'Garbage in, garbage out' teaches us that the ingredients you put into something will impact the end result.

For example... It's pretty obvious, grass-fed organic beef is going to be tastier and more nourishing then some intensively farmed and neglected animal who has led a miserable, painful existence.

This can be applied to business too.

An organisation is the accumulated knowledge, skills, motivation, communication and experience of its staff.

It costs more to hire the right people, but it generally seems to yield greater results.

I was thinking about this today when a client asked me how I come up with ideas.

I was initially struggling to work out what to say.

'Creative' people must do different things to those who say they struggle generating ideas.

I then twigged that it seems to be all about what you put into your brain.

I reckon I watch no more than an hour or two of TV each week, at the most. 

Pretty sure that plays a big part.

Ideas come by making connections between things that other people haven't seen before.

The more stuff you have to call upon in your mental library, the easier it is to make these connections.

I'd recommend giving up Game of Thrones, House of Cards and all that stuff... As entertaining as it is, it's killing time, not utilising it.

Listen to podcasts when walking, driving or in the bath.

Read some actual books.

Watch webinars and find something to learn more about.

All these things broaden your knowledge and help you to become more comfortable being in your own head.

But don't stop there... You should journal too.

One thing I love to do is go to a bar or cafe and plug in a podcast... Then I'll just roughly doodle and journal ideas that come into my head.

It could be quotes from the show, general ideas or themes to explore... Or just random words that resonate with you.

The act of 'scribing' helps you to strengthen neural pathways in your brain (so I've read).

You are literally creating an idea generating muscle in your head.

And treat it like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets.

So get used to sitting and thinking, attempting to come up with 10 ideas to solve one problem.

It doesn't matter if you use them or not. The point is to keep having ideas.

James Altucher is a huge advocate of this - You should check out his podcast... It's awesome.

So anyway, that's it. That's how I come up with ideas.

The point is that there is no shortcut or hack.

You have to invest in your brain.

Cut the shit out and give it some fuel to work with.

Common sense really. Like most good ideas.