Is it possible to become an idea machine?

I was recently elected to the Pure Barre Franchise Advisory Board and with that, I now represent the interest of all the owners in a specific region of the country.  This means I’m also responsible for keeping them up-to-date with important franchise information and helping them to solve problems should they need assistance.  My experience in politics working on Capitol Hill is finally paying off!  Kidding, but kind of not.

In addition, this leadership role has given me the opportunity to help shape some of the bigger decisions being made at the corporate level.  In fact, we have a meeting next week and I’ll need to present several “big ideas” to the group on where we should be going as a brand.  It got me thinking, is it possible to train yourself to always think big?  Is it possible to just become an idea machine?

There seems to be a misperception that your brain can somehow become blocked and you then become incapable of generating creative thoughts—some might call it writer’s block.  Maybe this affliction is real.  Maybe it’s bogus.  But I can report that after writing multiple posts each week and a book over the last eight months, I can’t say that I’ve ever experienced it.  And at the studios, anytime I need to come up with some new ideas, they just flow—mostly when I’m driving.  Man, I can get some good ideas when I’m in the car.  Sure, sometimes I just don’t feel like writing, but that’s not the same thing as not be able to write due to writer’s block.  So, what am I doing that seems to be generating all these big ideas?

I get organized

If I’m going to write something be it long or short, I always start by writing an outline.  At the bare minimum, I’ll write out 1 or 2 sentences that encapsulate what I’m trying to get across to the reader.  But here’s the important part … I do this days or at a minimum 1 day before I actually start writing.  Then by the time I sit down to actually write, I’ve been thinking about how I plan to start and what I’m going to type in advance.  This technique also works really well when you have a presentation, have to teach a class, or have a really over-scheduled day.  If you sit down the night before, plan it all out, something amazing happens.  It’s almost as if your mind works out all the things you need to say or do while you sleep.  Give it a try—I can’t wait to hear how it goes for you.

I make lists

This is a recent addition to my idea generation techniques and I totally stole it from James Altucher.  Well, I mean, I read his book The Power of NO: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance, and Happiness and he suggested that everyone make a list of 10 big ideas every single day.  If you can’t think of 10, think of 20, he says.  Good advice.  If you commit to thinking creatively every day, you’ll never be without an idea to get you where you want to be.  Of course, of your 10 ideas, some won’t be that awesome after you really think them through.  But … there could be that 1 idea that is exactly what you need!  In a previous post, I talked a little about how our events have become stale and a little boring.  Making these lists has been very helpful as I seek to change all of the events and programs we’ve been doing at the studios and try and come up with some new and exciting ideas.

It seems that the ability to freely think creatively each and every day simply involves thinking ahead either by making an outline and getting organized or by actively creating lists each day of big ideas.  It’s all in the preparation.  If you make a habit of preparing, your mind will never run into roadblocks and you’ll always have big ideas right in front of you.

Speaking of which—I’ve been reading an amazing book about creativity and business, so I’ll tell you about that next week as well as why it’s important to step away from my business and let my employees do more.  And finally, I’ll round it out on Friday sharing my favorite hair ties—super important.  By the way, where do they all go?  They’re always disappearing!

Until then, stay on your toes!

The Power of NO: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance, and Happiness, James Altucher:  I sped through this book in a few days.  Since I tend to over-commit or over-schedule myself, so I was hoping to learn a lot from the pages of this book.  And … it didn’t disappoint.  I have James Altucher’s other books on my reading list now.  The big problem with refusing to say “No” to things you don’t have time for or don’t want to do, is that they take a huge toll on the remaining time for the things you need and like to do.  The lesson here is the more you say “No,” the more you can say “Yes.”

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