I had the pleasure of helping my daughter’s class with their “Writers Workshop” program today. It was so much fun to be amongst 8 and 9 year old children as they brainstormed ideas and turned them into stories. I was amazed at the level of creativity and enthusiasm amongst the children when they struck upon inspiration.
One particular girl inspired me. She was sitting alone with her blank paper, pencil poised. I asked her what she was going to write about and she said she had no idea and didn’t know where to start. A simple question got her thinking… “what types of activities are you doing that make you smile?” She grabbed her pencil, looking hopeful, and asked, “Can we brainstorm together?” So that is what we did. She happened upon her topic 4 items into her list of things that make her smile. She started to explain that she and her Dad were watching the March Madness series together. She quickly realized that her inspiration came from something she was already doing. She exclaimed, “WOW! I can’t believe I had that great topic already and I didn’t even realize it!” Bang… she started writing and within 20 minutes, she had her first draft. She was all smiles, and so was I.
What does this have to do with marketing and business development? Lots… when faced with a relationship that needs refreshing or a desire to make a point of contact, but you don’t know how to begin… start brainstorming on things you are doing NOW. Start jotting down notes about activities you enjoy, upcoming events or matters you are working on. Talk with your colleagues, a coach or spouse to get the ideas flowing and a spark will catch. Write those sparks down and turn them into a plan. Don’t be afraid to adjust direction with a client or prospect if it will lead you to a deeper relationship, or a meaningful information for that person. You may just find yourself inspired in a new way that could result in a positive outcome.