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Five ways to think outside the box

“Thinking outside the box” is a common saying in entrepreneurial circles, and for good reason. Companies grow as a result of innovative ideas! But unleashing creativity is easier said than done. How can you nurture your own groundbreaking ideas? Five strategies to think outside the box:

1. Change your environment.
Get outside of the box, literally. A change of scenery can work wonders for creativity! Forgo the office for the afternoon and go for a walk, work from a coworking space or spend some time brainstorming at a coffee shop.

2. Wear a different hat.

Approach a problem from a new angle. Take on the persona of someone in a field completely different from yours, and create a solution like they would. For example, if you’re in the restaurant business, how would a musician solve this problem? If you’re an educator, how would a person in the hospitality industry approach the situation?

3. Get your game on.

In Youth Entrepreneurs, students practice innovation and iteration through activities and games like Disruptus, the Innovation Activity and the Invention Activity. Games help us tap into our competitive side and think differently than we do during a typical work day. And a little fun never hurts creativity either! 

4. Turn off your internal editor.
When it comes to thinking outside the box, we can sometimes be our own worst enemies. We can brainstorm great ideas, only to dismiss them because they feel impossible or seem to have too many barriers. So for a period of time, even just an hour, commit to turning off your internal idea editor. The goal is quantity over quality. All ideas are fair game! Remember, you can always iterate on a bad idea to make it a good one. 

5. Trade ideas with fellow entrepreneurial thinkers. 

Gather a group of entrepreneurial thinkers for a collaborative brainstorming session. In the spirit of a mastermind group, support each other in uncovering creative solutions. Someone who’s outside of your own day-to-day may point you in the right direction. And, as you’re helping others, you exercise your own creativity muscles too.

Youth Entrepreneurs offers an innovative and interactive curriculum for educators who passionately invest in their students. Get more entre-inspiration and entrepreneur resources on the Youth Entrepreneurs blog.