One of the biggest challenges successful businesspeople face is coming up with their next bright idea.
Just when they’re basking in the glow of a major accomplishment, they hear a nagging voice in the back of their minds, saying, “You’re only as good as your last idea.”
That’s when it dawns on them – you can’t celebrate for too long. Customers are always going to ask, “What’s new? What have you done for me lately?”
This mindset is pervasive everywhere. Just when exhausted mountain climbers reach the top of a ridge, they see another one in front of them and feel the need to conquer it.
Just when a team spends all its energy to win a championship, media want to know how they’re planning to try to repeat next year.
When a rock band releases a long-anticipated album that uses every creative juice they possess, fans want to know when the next album is coming.
What does this mean for you as an entrepreneur? It means that regardless of how successful your most recent product, service, program or initiative was, you’ve got to come up with another one that is at least as good.
This is much easier said than done. You’ve got to put your tired brain back to work to come up with something creative. Something in your wheelhouse that you can be passionate about. And, of course, something that will appeal to your customers.
It’s natural to have a letdown after finally reaching the launch of a new product or service. Your mind can’t run on all cylinders constantly. Take a brief amount of time to celebrate the fruits of your labor, refresh and regroup.
But then get ready to jump back on that horse. What’s the best way to get your creative juices flowing again after they’ve been drained during your last push? Believe it or not, physical exercise might be the answer.
Now, exercise is something that sadly gets placed on the backburner by busy entrepreneurs. We might include it in our daily to-do lists, but it often gets pushed aside until everything else gets done. And then we’re too tired to exercise.
But exercise is something that should be a high priority in our lives. And if that means doing it before we do anything else, so be it. First thing in the morning might be the only way it can realistically happen in our daily lives.
Exercise is a great stress reliever. You probably built up plenty of stress while working on your last project. And now you might be feeling the stress of coming up with another winner.
Physical exercise will go a long way toward decreasing your cortisol and adrenaline levels. Those are your primary stress hormones that need to be kept in check. In addition, exercise produces endorphins, which lift your state of mind and decrease depression.
Logic might tell us that exercise depletes our energy levels. But the opposite is true. It actually increases circulation and provides more endurance to deal with the day’s physical and mental activities.
And it’s not just about being more awake. Exercise has also been shown to improve cognitive health. Mainly because it battles brain inflammation and promotes the growth of fresh neurons.
What type of exercise should you do? That will be determined by your age, physical condition and willingness to get the most out of it. But after your warm-up, aerobic activity is important.
This can take the form of a brisk walk, running, biking, tennis or swimming. Add strength training to the mix a couple of times per week. This weight-bearing activity could be lifting or stair climbing or pull-ups.
And before you shower, don’t forget to spend time stretching. Warm muscles stretch more easily than cold muscles. From your neck down to your toes, stretch those muscles. It will reduce the chance of injury, decrease soreness and allow you to do even more next time.
If you are frustrated by a creative slump and you’re not exercising regularly, give it a shot. You might be surprised at how much your brain benefits when your body does the heavy lifting.
Allen Baler is a leading entrepreneur and Harvard grad. Allen Baler is a Partner in 4Patriots LLC, based in Nashville, TN.
Disclaimer: This blog post is not a substitute for the sound advice of a professional with expertise in the subject matter discussed. Please seek appropriate counsel on what strategies make sense for your personal circumstances and/or your business.