Exploring with an Entrepreneur’s Mindset

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Technology Concepts 1I’m writing this post at the tail end of a very busy, but incredibly inspiring weekend for me, so I’ll make it pretty short and to the point. My thought for this week is: EXPLORE. Always. In PR and marketing—and particularly in a service industry—it is imperative that we constantly keep our minds engaged and exploring new ideas, opportunities and thoughts. Even the most simple of concepts that come to us at seemingly the most random time (“Hey, a weather-map like visual feature of what is hot and cold could be really cool for client XYZ!”) may not be something you implement today, but those little random ideas have a way of stewing together over time and becoming your next big idea.

I’m reminded of this as I have spent the last few weeks pretty much obsessed with all things small business and being an entrepreneur. As America and really, the entire world, continues to struggle to overcome the depths of the Great Recession, I find myself spending more and more time reading every bit of entrepreneur and small business publications and blogs as I can find. From the standards like Entrepreneur, Inc. and FAST COMPANY, to digital newcomers such as Bizmore.com and AOL Small Business, I am doing everything I can to try to fully understand the mindset of what the entrepreneurs and CEOs I work with on a daily basis are going through as they work tirelessly to build and enhance their businesses.

So, my thought for this week: Explore. And also: Find new ways to understand those you are serving. America is built on a small-business economy, and many of your clients will most likely be small businesses or regularly work with/serve small businesses, or in the case of a CEO, were entrepreneurs at one time themselves. Reading industry trades and big business publications is great, but to truly understand the man or woman behind the companies that you represent, seek out information and great insight that they are probably reading right now or still check out from time to time to find one or two great innovative nuggets of info from the little guys.

If anything, it will give you a great sense of the spirit and excitement that entrepreneurs must have to succeed, even in one of the toughest economies we will hopefully never see again. Have a great, inspiring week, folks.

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  • http://twitter.com/tjdietderich TJ Dietderich

    Keith, I think we've talked about this before (or maybe you're just my brain twin), but isn't it so frustrating and so horrible when you see someone without any innate curiosity? I think what you describe here, this need to explore new ideas, is something that some people just never feel. You see them not just in flackland but in all industries, people who are just not curious about anything and keep doing the same thing over and over. How awful it must be!

  • missmotorcade

    I'm inspired :) Love that you wrote about this, it's what keeps me going. And I agree with Teej – I really don't get people who aren't into exploring new and exciting technologies, ideas and processes – how boring! Change is good (well, most of the time) – and always worth knowing about.

  • jeffespo

    Keith – this is a great idea and makes you stop to smell the roses a bit. Sorry for the bad pun but that kind of thinking will help folks stay above the fray and ahead of the curve.

  • keithtrivitt

    Folks – Thanks for the great comments. Sorry I didn't reply back sooner.

    TJ – I think you're right that there are a group of people in pretty much every industry who go through their jobs on a day-to-day basis without ever experiencing some form of curiousity or exploration in both what they are doing and what they could be doing. And that's totally find, but it's just not me and how I want my career to play out. I want to explore all different facets of what interest me, and push the boundaries of what I know and love.

    Sherri – Exploration is what makes the world go round! At least … that's what I was taught in school. OK, not so much, but exploration and being curious are innate qualities to all of us, and as Jeff notes below your comment, we need to keep our minds curious and active, particularly in the PR and marketing businesses, where A) Our clients and organizations often pay us for these abilities and skills; and B) It helps us do our jobs better, and more importantly, as Jeff notes, it helps us to avoid burnout and stay ahead of the curve and our competition.

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  • Brian Trivitt

    Keith, this is an abolustely fantastic article. I too have found that the more ideas you are opened to, the more you can understand where leaders are coming from when they make decisions. I also want to point out that this mindset was crucial to the great microbrews we know and enjoy today, as without it, we would be drinking the same old boring pale lagers.