Where the best ideas come from

Your mileage may vary, but I’ve found that the best business ideas come disproportionately from two activities; reading (long form) and on your way into, and out of sleep.

I specify long-form reading because it gives your brain a chance to shake loose the relatively narrow focus of  your daily activities. Reading blogs, tweets, articles, etc. is great for education, but to really get the creative wheels turning, they don’t offer enough of a departure from whatever else is going on.

Even if the topic is only loosely related to my business goals, I find I almost walk away with a page or two of good (fresh) ideas after reading through a full book. I also find that the good ideas really start forming after a few chapters - I’ll often go back and re-read the first few once I’m in the right mindset.

I think this is mostly because you’ve spent enough time in the material to become separated from whatever else is going on - a reset of sorts - and real innovation comes from forgetting constraints.

The same goes for sleep. As you drift off or begin to wake up, your subconscious is still primarily in charge, and it doesn’t know about all of the boundaries that we typically operate within.

Have you found the same? Give it a try. Eventually I’ll add a comments section to this blog so you can tell me :)