I know your schedule is hectic, but make time to read a new book or magazine, or watch an interesting film. Exposing yourself to new ideas and ways of thinking will jumpstart your own creativity.

Above all, allow your creative inner child to emerge to help bring your business to new heights.

What do you do to inspire your creativity?

Author’s Bio:
Stephen Key writes about licensing and small business at www.inventornotes.com. He is also author of One Simple Idea and One Simple Idea for Startups and Entrepreneurs. You can find Stephen on Twitter as @inventright ()

Thank you, Steven. Love your thoughts on inspiring creativity!

–Me “Liz” Strauss

Turn Procrastination into Business Building Ideas

You Know You’re Procrastinating When . . .

insideout logo

. . . cleaning the refrigerator takes on a new and miraculous sense of urgency with a heavenly glow.

Go ahead give in and do it, but don’t lose to procrastination. Turn that refrigerator chore into an exploration for ideas. Here are three things you might think about.

  • What is your customer experience of the products that you are tossing out? Can you use those experiences to seed an article for your blog?
  • Refrigerators are filled with products. How do the companies who make those products promote them? Can you rethink any of their ideas into ways to promote your business or your blog?
  • Is there a brand in there you are attached to? What do you value about that brand? Can you put those thoughts and feelings into words? How can you use that brand value you feel to strengthen your personal brand and the experience people have when they meet you?

Procrastination just became an idea session, and on top of that you’ve cleaned your refrigerator! That’s productivity where you could have been doing what I’ve done — standing in front of an open refrigerator door thinking about how the light goes on and off.

Bet you can think of more ideas to find inside of that Big Box. How about sharing some with us?

–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz on your business!!