When we hear “creativity,” we usually think of artists, musicians, and big thinkers like Albert Einstein or inventors like Nikola Tesla. Creativity and business might not seem like they go together, but they absolutely do.
If you want to come up with a fantastic business idea, make that idea into a great product, and sell it successfully, you need to get creative.
In this blog, we’re going to cover some simple but effective tricks to boost your creative thinking.
How brainstorming sparks ideas and passions
Don’t be scared of those empty pages that stare at you when you’re starting a new project. Even famous writers, artists, and business leaders sometimes feel nervous about them. But there’s a technique called brainstorming that can help you beat that fear.
Some great people, like Thomas Edison, used brainstorming to kickstart their biggest ideas. Edison wrote down more than 100 ideas in one of his notebooks just to find the perfect one for his inventions, like the electric light bulb.
Brainstorming is like a secret weapon because it shuts down that little voice inside your head that says, “That’s a dumb idea.” When you brainstorm, you let your playful and imaginative side take over. That helps you see new possibilities you might not notice otherwise.
Brainstorming can also help you find what you’re really passionate about. If you brainstorm for a while, you might notice that some of your ideas connect to deeper interests. This can help you figure out what you love and want to explore more.
Surprisingly, you don’t have to be an expert in something to come up with fresh ideas. Sometimes, knowing too much about a topic can make it hard to see new opportunities. So, even if you’re not an expert, you can still be an amazing problem-solver.
Ready to give brainstorming a shot? Just grab some paper and jot down 30 to 50 ideas. It’s like magic for getting your creativity flowing and finding your passions.
Turning everyday problems into big solutions
Everyday problems can inspire smart solutions that help lots of people.
For example, when Mark Zuckerberg was a teenager, he had trouble with dating. So he made Facebook to try to solve his problem. Even though it didn’t directly fix his dating life, it made him super rich. This shows that inventions often start as ways to solve personal or big problems. To make your own solutions, you need to find problems that are worth solving.
The world has plenty of problems, but finding the right one to work on can be hard. Start by noticing everyday problems that bother you. Like if you often wake up with a dry mouth, feel bad after eating too many sweets, or find it tough to carry heavy bags at the airport. These are everyday problems that could give you great ideas for solutions.
You can also become better at solving problems by always asking, “What’s the problem?” This will help you pay attention to things that bug you in your life, and those could turn into solutions.
Even though everyday problems might seem small, solving them can be tough. It often involves tricky technical stuff. But when you do it right, you can make a lot of money and help people all around the world.
Thinking outside the box
Think about this: How can we use existing technology in new and creative ways to come up with amazing ideas? Is it better to come up with a completely new idea, or can we borrow pieces from other people’s ideas to make something groundbreaking? Surprisingly, the second option can also lead to amazing innovations!
Let’s consider smartphones as an example. Many inventors have created fantastic apps for them. You don’t need to be afraid to use other people’s great ideas as a starting point for your own.
The key is to find technology that inspires you and think about how you can use its strengths in new ways. Take drones, for example. They were originally designed for military use. However, their ability to move from one place to another quickly and without obstacles could be a game-changer in emergencies. Drones could deliver life-saving medical supplies or help people in distress, like swimmers in trouble. The possibilities are endless when we think creatively about existing technology!
From childhood dreams to real-life inventions
Unlocking your creativity means bridging the gap between your inner child and your grown-up self. Remember how Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone idea sounded like a wild dream before it became real? Well, kids often have incredibly creative minds, and if we want to turn amazing ideas into reality, we should team up our childlike imagination with our adult logic.
Back in 1968, a scientist named George Land gave a NASA creativity test to 1,600 children. The results were surprising. At age five, nearly all of them showed top-level creativity. But as they grew older, only a few kept that creative spark. By age 15, just 12 percent had it, similar to most adults.
So, how can we rekindle our five-year-old creative brains? It starts with wishing. What did you wish for as a kid? Flying, teleporting, or other fantastical ideas? Believe it or not, many childhood dreams have turned into real inventions, like airplanes and virtual reality. These ideas didn’t come to life by magic; they took lots of smart thinking.
Once you’ve pinpointed your childhood wishes, bring your grown-up mind into action. Find ways to make those dreams real, even if they seem crazy. Keep brainstorming! Sometimes, the solution is right in front of you.
How the ‘And’ technique sparks innovation
Let’s break down the idea of using the “and” technique to generate new ideas quickly. Imagine trying to create something brand new in less than half a minute – sounds impossible, right? Well, there’s a simple trick called the “and” technique that can make it possible.
Back in 2015, an author helped librarians at the Chicago Public Library boost their creativity. He gave them a challenge: think up a completely new idea in just 30 seconds. To make it easier, he introduced them to the “and” technique, and it worked like magic. Each librarian came up with something unique.
So, what’s this “and” technique all about? It’s about mixing two words that don’t seem to have anything in common. The librarians were given cards with different words on them, like nouns (things) or adjectives (descriptions). They had to pick two cards and then create a new invention by combining those words.
This led to some brilliant ideas like “illuminated sock,” which is a sock that glows in the dark, making it easier to find in the early morning or a fashion statement for a Saturday night out.
Now, how can you use this technique, especially if you already have an idea in mind? Let’s say you want to start a flower business. Combining “fish” and “film” won’t help much. Instead, you can tweak the technique by keeping one word fixed, like “flowers,” and combining it with lots of other words. For instance, you might put together “flowers” and “celebrities.”
What could that lead to? Well, think about inviting a famous person to design a special bouquet with you. Just like when Kay Jewelers asked actress Jane Seymour to create a pendant. You could have a celebrity partner with you to make a unique bouquet that can boost your business.
The internet’s role in creative idea generation
The internet is more than just a time-waster; it’s a valuable resource for staying updated on current trends. Websites and blogs constantly provide free information on everything from fashion to news, helping you stay in the know.
Once you have this information, you can use it to spark creative ideas. Start by asking six simple questions: who, what, when, where, why, and how. For example, if you’re interested in mindfulness training in schools:
- Who else might need mindfulness training? Maybe doctors.
- What kind of mindfulness training could work? Relaxation exercises.
- When, where, and why would you teach mindfulness? Perhaps at weddings to promote compassion.
Finally, consider how this trend can become a viable business, thinking about funding, scientific evidence, and its appeal to the public. These questions can help you outline a plan for a new business venture. So, the internet isn’t just for leisure – it’s a valuable tool for finding and using trends to your advantage.
Discover what makes your product special
Discovering what sets your product apart can be as simple as using the billboarding technique. Think about Bounty Paper Towels’ memorable slogan, “Bounty – the quicker picker upper.” Even if you haven’t heard it before, you can appreciate how catchy it is. Such slogans can help you pinpoint what makes your product special, and billboarding is a handy method for this.
Billboarding involves three straightforward steps. Firstly, clarify your idea and the problem it solves for customers in their daily lives. Don’t forget to come up with an attention-grabbing name for your product.
Secondly, make a list of all the benefits your product offers. What can it do for your customers? Lastly, choose the most powerful benefit your product provides, and turn it into a memorable phrase to sell to your customers.
By the end of this process, you’ll have not only a catchy name but also a slogan that encapsulates what makes your product unique.
In conclusion, facing blank pages doesn’t need to be intimidating. By employing helpful strategies such as brainstorming, using the “and” technique, and billboarding, you can easily tap into your creative side and populate that empty page with numerous innovative ideas for your new business venture.
Inspired by a book “21 Days to a Big Idea”; Bryan M. Mattimore”