Daydreaming Is Good for Business

“daydreaming is good for business” was originally posted by hint Founder & CEO, Kara Goldin, on LinkedIn here:

Every day, I go on an hour-long hike near my house. But if I really want to think, or there’s a problem that I’m looking to solve, I’ll set out on a much further trek.

I’ve been known to leave for a 5-hour hike and return with a breakthrough. Just getting out of my usual surroundings and exploring a new path helps me look at things in different ways. When I’m in territory that’s less comfortable for me, it allows my brain to wander. I can solve any problem on these hikes.

Not everyone is able to take a 5-hour trek when they’re feeling stuck, but everyone can—and should—look outside their industry for inspiration. Personally, I like to get ideas from the outside. My friend , CEO of bareMinerals, works in the beauty industry, but her tenacity and story applies to every entrepreneur. This woman won’t take no for an answer. She didn’t give up when department stores and drugstores told her that they wouldn’t carry her line of natural makeup—she just found a different way. She thought, “How else can I get to this consumer?” and ended up building her wildly successful business on QVC.

Because I worked in tech before starting Hint water (drinkhint.com), it’s natural that I still think along those lines. I am always asking myself, “How can we save time and provide convenience?” That’s one of the keys for us as a company.

Another entrepreneur in a different industry I look up to is Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group. His company has done an amazing job of engaging customers and bringing them into the Virgin universe. On Virgin flights, the opening video is so fun and cheeky that you start off your trip smiling. I like their attitude, and their hip, upbeat vibe is reflected in everything from the colors they use on the website to the lighting on the planes.

We try to foster the same sort of spirit through our social media. Our goal is to be fun yet informative and help people. Our product solves a huge health problem—and encourages consumers to drink more water. A full-time dietician handles most of our social media campaigns and weighs in on everything from Facebook posts to the design of infographics. And while she’s being educational, she’s also having a good time and experimenting with funny posts and inspirational Pinterest boards. We also have some savvy, unofficial experts onboard the social media team: my kids, who are super-active on Instagram. They’ll be the first ones to tell us if the brand isn’t being inspirational enough or just looks boring or stupid.

So whether it’s going outside for a walk, reading a magazine unrelated to your industry or perusing Pinterest, there’s plenty of ways to get out of your comfort zone and spark your next great idea.