How do techies come up with such innovative ideas? Steve Jobs did it with the iPhone, and Elon Musk did it with Tesla. Reed Hastings did it with Netflix, Mark Zuckerberg with Facebook, and Elizabeth Holmes with Theranos. Every day we read about new companies addressing needs that never existed before.
I bet these innovators didn’t come up with their groundbreaking ideas during rock concerts or major league playoff games, or while they were checking email or social media messages. Creativity blossoms when we make time to think.
Whether you’re creating a new business or product, or you’re trying to determine how to grow sales and revenue, you need a quiet space for focused thought.
What creative thinkers do differently
In our always-connected, tech-driven world, it’s not easy to break away and get some alone time. But to see the big picture, we must take a step back and make the time to think. As business writer Paul B. Brown puts it:
“While it is undoubtedly true that superior execution is better than any great idea you can think of, you need new ideas if you are going to stay ahead of the competition. And it is awfully hard to come up with those ideas if you don’t have any time to think.”
Paul suggests creating “white space” in your life that can be filled with creative thought. How? He shares several tips in his enlightening posts on Forbes: “11 Ways to Create More Time to Think” and the follow-up article, “How to Create More Time to Think: Here Are Your Ideas.”
A few of my favorite suggestions:
Eat breakfast or lunch alone, with devices turned off.
Do a puzzle or play a game of Solitaire, and let your mind wander.
Build short breaks into your schedule. Go for a walk or find a quiet place to sit alone.
Combine creativity with cardio, and do your thinking at the gym.
Take a vacation or at least a long weekend.
Why sales leaders need time to think
I know it seems counterintuitive — scheduling time to be creative. But sales leaders need new ideas and fresh insights in order to disrupt the status-quo and overhaul systems that don’t drive revenue.
For example, by thinking creatively about how to grow sales, you might discover referral selling — the #1 way to outpace your competition, generate qualified leads, and get reps into C-suite meetings with their top prospects. It’s what you’re missing. You had your “aha” moment. Aren’t you glad you made time to think?
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