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The Homer Simpson Moment

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What is it that separates innovators from non-innovators? The "Homer Simpson moment!"

If you're a video person, I lay it all out in the video below. If reading is more your thing, skip the video and hop straight to the transcript below!

Hey everybody, Bill Stainton here with Turning Creativity into Money™, and today I want to ask you if you know the difference between innovative people and non-innovative people? Now you might be thinking, "Well the innovative people have amazing IQs, or they're just super creative, or they're just, they're just gifted." You know, the lightning bolt comes down and it strikes them and that's how it happens, that's how you become Steve jJobs or Elon Musk or people like that.
 

You know what? It turns out it's a lot easier than that, and it's available to all of us. Here's how it really works.

See, we all go through life, we just kind of walk through life day to day, do-dee-do, dum-dee-dum-dee-dum-dum-dum, we're walking through life right? And every now and then, BAM, we hit a brick wall. Now these brick walls come in all sizes and shapes. It could be you get a flat tire on the way to an important appointment, or it could be a worldwide global pandemic! BAM! You hit a brick wall. It happens to all of us. And when we hit that brick wall we have what I call the Homer Simpson Moment.

We hit the brick wall we go, "Doh!" Right? The Homer Simpson Moment. Because things aren't going our way—and that's where most of us stop. I mean, we might go on to whine and complain about it, but we basically stop. There's the brick wall. We don't like it. That's it.

The innovative thinker, the creative person, the problem solver, the one who gets the headlines and comes up with the inventions and the great ideas—they go through the exact same steps, except they do one more thing, just one more thing.

They also walk through life and, BAM, they hit their brick wall—small, medium, large, whatever—they hit their brick wall. They have their Homer Simpson Moment—"Doh!" But then they do one more thing that the rest of us don't do.

They ask a question, and the question is this: "How can this be better?" In other words, they come up against the brick wall and they think, "Oh, is there a way to solve this?" And then they let their minds go to work, and they think about, "Can I come up with a solution?" That's it! That's the only difference!

Most of us see a problem and we whine about the problem. The innovator sees the problem, whines about it, and then says, "How can it be better? Can I help to fix this?"

So, I want you to start becoming an innovator. And you start by thinking about, what are the little things that bug you? And then think, how can it be—just little things around the house. "Oh, you know, I hate where the laundry hamper is because I always have to reach around..." Well, put it someplace else. Just fix it.

That's innovation!

You know, no, it's not inventing the Tesla or the iPhone or the Internet, but it's thinking about how can I solve a problem, and when you get your brain into that pattern, when you start to become a problem solver, your brain will start to do it automatically. You'll start thinking, "Oh, I guess this is how we're going to be now. Okay, cool, we're going to be problem solvers."

And that's when you become an innovator— that's when you become the person that others look to and go, like, "Wow, I wish I could be like, I wish I could be like that person, because the lightning bolt really seems to hit them." It's not a lightning bolt. It's just asking a simple question: How can this be better? I'm Bill Stainton. I'll see you the next time when I help you to Turn Your Creativity into Money™.

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About the Author:

29-time Emmy Award winner and Hall of Fame keynote speaker Bill Stainton, CSP is an expert on Innovation, Creativity, and Breakthrough Thinking. He helps leaders and their teams come up with innovative solutions — on demand — to their most challenging problems.
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