Originally Published 2007-07-09 04:50:59
Feeling a little writer's block? Stuck on a problem? Having trouble differentiating yourself and your business?
Any creative activity is directly influenced by the food you're feeding you're brain. Whether it's drafting a blog post, conjuring up a new product or service, or simply being an interesting person, it's important to provide yourself with quality brain food.
In any business, from blogging to basket-weaving, you absolutely must keep up on:
- The direct competition in your niche. This also has the potential to give new perspectives on the ideas you're already pondering. What's the other boutique on the next block over doing to promote, enhance, and succeed?
- The broad competition in your niche. If you sell computers for a living, you probably can't be bothered worrying about what Dell and HP are doing (who could ever sleep under those circumstances?), but you still need to pay attention. Occasionally disruptive things occur, both good and bad, and the aware entrepreneur adapts ahead of the curve.
- The industry as a whole. You might not be competing with Toll Brothers (a home builder) or Countrywide (a mortgage underwriter), but if you're a landlord, you should be paying attention to what they're doing, because the ripples will effect you.
- Broad business news. When was the last time you read the Wall Street Journal? Even if you're just making an extra $100 a month blogging about Brad & Angelina, keeping up with basic business news can only help your cause. If nothing else, you'll get inspired and push yourself to set, heighten, and achieve goals.
If that weren't enough, reading has an added benefit: it makes you a better writer. It also has a tendency to improve your vocabulary, which is a significant portion of most intelligence tests. Yes, reading can actually improve your IQ.
So what have you read today?
On 2007-07-09 17:10:34 Matthew Lowes said:
I was disappointed not to see on your list the classics, or science fiction, or the importance of reading novels, seeing films and feeding your brain with good food outside the immediate realm of your work. Your list is great, but whatever business you're in, it's important to be well rounded and creative, original ideas come from all kinds of places. I've just started a journal dedicated to the subject of creativity, impusejournal.wordpress.com. It's just getting started, but if you're interested, drop by.
On 2007-07-09 22:39:54 Johnny Fuery said:
You're right, feeding your brain with a broader range of ideas is paramount. I tend to focus on business both in life and blog, but I have the utmost respect for any material that expands the mind.
I think that, first and foremost, it's best to get a broad set of material. Sci-fi is fine, but if it's at the expense of the classics, substantial value has been lost. Likewise with my list of business-oriented must-reads. Focus on the journal and forget to keep abreast of the industry, and you'll miss out on some fantastic opportunities.
Checking your blog out now, Matt. Thanks for reading!
On 2007-07-09 23:07:58 Matthew Lowes said:
Both of course are important. Actually, as a writer who has started to publish some stories, I've been focusing a lot on exactly the things you talk about, trying to develop the business side of what I'm doing. Thanks for the article.
(Hey you were the first person to comment on Impulse! Thanks. Yes, I really love it.)
On 2007-07-14 08:09:29 motordude said:
I've been reading a butt load of comics lately. I just finished the first Marvel Civil War collection. I loved it. Not sure what effect it has had on my IQ though!!
On 2007-07-20 06:01:57 cooliojones said:
This is great fodder for creative inspiration, you have to put more into your mind to get more out of your writing.