Have you ever worked out for a few months in a row, and then stopped abruptly? Maybe you injured yourself, were overwhelmed with work, or had to stop for some other reason…But no matter the cause, something starts to happen after a few weeks. Your muscles begin to atrophy.

So, when you eventually make your way back to the gym after a few weeks or months, what happens?

Usually, you can’t lift nearly as much. What’s more, the process isn’t as fun. It’s no longer a habit. It’s much harder to get started and build yourself back up, right?

Well, the same goes with your mind – and specifically, with your ability to come up with new ideas.

You can think of it like an idea muscle. The more you work out that muscle and think of new ideas, the easier it will be to come up with new ideas, and the better those new ideas will be. But if you take a few weeks off, your idea muscle will atrophy.

With this in mind, let’s talk about how to find the best business ideas.

Read for at Least 30 Minutes a Day

Your mind is only as strong as the knowledge you fill it with.

For most people, that knowledge consists of click-bait articles, 24-hour news cycles, and reality TV – not exactly that best sources for great ideas.

Instead, read books. It sounds simple – but books really can be the source for amazing ideas. Think about it – somewhere, sometime, an expert sat down and spent months recording their years and years of knowledge into the pages of a book, which you can consume in the span of a few days to a week.

There are few things more valuable than that. And in the midst of reading one of those books, you’ll be sure to spark some new ideas.

Travel

Like reading, travel is another great source of new ideas. It forces you to look at the world through a different perspective.

In doing so, you must consider other possibilities you may never have considered before. You see problems you didn’t know existed, meet different people, and all of this can spark new ideas in your brain.

Some of the most successful entrepreneurs have used travel as an inspiration for their big ideas. For example, Spanish businessman Leopoldo Fernandez Pujals, the founder of TelePizza, a business does over $260 million in sales, was inspired by his discovery of Domino’s Pizza in a trip to the United States.

The 10-Idea Rule

Remember how you have an idea muscle? Well, think of this as your mental gym exercise.

With the 10-idea rule, you sit down and write at least 10 ideas every single day.

James Altucher, an extremely successful blogger, podcaster, and businessman, credits this 10-idea rule with most of his success.

Why 10 ideas? Well, in the same way most people can run on the treadmill for a couple of minutes, anyone can write 5-6 ideas – that’s not difficult. The hard part is coming up with ideas 7 through 10. That’s when your brain really starts to sweat and kick into high gear. That’s when you build that idea muscle.

It’s okay if they’re bad ideas – when you start with this exercise, most of them will be. But like we said in the beginning, your ideas will get better and better as you continue to build your idea muscle.

Conclusion

Often times in life and business, you’ll be in need of new ideas. You might need an idea on how to improve a certain process, make more money, sell more products, etc.

By using these tips and building your idea muscle, you’ll always be ready to come up with a new idea when you need it the most. Then, you just have to execute!

Still struggling to find a business idea? Check out our list of the best small business ideas.

 

Parker Davis is a BusinessTown.com contributor.