Entrepreneurs can find inspiration in everything from leisure pursuits to business failure. In fact, great new business ideas often spring to mind during such non-business activities like hiking because they are exactly that: activities free from business and the pressure-filled anxiety that comes with it.
Research has shown that creativity is stimulated by an attitude that blends "attention and relaxation," explains Joshua Coleman, a clinical psychologist in San Francisco in "Cleaning Up" on page 35 of the October 2003 issue of Inc. When your free from business performance anxiety, your mind is free to think creatively, making it no small wonder that many entrepreneurs have conjured their best ideas outside the office.
Inc.com has compiled a collection of its best articles on finding inspiration. Here, we share stories and practices from some of the best innovative minds and from everyday entrepreneurs, which illustrate that most moments of inspiration are often born of something entirely unrelated to business.
- Where Do Great Ideas Come From?
- To hear these Inc 500 all-stars tell it, it's not from books or market research; it's from keeping your eyes and ears open.
- Find Trail. Hike. Repeat
- Some leisure pursuits take your mind off business. This one makes Eric Kampmann think about his business better.
- The Innovation Factor: Inside Innovative Minds
- In the second installment of our three-part series on innovation, Inc. examines in depth the men and women who are coming up with today's market-transforming inventions, where those individuals get their ideas, and how they operate.
- Where Really Bad Ideas Come From
- Before starting the companies that made the 1998 Inc. 500, many CEOs pursued dubious business concepts that ultimately bombed. Here are the lessons they learned from these failures.
- Ordinary People, Extraordinary Creativity
- Innovation isn't beyond the ability of everyday companies. You just need to know how to go about it.
- Hard Lessons, Well Learned
- How a mother's devotion to saving her son's life became the inspiration for starting a new business.
- The Innovation Factor: Innovative Minds
- Who innovates? A look at the personalities (and brains) behind America's most creative businesses.