Yesterday one of my coaching students told me:
“I'm stuck. I'm trying to come up with a lead magnet to grow my list, but I can't seem to get inside their head and come up with something interesting.”
I get stuck here too.
Sometimes I'll sit down to start an email or work on a blog post and I feel like I don't have anything interesting to say.
Usually the longer I bang my head against this wall, the worse it gets. Before long I'm in full-blown “imposter syndrome” mode—convinced that I'm an idiot, that everyone else knows WAY more than I do, that my writing has as much “personality” as an accountant on Zoloft…
Whenever I find myself in this situation, I catch myself and remember an important truth:
Creativity is a myth.
We have this idea that creativity means spinning brilliant webs of glistening words out of thin air.
That's not how your mind works, though.
Copywriting maestro Eugene Schwartz used to say, “Creativity is CONNECTIVITY.”
It's seeing the connection between two ideas that don't seem to go together.
To make these kinds of connections, you need INPUTS, and lots of them.
I told my coaching student to stop “sitting and thinking” and go scour Reddit and Hacker News for threads where people are discussing the problems he can help them fix.
Look for questions, look for deeply held beliefs, look for emotions bubbling up from unexpressed desires.
What I find when I do this is that I inevitably find some question I can answer…
Some longing or desire I can help fulfill…
Some clever turn of phrase that gets me thinking in a whole new way.
Give it a shot:
15 minutes spent this way can save you from hours of fruitless struggles to “come up with a great idea.”