If they give you lined paper, write the other way. — William Carlos Williams, American poet
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. — Rita Mae Brown
You’ve got to place a bet everyday, otherwise you might be walking around lucky and not know it. – Character played by Richard Dreyfus in the movie “Let It Ride “
Sometimes the best next step is doing the unexpected. Sometimes we need to do something other than what we’ve done before. Sometimes we need to bet on the alternative. What are some bets we can place or ways we can introduce the unexpected into our business? Here are 5 ideas.
1. Reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a year. Don’t talk business. Just reconnect.
2. Mail a love letter to your significant other or best friend – with nice stationery, hand-written, including the specific things you love about this person but don’t often say aloud
3. If you were granted an extra two hours today but couldn’t spend it on your business, where would you spend it? Now schedule this in the next two weeks.
4. You know how you’ve always wanted to read The Great Gatsby or revisit the Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody (that’s right, Angela, I’m calling you out from our cookie break last week!). Pick one of these items and start doing it, even imperfectly.
5. Take a dance class. Try Laughing Yoga. Or do something else physical, especially if you’re mostly sedentary. If you’re already active, sing a song. Even imperfectly.
You’ll notice that none of my ideas are actually business-related – no brainstorming parties, no Six Thinking Hats exercise. I assume that as the driven entrepreneurs we are, we’re already doing a lot of “business” stuff. That’s writing on the line. That’s the stuff we do over and over. That’s the bet we’ve already placed. You can still do that stuff, but will the big breakthrough really come from just doing more of the same?
Instead, experiment with the non-business – particularly the easily overlooked, but inexpensive ways to practice doing the unexpected. Exercising this muscle will spill over into ideas for your business, actions you take in your business, and your feelings for your business. In the meantime, you won’t have to implement any structural changes or make any investments. You’re just practicing the unexpected.
Let me know what other unexpected ideas you come up with and what happened when you tried to incorporate one or more of these into your week!
This post originally appears in my entrepreneurship blog on Savor the Success.