As much as every entrepreneur fancies him (or her) self a creative genius, there comes a point where the ideas dry up. Although a good idea won’t amount to anything without a bunch of hard work, if the idea is yawn-inducing to begin with—no amount of effort is going to turn it into a billion dollar unicorn.
Suffice to say: the ideation stage of a new business is crucial. This is where we come in. See, we interviewed three of Australia’s leading entrepreneurs, to get the lowdown on the best locations to come up with a successful business idea.
First up, we talked to Stevan Premutico: tech entrepreneur, investor & founder of Dimmi, who emphasised the importance of choosing a location that shakes you up a bit.
“For me it’s just about getting out of my normal zone and routine. When I do that, I find that my mind wonders and can be creative and free.”
For short breaks, he said, “I just love Byron Bay, such a beautiful, creative and inspiring energy. This is where I went a few months back to lock myself away for a few weeks to work on my next start-up idea. Just lots of yoga, reading, thinking & writing.” Other areas he recommends are, “The wine regions like Hunter Valley or Mornington Peninsula, the south coast—places like Jervis Bay. Anywhere by the beach, in big beautiful nature or surrounded by great food, coffee and wine.”
His recommendations for longer breaks, however, were further afield; “Iceland is like no other place on earth and it’s difficult not to be truly inspired and rejuvenated,” he said. Also, any aspiring entrepreneur, particularly in the IT industry should head to San Francisco, “Because it’s hard not to be inspired when every conversation around you is about how you can use tech to make the world a better place.”
He also spoke highly of the Camino de Santiago, “A thirty day walk from the Pyrenees in France right across Spain. Completely tech-free; just you and your back-pack. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever done. Just the most amazing way to surrender, be free, think, explore and perhaps… Crack your next big idea.”
Matt Jensen, founder of M.J Bale, shares this passion for backpacking. “Back in the day I hatched the plan to get into the clothing business when I was travelling through Scandinavia. I always carried a notepad with me and wrote down clothes that inspired me, as well as people, business names etc. as things started to take shape.”
And once you put yourself in a supposedly inspirational location? “When you go out adventuring and you see things you gotta write them down,” he said. “I get a bit bored sitting still. Summer or winter…I like going to the mountains—places with altitude, and countries that are culturally rich.”
“Later this year I’m heading off to Africa—one of the places on earth that’s changing very rapidly—so you need to get there quickly to see it.”
The responses of Jaime Gonzalez, founder of Limitless Living, continued this theme of seeking out diversity, and challenging yourself. “Go anywhere that challenges what you know, cultures that are diverse and will bring a new sense of wonder to the way of life you may be comfortable in,” he said.
“The most impactful trips have been when I’ve visited places where life is not taken for granted.”
He continued, “One of those places that made me really appreciate and ignite my own personal drive was visiting Malawi in Africa. Once you see and connect with people that struggle for the most basic things in life, but also can smile and have hope, you’ll never question your apparent problems again.”
And although we’d all love the luxury of heading overseas to recharge, for those that can’t find the time to get away; inspiration is still possible. As Stevan Premutico pointed out; “Ideas are sometimes born in the most random of locations. My idea for Dimmi was born on the back of a napkin whilst I sat in a cafe in London with a glass of wine, a bowl of pasta and the a free mind. Many of my better ideas for Dimmi happened around the Yoga mat.
“For inspiration nothing beats a good museum, a good book store, a good podcast, a good book or—best of all—great conversations with thought leaders and amazing people.”
The key takeaway for budding entrepreneurs is this: your best thinking comes when you are fresh; so make time to recharge. “For me,” Stevan said, “Taking a day here, a yoga session there, a weekend away from the phone etc. helped me become productive and a better leader. Do this and you will inspire a better business.”