Advertising

How to Unleash Your Best Ideas and (Possibly) Turn Them Into a New Business

How to Unleash Your Best Ideas and (Possibly) Turn Them Into a New Business
Advertising
People say your best ideas come when you least expect it. When you don’t squeeze your brain to think.

And they’re right. It does.

Nick Woodman invented GoPro after he went surfing and realized he couldn’t take pictures of himself.

    Photo Credit: Pitchi

    J.K. Rowling got the idea of Harry Potter as she sat on a 4-hour delayed train from Manchester to London.

      Photo Credit: Legion of Leia

      Ingvar Kampard launched Ikea after becoming frustrated at a table he bought and couldn’t fit into his car.

        Photo Credit: Jobstreet

        I’m not suggesting you should drop everything you’re doing to do whatever the heck you like (e.g. skip work to hang out with friends or watch TV instead of polishing up your resumé), to be like these successful entrepreneurs and hope that you’ll come up with a million dollar business.

        Overnight success doesn’t quite work like that. And it might be awhile until you do come up with a brilliant idea.

        So in the meantime:
        Focus on work and build a safety cushion against a crummy life. BUT whenever your mind is not “at work”, think about your current situation and how you can improve it, or how you can make an impact in this world.

        Because when you do, you bump up your chances of creating something that could be the next revolution. You may just think of something people might absolutely love that nobody has thought of, or has yet managed to push out in public. Something that could make you insanely famous.

        You could be the first.


        Now you might not feel motivated to do some extra thinking, especially when the bigger things in life demand more of your attention like your job, your customers, your body, your partner, your kids. But let me ask you, is this how you want to live the rest of your life, day after day after day? Abiding by society’s rules on what it takes to be successful?

          Probably not.

          The truth is, most of us get too caught up working at companies that only want us to perfect 1 or 2 skills, (Possibly 3 if your boss really believes in you). The longer we push ourselves towards this path, the less we care about uncovering our hidden talents.

          Don’t let yourself sink into this pitfall. Learn how to get out of it.

          If you’re told to keep a record of people you meet for business, don’t just ask for their phone number. Snapshot their business card and jot down notes.

          If you’re told to create Facebook ads (even though there’s no increase in profits for the past few months), learn to market on Instagram or Medium.

          If you’re told to answer customer support calls, create a FAQ page on your company page that tackles the most common questions.

          There’s always a better way of doing something, and sometimes thinking outside the box could lead to a newfound strength and eventually a full-fledged business.

          “You can’t have a million dollar dream with a minimum-wage work ethic.”
          ~Stephen C. Hogan

          Remember, our brains weren’t designed to master a few things. They were designed to expand, to become sharper and give us the edge to outdo everyone else.

          Because of that, you can still discover your hidden talents. Just keep thinking about how to improve your current situation and the world — it’s the first step great creators take to build their empire.

            Photo Credit: Funders & Founders

            So if you want to make an impact like these successful entrepreneurs, don’t just blindly work for a salary. Realize what you could do better at. And make it happen.

            Because one day, it could change your entire life. 

            Featured photo credit: Startup Stock Photos via startupstockphotos.com

            More by this author

            Tiffany Sun

            Aspiring Writer

            rediscovering_myself Rediscovering the person I could’ve been 10 years ago 10 Little Habits That Make You More Attractive (and I’m Not Talking About Looks) How to Unleash Your Best Ideas and (Possibly) Turn Them Into a New Business money_falling_from_jar The One Thing You Should Spend Your Money On

            Trending in Career Advice

            1 The Lifehack Show: Standing Out in Today’s Job Market with Dr. Julia Ivy 2 Clueless On Your Career? Sabbatical vs. Career Break 3 10 Essential Career Change Questions To Ask Yourself This Year 4 10 Job Search Tools Every Jobseekers Need To Know About 5 If You Have This Key Behavior, You’ll Be More Successful Than 90% Of People

            Read Next

            Advertising
            Advertising

            Published on July 27, 2021

            15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

            15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
            Advertising

            During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

            But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

            Put the Pro in Professional

            After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

            1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

            The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

            Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

            2. Dress the Part

            While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

            Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

            For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

            Advertising

            Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

            3. Stage Your Workspace

            Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

            Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

            4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

            Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

            Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

            Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

            Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

            5. Arrive on Time

            In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

            Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

            Advertising

            6. Turn on Your Video

            Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

            If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

            Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

            7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

            Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

            Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

            Attend to the Pesky Details

            8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

            With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

            Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

            9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

            Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

            Advertising

            Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

            10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

            As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

            Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

            Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

            Talking Has a Time and a Place

            11. Chat Appropriately

            Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

            At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

            12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

            The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

            Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

            Advertising

            13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

            In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

            Manage Yourself

            14. Minimize Distractions

            While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

            Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

            15. Save Snacking for Later

            Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

            However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

            Final Thoughts

            Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

            Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

            Reference

            Read Next