Short and Easy Creative Business Tips
Today's tip is a fun and interesting one, it has been created to allow you to find inspiration that will help you to move your business forward and stay ahead! This is also a tip that can really help you to understand trend within creative business and to shape your innovative thought process. Remember to take part in the previous tips and tasks as you shape your creative business.
We become complacent in our thought process, whereas finding inspiration and ideally changing the way you think about thinking (yip, I just said that) will help you to form interesting and new business ideas, products as well as keep you ahead of competitors.
What is Innovation: The process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value or for which customers will pay. (Source)
This might sound very clinical and straight down the line, so let's explore it from a creative point of view. It can be quite a difficult process, to create unique thoughts and be innovative within your creation process. Innovation doesn't only refer to what we make, but also to how we make it. Innovation can be introduced into your systems and processes, as well as your actual products, services or designs. We are consistently bombarded by information and some of it can inspiration, but you need to filter through things and be inspired, but also unique. Goodness, that sounds like a task and a half!
Here are a few tips for cultivating innovation within your thought process and in-turn within your business:
Dedicate Time to Research: This doesn't mean that you need to sit with a text book, taking notes and trying to cram potentially useful things into your brain. Instead, it means you need to find forms of inspiration that will allow you to come up with new and innovative ideas. The key idea behind this research is finding different sources and relevant information. We often think that the internet is our only option, but you need to vary your exposure and have a well-rounded range of influences. This can range from books, magazines, trying a new radio station or chatting to your customers. Research is about learning, improving and growing.
Take Time Out: You might feel that in order to be innovative you need to be busy, looking at things, making notes and developing ideas, but taking a break or doing something different can inspire you too. As I mentioned we are consistently bombarded by information and stepping away from the internet, Twitter, even your desk and going for a quiet (technology free) walk can clear the clutter and get those thoughts going. Reading a book, meeting up with someone unusual or just stepping out and experiencing something can all lead to a new level of thinking. I can't stress enough how important it is to step away from the technology even just for 20 minutes, if that is all you can bear.
Find your Muse: Find the people that inspire you to do more and be more. It might be a blogger or fellow creative business owner, or an empowered woman, it might even be your mother or sister. It doesn't matter who it is or what they do, the main thing is that they inspire you. I have several people who inspire me in different things. Within my work I look towards fellow creatives, in life I look towards friends and family members. Sometimes it even goes as far as thinking about my relatives who survived captivity in the Anglo-Boer War. When I am struggling with something I think - this is nothing compared to their struggles. It keeps me focused and reminds me to stay strong no matter what! Find a variety of people who inspire you.
Keep an Ideas Journal: As ideas form we are often tempted to get going on them straight away, discarding our current to do's and responsibilities. By keeping a journal you can write them down, illustrate them or jot them out without the fear of that award winning idea getting lost. You won't necessarily pursue all your ideas, but ideas tend to create more ideas and once again it is about training your mind to become more innovative.
Set Time Aside: Take some time to follow-up on ideas or concepts. I love the idea of Heather Moore's 'Making Friday', as it allows her to come up with new products or to just to exercise her craft muscles. Find time to just create, draw or craft without the pressure of market preparation or deadlines.
Start your Ideas Journal and start incorporating some the above concepts into your business and life. I specifically want you to take some time to research, read some blogs of people who inspire you and get working on shaping an innovative thought process. It is something you can actively work on and over time you will really notice how your thoughts and ideas are growing.
My Reading List:
I enjoy reading these blogs to help me feel inspired:
DesignLoveFest: Bri's blog has handy tips, great layouts and she is an all round creative Wonder Woman. I strive to as creative and inspired as she is.
Decor8: Holly inspires me to be crafty and also how to run a well-rounded creative business. She writes from the heart and shares tips and inspiration.
Alt Summit: I always harp on about my dream of attending the summit. Their blog is a treasure trove of handy facts and keeps me focused on my dream.
I also like looking at magazines, the topics they share and their layouts as those can inspire blog content and blog post designs.
I love listening to new things especially TEDTalks, which is widely used, Monocle 24 Radio and interesting music. I also daydream or think of the future of my business as this helps me to come up with ideas I can put in motion now in order to make those dream a reality. Just don't daydream too much and never actually do anything about it - make a start!
Off you go - get thinking and build your own innovation!
Before you dash off - here are some new workshop dates! The other thing you need to know is that I will be coming to Cape Town and Joburg in September and October to run the workshops there. I have also had a request to do the workshops in Pretoria. I am open to doing them wherever there is a need, but I need to know how many people would like to take part and then I can work out if it is possible. Email me to get added to the mailing list, so that you can be the first to know when bookings open, also let me know if you are interested in the beginners or intermediate workshop. You can also get in touch if you would like me to come to your town or city - let me know, let your friend's know too as it will depend on how many people would like me to visit and share the workshops.
Beginners Creative Workshop: 8 June
Intermediate Creative Business Workshop: 22 June
Read more here or book now.