Exercise 1 – Revisit your childhood. What did you love to do?
Make a list of all the things you remember enjoying as a child. Would you enjoy that activity now?
Revisit some of the positive activities, foods and events of your childhood. You can also ask yourself these questions to help get you started: What can be translated and added into my life now? How can those past experiences shape my career choices now?
Exercise 2 – Make a “creativity board.”
Start by taking a large poster board, put the words “New Business” in the center and create a collage of images, sayings, articles, poems and other inspirations.
The idea behind this is that when you surround yourself with images of your intention — who you want to become or what you want to create — your awareness and passion will grow.
As your board evolves and becomes more focused, you will begin to recognize what is missing and imagine ways to fill the blanks and realize your vision.
Exercise 3 – Make a list of people who are where you want to be.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Study people who have been successful in the area you want to pursue.
For example, during the recession, many people shied away from the real estate market because they thought it was a dead end. Levit believes that’s the perfect time to jump in — when most others are bailing out — because no matter the business, there are people who are successful in it. Study them, figure out how and why they are able to remain successful when everyone else is folding and then set up structures to emulate them.
If you want to be creative, create a rigorous and formal plan. It’s not the plan that is creative; it’s the process that you go through that opens up so many possibilities.
Exercise 4 – Start doing what you love, even without a business plan
A lot of people wait until they have an extensive business plan written down, along with angel investors wanting to throw cash at them — and their ideas never see the light of day. Just do what you enjoy — even if you haven’t yet figured out how to monetize it.
Test what it might be like to work in an area you’re passionate about, build your business network and ask for feedback that will help you develop and refine a business plan.
It’s a way to not only show the value you would bring, but you can also get testimonials that will help launch your business when you’re ready to make it official.
Exercise 5 – Take a break from business thinking.
While it might feel uncomfortable to step outside of business mode, the mind sometimes needs a rest from such bottom-line thinking. Maybe for you, it will be creative writing, painting, running or even gardening.
After you take a mental vacation indulging in something you’re passionate about, come back to a journal and writing down any business ideas that come to mind.
You’ll be amazed at how refreshed your ideas are. Looking at beautiful things – art and nature – creates connections that we often neglect to notice. Notice them and capture them in your writing.