25 Feb 3 Ways to Add Imagination Back into Your Business
We’ve all heard the term “Imagineers.” They are the secret weapon of the Disney Empire. The people that dare to dream of what the next awe-inspiring form of family entertainment will be. They’re the ones we have to thank for Soarin’ Over California (if you’re on the west coast) or Animal Kingdom (if you live on the east coast).
Walt Disney said, “That’s the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up.”
He was right.
While we need our pragmatic people to do things like pay the water bill on time, we also need our dreamers. They show us how we can all benefit from a little more dreaming in our lives, families, and our businesses.
When “the gurus” tell you as a small business owner to have a 5-year plan and a 10-year plan, this is code for “do some dreaming.” Five years and ten years out is too far out for anyone to know for certainty what their business will look like. There are just too many factors out of our control. So a little dreaming is what fills these plans out. But how do you dream when you, as a small business owner, are the one servicing your customers and paying the bills on time? Where is there space left to do this dreaming you’ve heard about? I’m about to tell you.
Here are 3 ways to add a little imagination to your business:
Number One: Write down a completely outlandish, over-the-top, never-going-to-happen-unless-Mark-Zuckerburg-decides-to-adopt-you, idea. This can be anything as long as it makes you laugh out loud at the ridiculousness of it.
For instance, if you’re the owner of a graphic design business and you have a fascination with the Royal Family due to an unhealthy addiction to Downton Abbey, maybe your outlandish goal is to be the company that designs the birth announcements for Will and Kate’s next bundle of joy. (I said outlandish, didn’t I?) The idea isn’t to truly set your sites on this but to do a little recalibration on your imagination and desensitize yourself to big dreams.
Number Two: Now that you’ve had a good laugh and can relax, spend some serious time thinking about what business growth path would make you the happiest and most fulfilled in your profession Don’t just check out the business path of companies like yours and then set your dreams on what they’ve already done. That’s great for them, but you are an individual and your business is a one of a kind. Really spend some time thinking about what types of projects and clients would inspire you and set your sights on those. Give that gift to yourself.
Number Three: Have the courage to say no. Believe me, as a small business owner, I know what it means to take on a project or a client solely for the paycheck. Everyone needs to pay the bills and no one wants to turn down money. But if you’re going to allow yourself to dream, and you’ve identified future goals for yourself and your company, accepting just any job is actually doing yourself a disservice. You want to make sure you’re accepting projects that project the image of your business that will bring in the kind of jobs you’re ultimately looking for. You’ll also want to keep some time reserved for when that dream client walks through your door.
So are you ready to be the Head Imagineer for your business?