Set yourself a daily “just one idea” challenge and transform your business in every way.
I’ve been fascinated by small business and entrepreneurialism for decades. The ingenuity, the creativity and the passion of people never ceases to amaze me. I’ve spent a lot of time learning from thousands of smart people all over the world and in many ways, that’s one of the secrets of my success.
I’m incredibly curious about the ideas that people come up with for businesses. For example there is a mobile DNA testing business in New York with the sensational name “Who’s your Daddy?”. To me this is kind of crazy, but also wonderfully inspiring. I don’t just look for the quirky, or unique, I look for businesses that I can learn from.
Every day there are thousands upon thousands of new businesses starting up all over the planet. I invest time every single day to read about them, to determine what it is they are doing that is innovative, what trends are they catering to and most importantly, what can I learn and apply to my business.
Running a small business can be a very introspective and isolated existence. We are ridiculously busy, we are overwhelmed on every front, we have way too much information to manage and we have many decisions to make, every singe day. Often things like marketing and even planning for the future tend to slip through the cracks, yet if we don’t do them, we know the consequences.
Spending just a few minutes a day visiting some of the more well known entrepreneurial websites including inc.com, TED, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Flying Solo, Success and Smallville can reward you with a pile of ideas that can be applied to your business.
Now these ideas might be about marketing, managing yourself and your team, productivity, selling, social media, communications - anything. My point is very simple, we need to be curious about what other businesses are doing and we need to invest time in learning about other businesses on a daily basis.
For some people this will feel a little daunting, after all who has the time? I totally understand and I certainly went through the same conflicting thought process many years back. So I changed my thinking and rather than chaining myself to my computer for a set period of time, forcing myself to learn as much as I could, I tried a different approach which took all of the pressure off me.
I decided that I would start each day looking for one really good idea. I had my list of sites that I would visit, and I would only do this for as long as it took me to find that one great idea that I could use, right here, right now. Some days it took me 30 seconds to find the idea, other days 30 minutes. But I always found something.
Over a year I recorded each and every idea, I implemented them into my business and my life and the results were astonishing. To the point where this simple daily act has really become a priority for me and it is in no way a chore. I look forward to it and in fact I love it.
Every single day I find someone doing something incredible, and I learn from them. Some days all I take away is inspiration (I say “all” tongue in cheek) especially on the days I need it. But I read something that takes me stop and think. For example this morning I read about a pizza place whose target market is deaf people - all of the staff know sign language and read lips and most are deaf or hearing impaired themselves.
It’s a big, bold world out there. As small business owners our greatest opportunity is to learn from others doing smart stuff in every corner of the world. Be curious, set yourself a daily “just one idea” challenge and start to introduce what you learn into your business and your life. I’m sure that just like me, you will see enormous benefits.
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About the contributor:
Andrew Griffiths is Australia’s leading Small Business author with 12 books published and currently sold in over 60 countries. He is widely acknowledged as one of the leading minds in the Small Business space. He is a regular columnist on Inc.com out of New York, a Small Business commentator for CBS, a Mentor in the highly acclaimed Key Person of Influence programme and much more. Touting his own unique style of street-smart wisdom and inspiration, Andrew really is one of a kind. Website: