3 Simple Hacks For Having Seriously Good Ideas (And More Of Them)

Please excuse my clickbait-ish title. But I promise you, these are practical techniques to consider and use. Because most of us – for better or worse – are in the business of ideas. And coming up with new ideas daily, particularly good ones, is now the currency of modern business. And no AI, machine or algorithm can ever replace that.

Entrepreneurs and marketers have long understood the power of this approach. But in the current age of content marketing and the ever-growing need to stay nimble and resourceful – no matter what industry you're in – practicing and applying high-level creative thinking is a valuable skill. And a downright asset. 

But you don't wake up one day and become innovative. As all the greats tell us, it's more about the consistency of showing up and working hard – without necessarily the trying-hard bit...

Ok, enough small talk. Keen to kick off generating more good ideas pronto? 

Start with these 3 things:

1. Forget trying to be original. It's impossible. 

Seriously, who were they kidding?

Whatever your idea, there will always be some form of inherent comparison or bias or analysis paralysis that creeps in. And that's the way it is. Because completely "new" things – "original" things – don't exist. 

Oasis copied The Beatles. The Beatles copied Buddy Holly. Buddy Holly copied the coloured R&B radio stations he'd listen to late at night... you get the gist.

So if you're chasing that newest, shiniest nugget and striving to claim complete originality? Well, that's really a waste of your energy and a disservice to your creativity and goals.

Sure, be influenced. Have taste. Have opinions. Seek out what you like and don't like. Even borrow or steal elements from what appeals to you – but seriously – take the pressure off in pushing to declare that what you're creating has never been done before. 

It has. And that's ok. 

It just hasn't been done your way. With your slant. With your edge. And with – hopefully – your mark of brilliance. 

2. Don't simply create. Connect.

Something old + something else = something new

The late copywriting genius Eugene Schwartz said it best when he said – "A better word for creativity is connectivity." 

Essentially, "new" ideas are born when you combine multiple concepts together – when you make mashups out of things. 

And sure, it's not rocket science – but it does require some level of experimentation. And some skill in seeing how things can cross-pollinate or come to life in a completely new setting. And the knack for making those connections fit together, making it seem like it was always that way.

That's why staying curious and drawing inspiration from outside your immediate industry is so beneficial. 

Which brings us along to the next point...

3. Feed your brain. With substance. 

What could he be listening to?

Influence is everywhere. And the more you expose yourself to interesting stuff – people, experiences, culture, knowledge – the more connections your brain will begin to make.

And the more connections your brain makes, consciously or otherwise, the more ideas you'll have. 

More input = better output

So get curious. Read more books, blogs and articles. Go to galleries, see a theatre show – and not only what you usually watch on TV – change it up. 

This can also be as simple as asking more questions. Or better questions. Try to delve deeper when talking to people or even strike up conversations with strangers. 

Some creative types even force themselves to try new weekly hobbies to encourage new neural pathways. So get weird, think whacky. It's all in the name of having more ideas, and sometimes, all that extra-curricular stuff is even tax-deductible if it leads to *researching* an idea. Win-win. 

So eat up. It's all food for thought. Legitimately. 

A creative copywriter saying a big hello to you.