You've heard it a thousand times, right? Think Outside the Box!
But is that always the best answer? Should we always jump to that first, any time we run into a problem, question, challenge or opportunity?
Let me share a quick story with you.
If you're on the phone frequently with clients or teaching teleseminars, you know how essential it is to have a comfortable headset.
A couple weeks ago I picked up a new phone and at the same time my headset died. So I ran to Office Max and picked out what looked like a nice option from the Plantronics brand I like. Got home and realized my new cellular phone had a different size headset jack than my old one. Oops. Should have checked that sooner.
The new headset worked great with Skype and audio recording on my PC so I figured I'd keep it for that and just buy a new one for my phone. Chalk it up to a lesson to remember to be more observant.
As I stood there, back at Office Max again, looking for another headset and trying to figure out which one would fit my phone, my husband pointed out to me that his came with multiple connectors and asked if I'd checked the box.
Any guesses what's coming next?
That's right. I got back home and discovered the perfect little connector was hiding right inside the bottom of the box and I'd not noticed.
The answer was INSIDE the box! Not in another purchase -- I didn't need a new headset from a different brand or with a different size connector. All I needed to do was stop and look at what I already had.
How often do we do this in business?
We run into a challenge and think we need to totally change our strategy or learn a new skill (or so we think) so off we go searching for a new business model, new marketing plan, new website, new coach, new teacher, new resource, new guide, something new to fill that desire.
Yes, sometimes we need to make a change. But not always. So much of the time we've already got access to the resources we need -- and much of the time what we're already doing would work fabulously if we made a few tweaks! Don't jump ship on a plan, strategy or tactic just because it didn't work the first time. Don't ignore the obvious or conventional ideas if they work well and can serve you (and your clients).
Innovation and creativity are wonderful but next time you get stuck, before you jump out of the box, take a moment to look around and see if the solution really is simple... and right in front of you!
Look inside the box. When you were a kid a big box could become ANYTHING you wanted it to be... A house. A rocket ship. A costume. So remember you can transform that box, too.
Your turn! What do you think about "inside the box" vs. "outside the box" thinking? Do you think we ever over-complicate things in our efforts to get creative, find better solutions, and reach our goals faster?