Being an entrepreneur is as much about creativity as it is about business acumen. It’s about coming up with great ideas to help people solve problems and to improve their lives. Of course, everyone goes through times when they can’t seem to think of anything worthwhile for a business idea or project. Trust me, I’ve been there! At times, it’s enough to make you think, “I might as well just stick with the 9:00 to 5:00.” But don’t go there. Everybody gets in a rut sometimes, but successful entrepreneurs know how to dig themselves out.
TAKE A WALK OR GO FOR A RUN
First, if you’re sitting at your desk, banging your head against a problem and going nowhere, you might need to stop. I’m not saying that you should quit working on a new idea or the solution for a problem for your business, but you might not find that solution if you keep doing the same thing over and over again.
Sometimes focusing on the problem blocks you from seeing the solution, and you just need to walk away for a while. Exercise is one of the best ways to clear your mind, but you don’t have to be a runner or a workout junkie to take advantage of it. If you find yourself in this situation and you love working out, by all means, hit the gym or go for a run! If you aren’t a workout fiend, just stand up, stretch, and take a walk. Plug in your earbuds and play some music while you get some fresh air. You might have that “Aha!” moment before you even get back to your desk.
WORK ON SOMETHING ELSE FOR A WHILE
A lot of the time, creative ruts happen when you have your nose too close to the page. Do you have other work you could do that’ll take some of the stress off and help you feel productive? Just feeling like you’ve accomplished something can help you break free of your rut.
DON’T EDIT YOUR BRAINSTORMING SESSIONS
If you’re trying to come up with a cool idea for a business or you’re working on a solution for a problem with your brand, you might just need to sit down for a good old-fashioned brainstorming session. I love using whiteboards and blackboards for this because I have to stand up and get moving while I jot down ideas; it really helps get the blood pumping and the ideas flowing.
If you don’t have a whiteboard, blackboard, or easel, just sit down with a piece of paper and a pen. Whichever method you use, I want you to do one thing: stop editing yourself when you brainstorm new ideas. Seriously, there is no bad idea in a brainstorming session, and getting even the “stupid” ideas out on paper (or on a board) might trigger a better idea. The more you let the thoughts flow, the more likely it is that creative ideas will come. Let it all out and then get your editing pen out when you’re done.
Most of all, be patient with yourself. If you work consistently and give yourself time, you’ll come up with a groundbreaking idea or a great solution to the problem you’ve been working on. Just give yourself some space, without quitting, and you’ll get there faster than you think.