Heads-Up vs. Heads-Down Thinking

27 01 2012

Recently I read Josh Linkner’s book, Disciplined Dreaming, and I thought I would share his idea of heads-up and heads-down thinking. To be successful as an entrepreneur you must be disciplined and focused, but creativity cannot be overlooked. Heads-down thinking is staying focused to finish the objectives at hand. But how will this separate you from the competition? Everyone is capable of hard work so you cannot expect to be rewarded just by putting in the work. The most successful entrepreneurs have something that their competition doesn’t. Whether it is their strategy, product, or ideas, something differentiates them from the competition. This is what Josh Linkner would refer to as heads-up thinking.

While most entrepreneurs accept the status quo and keep chugging along, the great entrepreneurs put time aside for creativity. Rather than burying their heads in the books and doing things the same way it has always been done, the most successful entrepreneurs focus on possibilities or how they can be different. Be creative in your thinking and embrace new ideas. Set time aside to brainstorm and come up with something new to add to the business. How can you go the extra mile for your customer that your competition is not already doing? What makes your product so special? Challenge the status quo and question your current practices because there just may be something better.

This project does not just end with management. Look to your team members and build their curiosity. You never know where that next great idea will come from. Be open for change and embrace it. You may have built a successful business but someone is always catching up from behind. To stay ahead you have to constantly come up with new ideas and that entrepreneurial spirit should never die. Don’t think of your business as just another business. Think of it as a bunch of businesses with all sorts of opportunities. Be creative and separate yourself from the competition. Put time aside to let your mind run free.

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