I wasn’t really planning on writing another post about the 10 foot circle concept but then I got to thinking.
Have you ever seen or heard of some great idea or method and clapped your hand to your forehead and groaned, “Why the heck didn’t I think of that?” I can just about guarantee that you have. And more than once, too. Everyone has at some point in their lives. So you are no pilgrim, my friend. We have all recognized a great idea for its value and for it’s innovative method or concept. and And we’ve definitely wished that we’d thought of it first. The simple truth is, you will have great ideas of your own. Pretty much every day. we just need to capture them somehow. More importantly, you will see things that you can change and improve. All you have to do is think outside of the box you’ve been living in.
Think about the last book or magazine you have read. The last movie or television program you watched. What would you have done differently? What different result would you have achieved? That’s all the thinking outside of your own personal box or 10 foot circle you need. Or think about what you might need to do to some simple tool to make it easier to use? If you were a “leftie” like I am. Or if you or someone you know has some kind of physical condition that makes some things hard to do?
What does outside-the-box thinking mean?
We live inside our own private little box at least 99% of the time. It’s where we know the rules. Our habits have been set in stone. We never think about changing them. Our habits, beliefs and limitations keep us safe and secure. Or so we think. Inside our personal box is safe because it’s what we know. We can predict with a high level of certainty, the potential success of any thought or action that takes place inside the box. But, let’s be really honest here. It gets to be pretty boring after a while. We start to need to do something different.
Outside the box, it’s an “anything goes” world. There are rules but we have no idea what they are. There are no limiting beliefs and no preconceptions. Unless we decide to put them in place. It’s totally and wonderfully chaotic. Not to mention often real scary for us folks who have been living in our own little boxes all this time. Yet when we allow our thoughts to travel to where there are no rules or guidelines, where anything is possible, the world becomes our oyster. This is where true innovation happens. Creativity inspires us and growth happens.
This was all impossible to even consider not all that long ago. So what has changed to make it possible for us?
The internet was definitely one of the first things to allow is to leap outside of our boxes. Someone took the concept of linking computers together and now look what’s happened. Once we lined up each week to get our pay in cash. Now it arrives in our bank account with no help from us. From a very wobbly start, the Internet can now pretty much lead us wherever we need to go. The world is all of a sudden a pretty small place. Where would you be today without the internet?
Airplanes wouldn’t exist either. When you think about what those Wright Brothers conceived, it is both mind-boggling and inspiring. At the time the only things that flew were balloons, birds and kites. Who could imagine that you could put thousands of pounds of shiny metal and fuel into the air and keep it up there for hours? Who would have thought we could get into one of those airplanes in one country and get out of it a few hours later and be in a totally different country?
What might outside-the-box thinking mean for your business?
Innovation is really the only way to really grow a business. Innovation doesn’t mean you have to create the next life-changing invention. Outside-the-box thinking only means pondering the possibilities. What might happen, if…? What could be when…?, No restrictions allowed. Just free-wheeling thoughts. Outside-the-box thinking might be about:
A new perspective on how to perform a task
A new way to market or sell an opportunity
Forging a new partnership or strategic alliance
And of course creating a brand new product or service
When you allow yourself to think outside the box, your business opportunities really take off.
How does one even begin to think outside the box?
This could be the hard part. Because it’s difficult to know where to start. One jumping off place is to identify problems. Then take 5 minutes to brainstorm solutions. Don’t allow any doubts to sneak in. Everything is possible. The more absurd the better. How would you make a ball fly to the moon? Make a game of it and try to come up with 50-100 potential solutions. The sillier the better. It’s out of silly ideas that breakthroughs often come. That’s how the Wright brothers worked out how to fly.This will challenge you to get creative with your answers. Many of them will be downright ridiculous. Let them. You can always discard the unworkable. And be left with the “well I wonder? ” options. Don’t forget though, to step back and take a look at your solutions and examine your assumptions. Perhaps, by combining or comparing the impossible, and the outlandish, with why you believe they’re ridiculous, you just may come up with a new and innovative way of doing things.
Outside-the-box thinking can be an invigorating and motivating practice. Do it often. Add it to your regular planning sessions and watch the inspiring and creative ideas flow.
Tell us about your results when you took the plunge and thought outside of your box or 10 foot circle. How did it make you feel?