Business Tips — What a Great Idea!

A series of Business Tips from the book:what-a-great-idea

What a Great Idea!
by Chic Thompson

The first step creative people take … is to gain the inner freedom to consider new idea and new possibilities. … Most of us need help to break the bonds we’ve placed around out own creativity.
— Chic Thompson

My husband, Malcolm, has a great philosophy when it comes to creativity.  He says:  “Lets take a bunch of new products and throw them against the wall to see which ones stick!”

Of course, he does not actually throw things against the wall (especially not since we work with lots gourmet foods and producers of gourmet foods), but the principle is to try lots of new ideas to see which ones are good sellers!

Too often, we talk about this project and that project, and then do nothing … and, of course, nothing happens.

Chic says something I find rather profound:

Creativity is the ability to look at the same things as everyone else but to see something different.

Stay tuned to explore more about unleashing our creativity …


One step beyond the freedom to consider new possibilities is the ability to give voice to the problems and questions that the new ideas will address.
— Chic Thompson

Chic spends a whole chapter helping you to formula an Idea Map.

I found his map fascinating as it pictures a random listing of words that looks at the idea from several different vantage points.  It reminded me of some of the brain storming sessions I have been a part of in the past.

The value of the exercise, in my opinion, is to view this new idea from all directions — including the negative side of the issue.

He goes on the explain that there are no dumb questions when using this process — in part, because it helps us to think through things more clearly.  You know, one question leads to another — to another — and to another…

One of the dumb questions he suggests asking is, Why have we always done it that way?  Interesting way to look at an idea!


Freedom and expression, our first two steps, take you to the point of creative itself.  Here’s the heart of generating great ideas, and here’s much of the fun .. how positive and effort free it is, when you understand how it works.
— Chic Thompson

Creation is fun …. because it is play to artisans and producers!

Chic shares some advice he received from a golfing friend concerning creating:  Visualizing what you want to successfully create can be the most effective source of ideas.

Maybe what you thought would work, can grow into something bigger and better when you visualize the entire process ahead of time.

Here is the four step process that Chic suggests for visualizing — with my notes to help you use the process:

  1. Identify the problem (or goal for your product)
  2. Establish a solution date (or completion date)
  3. Visit the future and visualize (what you are creating)
  4. Come back from the future (and work out your plan or product)


Action is the stage of the creative process where innovations meets organization — meets production — meets sales — meets distribution.  We need to bring innovation into every step ….
– Chic Thompson

Creativity, according to Chic, is involved in every step of the process of running a business — and openness to new ideas is the place to start.

Chic suggests creating and sharing a vision to start moving your business in the right direct.  A wonderful place to start — especially if you have partners willing to work with you to create your vision!

Personally, I see ways that I use creativity to find out what works best and then implementing those ideas in many aspect of my business.

Creativity is necessary when setting up your systems for shipping — as each business approaches fulfillment differently.  Marketing systems need to come from your creative side, as do product development, packaging, and even record keeping, believe it or not!

Do you see and use this type of creativity in your business?


… creativity isn’t full creative until we bring it into physical reality. … your ideas won’t make it into reality unless you see reality as something you can change.
— Chic Thompson

In Chic’s concluding chapter, he encourages us to take creativity home with us.  In other words, look for creativity in every member of our family and every social setting we attend.

Listen for what Chic calls, Killer Phrases, that stifle creativity and action to manifest our creativity.  Then make the changes needed to your currently reality, where necessary, to allow creative to positively impact your life.

Personally, I chose to look at what I say about myself and creativity because I know by saying, I am not a creative person, that I automatically make that thought a fact.

Creativity, I have found, is a state of being, continual motion, and a process.

If the idea of expanding your creativity is of interest to you, I suggest you find a copy of Chic’s book and explore the exercises he suggests.


Sign up here, if you would like to receive these tips in your inbox Tuesday through Friday!