At the end of the presentations, the audience members cast their ballots, and I was thrilled when my friend Charlie McDermott with StandOUT Video was announced as the winner. Charlie has developed an ingenious way to use video on websites to grab the attention of visitors. He stars in a web TV show that he writes and produces, and he applies dozens of other non-traditional approaches to promote his business. He’s done a phenomenal job of growing his company’s revenues by thinking outside the box.
Now you may be saying, “Yeah, well, Charlie is a unique case.” But you’d be wrong.
I was in a mastermind group with Charlie for two years, and I saw first-hand how he started his business from nothing. He simply took action on the ideas he got, and he learned from his successes and his failures.
The truth is, each one of us has the ability to come up with creative solutions. It’s just that most of us don’t tap into this potential as often as we could. Why is that?
For one thing, it’s easy to get stuck in a specific way of thinking and rely on what’s worked for you in the past. After all, it’s familiar. You don’t have to change your patterns or learn something new. Besides, if you do experiment with something different, there’s a chance you’ll make mistakes and end up with nothing useful to show for it. Along the way, you could get a lot of criticism and questions from others. So it’s perfectly natural to feel uncomfortable when you think about moving into uncharted territory.
If you’re facing a challenge and need a new solution, a good first step is to relax and take time to picture new possibilities and your ideal outcome. When you allow yourself the freedom to imagine something better, you’ll be surprised at the ideas that come to you. Focusing on the “doing” of things can cause you to neglect scheduling time for visualization, but it’s actually one of the most important daily practices you can establish.
Be sure to get input and ideas from people who don’t think like you do. Read magazines or books outside your field. Study elements of websites and videos that draw lots of visitors. Get involved in a mastermind group. You’ll discover different perspectives that stimulate your thinking and help you come up with solutions you wouldn’t have developed otherwise.
And don’t judge or compare yourself to others. Creativity takes different forms. You have the ability to bring fresh ideas to almost anything you do, and your approach may not look the same as someone else’s. Trust yourself and trust the process.
Burn into your mind the truth embedded in this wisdom from Napoleon Hill’s classic book, Think and Grow Rich:
“What the mind of man can conceive and believe,
it can achieve.”