Anyone who knows me knows, I LOVE brainstorming cool business ideas.
And with next week’s informational webinar on How to Get Paid to Brainstorm fast approaching, I’m even more obsessed than normal with the topic.
In fact, as soon as the webinar hit 200 sign ups, I knew I had to make July unofficial Business Idea Brainstorming Month!
So in celebration of both that – and Independence Day here in the US – I figure it’s the perfect time to gather with friends and family to help you gain your own independence from job jail!
The Power of Brainstorming and Why Two Minds (Or Three or Ten!) Are Better Than One
The whole concept of brainstorming has been around for so long, it may just seem like common sense.
In fact, the notion of gathering people together to encourage them to come up with wild and crazy ideas was actually invented by an advertising executive back in the 1950s!
Fortunately, today brainstorming is used everywhere as a powerful solution finding tool for groups and individuals.
And for anyone seeking the perfect business idea, brainstorming definitely has benefits. That’s because brainstorming:
- leverages the brainpower of every participant, each bringing their own unique experiences to the group
- shakes up our accustomed ways of thinking and clears the way for new ideas that otherwise might never see the light of day
- allows group members to shed their usual inhibitions, communicate freely, and generate off-the-wall, innovative ideas
Added bonus: Researchers find that fast and varied thinking causes people to experience elevated mood and energy levels.
In plain English: Brainstorming actually makes you happy too!
10 Ways to Have Productive – and Fun – Business Idea Brainstorming Session
1) Appoint a facilitator. As fun as brainstorming can be… some people can get pretty excited or (defensive) about their business ideas.
This first tip is optional. But still it never hurts to have a neutral facilitator whose job is to keep the idea generation moving and on topic.
2) Establish a time frame and stick to it. People can only stay focused for so long, so limit sessions to no more than an hour. Remember, shorter is better!
3) Begin with a specific outcome in mind. Instead of trying to find answers to the question: “How can I make a living without a job-job?” focus on a specific outcome like, “How can I turn my passion for [fill in the blank] into income?” Doing so will save time, keep people focused, and yield more useful ideas.
4) Set an idea target. I once participated in a brainstorming exercise where one group was told to list as many birds as they could. The other group was instructed to list 30 birds. The group without a target stopped at around 18. But the group who was given a numerical target met and exceeded their goal.
The lesson for aspiring escape artists: Be even more specific by asking the group to come up with 20 ways you could paid to write, make art, serve others, or whatever your passion.
5) Combine group and individual brainstorming: Studies have shown that combining the two is far more effective at generating ideas than group brainstorming alone.
That’s because allowing time for people to think and learn about the topic on their own before the session begins produces better results.
6) One person speaks at a time. When you have a great idea it can be hard to contain yourself.
But when people talk over each other, a great idea can get missed! So breath and remember that everyone will get their turn to talk.
7) No judgments! Okay so maybe you’re pretty confident you’re not going to be invited to be a pitcher in the major leagues. So what? The whole idea of brainstorming is to make people feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, no matter how weird or unlikely.
The more accepting the group, the better the ideas will flow. Too much judgment and analysis at this stage kills creativity.
8) Encourage off-the-wall ideas. Those crazy ideas are where creative quantum leaps come from. They’re the true expression of where our imaginations take us before we start nitpicking.
And big ideas that seem impossible at first may lead eventually to revolutionary new thoughts.
9) Build on other people’s ideas. Be positive and encouraging. Say “Yes, and…” not “Yes, but…”
So instead of “Yes, but you’ll need a lot of money to open a B&B…” or “Yes, but you don’t have space for an art studio…” or “Yes, but don’t have any coaching experience…”
You want to say, “Yes, and I’m sure we can figure out a way to fund your dream… find a space… help you gain experience.”
10) Quantity over quality. Nobel Prize winning scientist and humanitarian Linus Pauling got it right when he said, “The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.”-
The whole point of brainstorming is to generate as many new ideas as possible and crank them out quickly. You can sort them out at the end of the session and build on the best ones.
And if in the process of your brainstorming session you discover you…
- love thinking outside the job box
- are constantly coming up with neat business ideas
- are forever turning other people on to cool resources…
Then I encourage you to join me and hundreds of your fellow “idea people” from around the globe to discover how you too can get paid to do what comes naturally!
To learn more and register for this free webinar go to Paid to Brainstorm.