Can you really grow a “super brain” that helps you discover new ideas?

You’ve had a busy day. Your mind seems to be in overdrive, buzzing at the level where it almost feels numb. In this “beta” wave state you’re in a mental busyness where you can’t really think. Messages come in from everywhere, your radio, smart phone, television and people such as colleagues, family and friends. Everything seems to be coming at you, demanding your attention. Fragments of conversation during the day, conflict that has been unresolved, remarks people made are all still hanging out in your head. You find it difficult to relax to calm down and slow your brain to a pace where ideas start to flow.

Continue reading “Can you really grow a “super brain” that helps you discover new ideas?”

Red Monkey Tales – look for problems

Bell & Cray owns the trademarks “The Red Monkey Tales”, “Red Monkey” and all associated Red Monkey trade names, service marks and logos. All other trademarks used on the Site are the property of their respective owners.

Red Monkey was perched high in a tree observing his surroundings. He scanned downwards through the trees and from time to time looked far off into the distance over the treetops.

“Hey, Red Monkey what are you doing?” John, the small business owner asked.

“I’m just looking around to see what’s going on, “Red Monkey said. “Wait there John, I’ll be down in a minute.”

“So what were you looking for?” John asked.

Red Monkey Jamie came towards John, ambling along, showing no urgency at all. “You don’t know how it is. We red monkeys are dependent on the forests for our survival. It’s you humans through your habitat destruction that destroy our forests and leave us with no fruit-bearing trees.”

“Well, you know I’m not one of those. If I had my way they would be no cutting down of rainforest or any other forests for that matter.”

“Maybe. So what’s on your mind John?”

“I had a terrible dream last night. I dreamt that I was tired and weary. It was night. I climbed into a small bed-like ledge high up in the mountain and was about to go to sleep when I looked up and saw the rocks above were crawling with snakes.”

“So what did you do… in your dream, I mean?”

“I jumped out of the rock bed on the side of the mountain and woke up scared out of my wits.”

“How did you know those snakes were dangerous? They could have been harmless snakes and would have just kept you company for the night.”

“Yes, I know. Maybe you’re right. I’ve had so much on my mind lately”

“Is your business still troubling you?”

“Yes, it seems like I can’t come up with any new ideas. You know our these in this economy.”

“Why don’t you look for problems? Think of that farmer who recently heard about whose lambs were being killed by jackals and caracals. He had a big problem on his farm in the Eastern Cape.”

“But that solution he came up with to put solar-powered cats eyes on some of these ewes so the light would chase away the jackals and caracals when the ewes got up or turned their heads at night chased away the predators but he’s not made any money out of it.”

“But that’s not the point, John. The farmer had a problem and he came up with a solution that has cut down losses of these lambs. At least he didn’t go for traps, poisoning or hunting to chase away the jackals and caracals. He’s not going to make any money out of his idea but he’s going to save a lot of money on his farm.”

“Yes, it’s not an idea that he may want to sell to other farmers but it does show how important it is to start with problems when looking for new business ideas.”

“Now that you’ve got your creative juices flowing, perhaps you will come up with something that may help you in your life and could perhaps help others with similar problems. All this talk is making me hungry. John, I’ve got to go unless there is something else you wish to talk about.”

“It’s good seeing you again Jamie. You always get me thinking in a new direction. I wish you would come down more often. ”

“Stay down here with you humans. Not a chance. I’d rather be high in the rooftops of the Rain Forest eating berries and fruits and fooling around. See you sometime.”

The Red Monkey Tales is a series on a small business ideas and the spirit of enterprise where monkeying around is tolerated, encouraged and prized, all in pursuit of right-brained thinking and fun.

Are you a solution finder or problem solver?

Photo: Wikicommons
Photo: Wikicommons

A few weeks ago I was walking through a mall in a coastal town and noticed a retail shop that was converted into a play room for children. Inside the playroom were several children sitting at tables playing games, making things and enjoying themselves.

Some mothers can have an awful time of it shopping when the children are nagging and even screaming for attention. This is a problem for mothers. I have not seen local entrepreneurs come up with such a playroom but have heard of an entrepreneur who has developed several for mothers in Malaysia. Their children play mainly with Lego which he sources cheaply from an Asian country. Now an entrepreneur locally has woken up to the problem that mothers face while shopping and has developed a playroom for kids where they can enjoy themselves while their mothers shop peacefully.

An author of a little book on advice for entrepreneurs claims that employees are problem solvers while entrepreneurs are solution finders. But is it really fair to say employees are problem solvers rather than the solution finders? The thing is that when people write books like these they tried to simplify everything and often these statements are not accurate or based on fact. As much as entrepreneurs can be solution finders, employees need not only be problem solvers but can also look for solutions that benefit business entrepreneur really.

Just in recent months I have come across entrepreneurs who have found solutions for green gardening and landscaping, energy efficiency in the home, an ointment for bluebottle and insect stings from the humble pawpaw fruit and a woman entrepreneur who came up with specially designed swimwear that doesn’t fall off when women are surfing.

What problems save you come across recently in your daily personal or business life or that of others that you can turn into solutions other people would be willing to pay for? There are so many problems that consumers and customers have that it pays to look and listen. What about health and safety issues in small businesses? What are entrepreneurs doing to protect their staff from harm? As you probably know, many accidents don’t always happen in an industrial workshop or factory but occur at home. Slips, trips and falls are common accidents at home where many entrepreneurs now set up the home businesses. How can they better protect themselves?

Problems with poor quality products seem to have grown exponentially. Do you have any solutions for helping to improve the quality of products or come up with a better quality product? It was sad to see how many presents under the Christmas tree this year – sourced from Asian countries – were damaged or fell apart. What can we do about better quality products? Do we have to accept such cheap junk?

Poor quality service is now so prevalent if you stand out with excellent service you will be far ahead of other businesses. Small businesses have a huge edge for better quality service. The cost of eating out needs better solutions as the price of meals rises out of reach of many people. The high cost of electricity is begging for domestic energy efficiency solutions.

If you are looking for a solution to turn your promising business idea into a source of income, you may want to consider “Breakthrough Ideas”. It’s essentially a solution finder. It helps you find a solution that you can turn into a product or service to form a small enterprise, something of your own from scratch. You have an opportunity to secure this resource with a special incentive before the general public… So don’t miss out! Don’t let your dream pass you by. Secure your copy now by putting your name down on the waiting list.