How Do You Think Big In Business?

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We all start off the same way – with big dreams and buckets of ambition. Anyone who has ever had the vision and the drive to start up their own business and grow it into a fully-functional operation is not someone who is short of vision. But pretty sppm, somewhere along the line, you can lose that initial hunger. You wake up one day and there are endless unpaid client invoices to chase, that difficult conversation with an employee, the negotiation skills with a reluctant supplier, and before you know it, you’re so bogged down in the day to day administration that you’re losing sight of the original vision.

Experience has weighed you down, and become the factor that is stopping you from dreaming big. The good news is that you’ve done it once, so you can dare to dream again. Whether it’s your ambition to leave an indelible legacy like Steve Jobs, master your personal brand like Richard Branson, impact the physical world around you like Aubrey Ferro or change the lives of others, what you need to retain is your ability to think big. And yet all the mechanics of corporate life seem geared against this – compliance, politics, risk-aversion, the perfection myth – these are all strong components of modern corporate culture, and they are all diametrically opposed to maintaining vision. However, it isn’t impossible to retain your ability to think big while progressing in business, it just requires staying aware of obstacles, making proactive changes and staying true to your principles.

The Idea Generator

We define a big thinker as someone who comes up with sweeping ideas, the kind which reshape the possibilities of the landscape around them. However, these ‘eureka moments’ generally don’t happen spontaneously. In fact, you’ll find that most idea generators are quite systematic in their approach to it. They may schedule in time during their day just to think and process ideas, or they may set themselves a goal of coming up with one idea a day.

Marketing guru Seth Godin blogs one idea per day. The key is to accept that all these ideas don’t have to be world-changing and in fact, most will come to nothing. The process is more important than the output. Once you get the ball rolling and the process in place you are paving the way for the bigger ideas to happen. It’s also important not to wait until an idea is fully formed before you create some movement on it. You should have a workable concept, but it’s better to leave some wiggle room for things to develop as you share your idea with other people. At least twenty per cent of any concept needs to be collaborative. Accepting that perfection doesn’t exist and that it’s okay for an idea to have flaws that can be worked on is essential.

Blockers To The Big Idea

Most of us are conditioned into over-analysis, fear of failure, and self-criticism. Letting go of these is the crucial step in being able to think big. We must learn how to tackle procrastination, which is usually a fear of a less than perfect execution, as it stifles our creativity. Defensive thinking is entrenched in a lot of companies, and it can be damaging if it stops the progress of ideas. You should start multiple ideas running at once, instead of just focusing on one, but accept that all of those idea ls won’t necessarily make it to full development – and that’s the point. Some of them may spin off into other things, some will fall by the wayside – but that’s big thinking in action!

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