It’s no secret that I’m a fan of thinking big and coming up with ideas that others haven’t considered.  That’s why my company name is Big Idea Guru, LLC.

There’s an inherent power in ideas...they inspire, they stretch the mind, they lead to breakthroughs, they produce results…all because they take us to places we don’t always find time to go as we perform our day-to-day jobs.

One of the most questions that people frequently ask me when they see my company name is: “Where do you get your ideas?”

Here’s one of my favorite thought-stimulating, idea-producing sources…a place I go to at least weekly, and almost always when in search of a solution that is not coming as quickly as I would like:  TED: Ideas Worth Spreading.

TED is a website that was created as an outgrowth of an annual invitation only conference that started in Monterey, California and has expanded to other areas around the world.  The basic premise is to bring many different people to the stage, with each having 20 minutes to share their ideas with the audience.

The best thing about TED is that they record these presentations and make them available online at the TED website. Even better, they offer free registration and send out weekly e-mails featuring videos on a variety of subjects.

ACTION ADVICE: If you’re serious about thinking bigger and coming up with better ideas, recognize that the best way to do that is to regularly work out your idea muscle.  And the best way to do that is to expose yourself to a broad range of ideas that are outside of the areas where you normally get your information.

Here’s an easy three-step process to get you started:

  1. Visit TED and register, being sure to click the button to receive the weekly e-mail updates.
  2. Block out 20-minutes for an idea workout each week when the e-mail update arrives and use that time to view one of the highlighted videos that captures your attention.
  3. Let your mind go and absorb what the speaker is saying, jot down notes and ideas that come to mind, and repeat the process regularly.

Try it for a month or two. Chances are you’ll find your idea muscle getting stronger, you’ll start coming up with more ideas that solve those pesky little problems that need solving, and you’ll become better at just about everything you do!