When starting a business from scratch, most people adopt an existing business model. It’s far easier than figuring out how to build a brand from scratch.  While, of course, it’s a proven way to create a successful business, it’s not the only way. 

Another idea, a road less traveled, is to come up with an original idea. Once you’ve found it, build a business around it. 

How to Think Creatively

Here are three tips on how to become a creative business thinker:

Tip #1: Tune in and Turn On

New ideas float into your mind when you calm down. This occurs because you access slower, more creative brainwaves. In essence, the lower the volume of your thoughts, the more signal, and the less noise. 

You can achieve this through meditation. And, yes, there’s an app for that. Headspace, an app underwritten by The Chernin Group (TCG), provides guided meditation courses.

Tip #2: Nourish Your Creative Streak

First, make it a habit to expose yourself to new ideas. Notice a problem in the marketplace that frustrates consumers. Research related ideas to come up with creative ideas. 

Next, get good at recording ideas. Capture ideas you learn and those that wake you up in the small hours of the morning. Once you have an idea, elaborate on it. Draw it out. Journal on it. Discuss it with your friends. 

Finally, give yourself space and time to be creative. Be willing to do nothing for long stretches of time. Of course, this is difficult in the modern world…distractions abound everywhere.

Tip #3: Pick up Clues From Steve Jobs

The story of Steve Jobs illustrates the life of an innovative thinker.

Steve Jobs noticed many problems with mobile phones that vexed users. For instance, he pushed his team of developers to come up with a better mobile phone. His goal was to put the Internet in people’s pockets. 

After he unveiled the iPhone as the keynote speaker at the Macworld Conference & Expo in Moscone West in San Francisco, it changed the world. He explained to a captivated audience how this new mobile phone was like an iPod– but it had a wider screen and touch controls. 

He called the iPhone  a “breakthrough Internet communications device.” This was not hyperbole. He transformed the world in many significant ways. The iPhone made high-quality photography a part of everyday life. It transformed the world of work. 

The Big Picture

Once you come up with one good idea, you’ll develop a knack for coming up with many ways to “make a dent in the universe.”

Jobs made it a habit to disrupt popular high tech trends. Although the iPhone changed telecommunications, it was only one invention in a string of Apple’s inventions. 

In 1984, Apple changed the computer industry with the Macintosh in 1984. In 2001, it disrupted the music industry with the iPod. Then, in 2007, it revolutionized the mobile phone industry.

While they were different inventions, the mindset behind them was similar. 

These changes occurred because of the way Jobs viewed the world. They were a result of his analytical thinking and open-mindedness. He had the courage to tackle unsolvable problems. 

Jobs could also structure clear goals, develop coherent plans, and establish demanding deadlines. He listened to his tech team as they struggled with big ideas, then asked the right questions at the right time to provoke a fresh line of speculation.

In a nutshell, Jobs looked for tech problems. Once he found one that aggravated users, he inventoried all the issues that made them problematic. Then he coaxed and cajoled smart people to find solutions. 

And, of course, Jobs was also an adept wordsmith. He knew how to tell a good story, simplify technology for the uninitiated, and capture the public imagination.

The Takeaway

Most entrepreneurs seek to enter markets, but a few choose to make them  —  because they realize that’s where most of the fun (and profits) come from. The key thing is to be open to creative thinking.

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