If you notice most of the big businesses today, they all started with an idea. They didn’t get it the first time, but they persevered to get it right. And getting it right means you have to have a lot of ideas all the time.
No matter how stupid it can be.
No matter how it sounds very “simple”.
No matter if it won’t work (you’ll never know!).
You have to start small, and think big.
So here are the ways on how you can be an idea generator:
Surround yourself with people that you like.
Or to put it bluntly, stay away from people that don’t matter.
I mean people that make you happy and good about yourself. It is time to burn bridges with people that just bring you down, you don’t deserve it. I have few friends that I treasure, and I don’t care how many they are. Be with people that you can share ideas with, and help each other grow.
You have to be “blank” sometimes
I know this is counter-intuitive. And this is different from being absent-minded. You would ask “Gerald, you ask me to generate ideas, and you want my mind to go blank? What’s the matter?”
I am asking you to clear your mind of things, even if it is only a few minutes a day.
Learn to let go when you have to. Listen intently to your body, calm your mind. In order to be so productive, we just don’t stop, but it is not worthwhile in the long run. Your best asset is your mind, nobody can take it from you.
Learn to relax
Related to being “blank”, we should spend time to just let go of all our inhibitions and just be quiet with ourselves. Learning how to relax also allows you to appreciate little things, those that you have taken for granted before. Putting our minds at ease makes it possible to tackle more important stuff.
Stop watching the news (or stop watching too much of it!)
Again, another take on being a know-it-all. I am telling you, you don’t need to know it all , and reading or watching too much sway our opinions and make ourselves biased.
I used to be so scared of looking like a naive in front of my friends, but I was wrong. People inherently want everybody to know what they know. So I let everybody read, and I ask them what is new today. It is not that I don’t care; I just want to make good use of my time.
You might think that watching the news and being informed gives you ideas. But take note that more often than not, those are misinformed ideas. Learn to think for yourself.
If you want to be an idea generator you have to take note of what you’re thinking. If you want to be good at something you have to be aware of how you came up with that idea. Being an idea generator takes practice, and in order to practice well, you have to be deliberate. How? This brings us to the next idea.
Take a notepad with you all the time
Our brains suffer from lapses, and what we remember is not 100% accurate. So take a small notepad with you (like a waiter!) and be ready to write away. Or if it doesn’t work, maybe a simple note taking app in your phone will do. Anything that would let you record it. At the end of the day, you look at what you have written down. You’ll be amazed at the wealth of ideas you have there! And who knows one of them will be your money machine?
As much as possible, lessen your choices/ living a minimalist lifestyle
We have limited decision-making power, and like money it is a limited resource. Overwhelming yourself with so many unimportant choices will only strain your decision making, and thus you would be less able to articulate ideas. Make your brain space only for important decisions, like investments and money making strategies.
Think about the times when you spent five minutes just to choose a restaurant, or something to wear, or even what kind of coffee to drink! Choices strain our minds and it is best to lessen our choices so we can devote our minds to generating more ideas everyday.
Chat with entrepreneurs, salespeople, to see what they think. Every time you are in a new place, see how you can improve it. Make your inquisitive mind a way to give value to people. You’ll never know what it will bring you, but for sure, you can never go wrong with brainstorming ideas for others. Ask questions, and if you don’t understand, ask even more. You don’t need to think deep; just allow your free mind to wander.
This tip is kind of contradictory of not caring about what is happening in the news. But it is a kind of curiosity with the environment around you, kind of like getting first hand information.
Learn a totally unrelated skill
Our brains need exercise as well, and if we are always doing what we are doing, it develops some sort of “routine” that just can’t be changed. Think of it as when you are already accustomed to your certain routine at work, and even though changing it will make it better, you just decided to stick with it, well because our minds and bodies are already comfortable with it.
Another way to get around this is to ask yourself, what were the things you were interested in when you were a kid? List them down and find ways on how you can do it. But remember that your mind is both your greatest friend and your greatest enemy.
Just like what I mentioned, learning a totally unrelated skill makes us all feel uncomfortable. And the same thing happens when we are still learning the ropes of making money online. We are not sure, so afraid, and wary that we might be ripped-off. We are all just lazy human beings, but take note that great entrepreneurs haven’t had an easy life when they are just starting. They are totally uncomfortable.
Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Because that is the time where growth comes from. And having this growth mindset will propel you to strive, learn, and ultimately succeed.
Don’t brag, because the goal is not to be right, but to be less wrong. I just recently read about Elon Musk and his more than a skyscraper goal on “backing up” humanity. He has this superior knack of telling things he doesn’t know and being very open to ideas. The goal of learning and how to have great ideas is to not judge yourself.
You don’t have to be right all the time to lessen your risk of failing.
I hope these things I have shared with you bring a realization of how you approach idea generation, especially when it comes to starting an online business. The takeaway is we are given a wealth of information, but it all comes down to choosing how to generate the best ones.
How about you? How do you generate ideas? Let me know!