Another great challenge is to think of the spiritual issues that are affecting your community. What is your pastor or minister saying is a great problem in your community? Then let your mind go to work and start writing down ideas that will impact your community. Again, don’t share them right away, unless it is with a like-minded friend who will brainstorm with you. Gather the ideas at this point. In upcoming lessons, I’ll show you how to analyze them, evaluate them, perhaps combine them with synergistic ideas, and share them.
When your assignment is over, it’s going to be up to you to continue this habit. It will serve you well, but it’s up to you to take charge of your own learning in life. You can’t expect teachers to push lessons at you the rest of your life—you have to pull it towards you. The wonderful advantage for you is that you’ll be able to determine for yourself what you want to learn.
To create a good habit, you might consider recording at least one idea that is related to business or innovation every day. It can be negative or positive. Whatever device you’re using to record your ideas, write the date and the idea. It may only take you 30 seconds each day but your “Idea Book” will become a fantastic source of business ideas for your future.
To help you create your habit, you may also want to create a target for each day, week, or month. Perhaps you’ll want to have 30 ideas in your book every month. I can guarantee you that if you were faithful in that habit, at the end of 2 years, you’d be one of the sharpest business thinkers in your community. The reason is that most business people go through life on auto pilot—their reticular activating system not even looking for unique ways to help themselves grow.
Maybe, for a greater challenge, you could listen in your community for the complaints you hear from business owners. Perhaps one of them says, “I just don’t know how we’re going to get more customers to come through our doors.” You can take that challenge, activate your RAS and start to keep your eye out for solutions to the problems. Don’t just share them as you think of them. The sure response will be, “We tried that before. It’ll never work. Trust me.” You have to write your ideas down and share them at the appropriate time.
Also, if a business person has been struggling with an idea for a long time, it actually dishonors them if you quickly give an idea to help them grow. Accepting your idea might embarrass them. So you have to be subtle about it. Perhaps you’d say with humility, “I’ve been thinking of some ways to help get you more customers. I know a lot of these ideas might not be practical, but perhaps you could look through my list and see if there’s one idea that would be useful.”
When given one option, the person will either like it or dislike it. “Liking” and “Disliking” works on Facebook, but is not very useful if we are offering solutions to someone’s long-term problem. Often they will choose to dislike it. However, if you present someone with a list of possibilities, they’ll be more likely to choose one they like, than none at all.
When you’ve finished recording at least two pages of notes (or at least 20 observations, both negative and positive), submit them to your teacher.
* Note that you do not need to complete this assignment before continuing with your next assignment. You will likely need to record these observations over the course of your daily activities over the next week.