Fueling imagination and small businessMy kids love to hear me read books or tell stories to them. I have to admit that I do get into it with all kinds of voices and accents. Usually it doesn’t take much for me to “hear” the voice of a character. However, the other night I got stuck. I couldn’t for the life of me find a good voice for a character in my daughter’s story book. My imagination had failed me!

What does imagination and running a small business have in common? Keeping your small business fresh and growing is a creative process. It takes imagination. As you look at trends and listen to your customers, you get information about what events or opportunities are just over the horizon. Coupling this information with a sense of wonder and experimentation is nothing new to someone with an entrepreneurial mind.

However, occasionally we experience a creative block and can’t think of what to do. It can feel like a big, gaping nothingness. Forcing ideas usually means  you come up with some very awful ideas (if you come up with anything at all). Before you get desperate, stop and make a different choice.

Maybe you’re tired or anxious about what is going on in your small business. Easy enough to do when there are challenges like losing your best customer, difficult economic conditions or boredom.  This can interfere with accessing your creativity. It’s time to fuel your imagination. So here are 11  ways to get that creativity chugging away again:

1. Read a book.

2. See a movie

3. Go outdoors for a walk

4. Exercise

5. Do something silly-make faces, funny sounds or dance like no one is watching

6. Watch a TED video about anything

7. Take a nap

8. Read a post from Lateral Action

9. Talk to someone from another country

10. Draw or sketch out what you would like to be different in your small business

11. Play a musical instrument with or without talent or lesson

The short and sweet of this process is it doesn’t matter what you choose. Break your pattern and you will break up the creative block. Your small business usually works because of your entrepreneurial mind. You are already used to a style of thinking that is searching for “something else.” When you let your mind wander down a different path, it allows you to inhabit a different world for a moment. In this moment, you become an explorer. What can you bring back with you that will get you geared up to rethink your products and services. This is all your imagination needs for fuel!

What are your favorite ways to fuel your imagination?