In business—and anywhere in life, really—innovation is the source of betterment. Creativity leads to change and change is what propels all of us forward. According to a 2014 Price Waterhouse Cooper survey, 61 percent of CEOs worldwide say innovation is a primary concern within their businesses. Without innovation your studio would be in a stagnant—a lackluster pit stop in your clients’ day. The next time you may be looking to zhush up your class schedule, freshen your music playlists or overhaul your studio design, it’s important to remember that innovation is a 24/7 state of mind that you need to always be chasing down. Here we take a look at some easy ways to get creative in your daily life.
CHANGE YOUR SCENERY
One day a week force yourself to go somewhere new. We’re not talking about Zimbabwe here. Instead get your daily caffeine fix at a coffee shop you’ve never been to, or host that morning conference call from the beach. New surroundings beget new energy, which in turn fosters creativity. Just overhearing what people are talking about at a juice bar across town can be enlightening.
Another option? Exercise in a different place. You own a boxing gym? Go shoot hoops at a downtown court. You teach pilates? Go hiking upstate for the day. Or take a run along a new route, or a barre class. Look outside your niche to learn from other workouts. By turning your routine upside down, you’re keeping the endorphins flowing and the ideas are sure to follow.
ENTER A QUIET ZONE
It’s imperative you regularly find time to push out all the noise and clear your mind. Whether it’s ten minutes every morning or a whole hour once a week, as a business owner you owe this “me time” to yourself and your studio. First, turn off your cell phone and avoid all social media leading up to your quiet time. Next, find a cozy spot that makes you happy. Maybe it’s your sun-drenched living room, maybe it’s the summit of a nearby hike at dawn. Either way, this should be a place where you’re alone and feel safe to close your eyes and simply be.
We’ve talked about the benefits of meditation in the past—greater cognition, improved sleep and energy, a higher well being—and all of these side effects are crucial to breeding innovation and creativity. In a world of non-stop instant gratification, silence is the antidote to the chaos. It’s where you’ll find focus and can really allow yourself to daydream about the endless possibilities before you.
A girl’s weekend in Vegas is great and a bachelor party in Miami recharges the batteries, but if you’re looking for inspiration, try visiting somewhere off the beaten path. Introduce yourself to new cultures and ways of life—in doing so, you’ll open your eyes to people (and problems) you never knew existed. Observing the architecture, landscapes, sunsets, accents and demeanors of your new surroundings and their inhabitants can only expand your well of inspiration. Traveling to Cambodia would do the trick, but so would a road trip to somewhere nearby.
If you’ve got a trip on the calendar, it’s also a good idea to carve out some time to visit gyms near your destination. Check out a spin studio in Taos (or Denver or Paris—wherever you’re headed) and see if the owner has some time to chat with you. Learning about the classes, marketing techniques or social media tactics being offered in a different city is a great way to drum up new ideas for your studio.
DIVERSIFY YOUR PORTFOLIO
Your free time is spare, but that’s what it is—free time. Treat yourself to classes far beyond that of what you teach—learn to speak Italian, cook Vietnamese, try your hand at acting, take a painting course, learn the flute, enroll in a business class. Whatever it is, you want to go outside your comfort zone and absorb something new. Variety is the spice of life, and learning a new thing will energize and inspire you to make improvements elsewhere, including your business.
There’s a reason Pinterest has more than 100 million active users—the social media platform is plain old addictive. Head to the site for everything from paint palettes to inspirational quotes to exercise hacks. The ideas you’ll get from just an hour spent on the site will make the visit worthwhile—and you’re likely to pick up a great acai bowl recipe to boot.
THE NEXT STEP
All this time getting inspired is only well spent if you turn your ideas into action items. We’re not saying you need to open your second studio tomorrow—instead of tackling monster-sized changes, aim to always be progressing forward, with minor changes happening often. Spend time in your weekly staff meetings addressing ideas (both yours and your staffers) and brainstorming how to bring them to life.