Like a Kid Again

Can thinking like a child help your business?
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the July 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When you were a child, everything seemed possible. Getting back to that kind of thinking could be just what you need to help you innovate, says Jim Canterucci, author of Personal Brilliance: Mastering the Everyday Habits That Create a Lifetime of Success. Here are some of his thoughts on the matter.

What is the key to thinking like a child?

If you look at a child, you see the repetitive "why" questions--they're not assuming they know the answers. I think we've turned off that questioning muscle. If we can get back to thinking like a child, asking a question and looking at things [with] a sense of wonder and awe... frequently, we'll find that innovation comes.

How do you get back to that place of forgetting what you know?

Seek out the opinions of experts without [thinking] you're supposed to have all the answers. Seek alternate solutions. Are there other opportunities from other industries? [And] seek a non-expert's opinion. Talk to your spouse about the problem--because they're not so mired in the details, perhaps they'll have a solution.

In your book, you write about "identifying what's impossible." How does this kind of exercise help entrepreneurs innovate?

[Ask yourself] what the greatest solution to this problem would be. I know it's not possible, but what would it be? That type of exploration opens up your mind. Nine out of 10 of those really are impossible, but [some] might be the seed of an idea that brings you to a true innovation within your organization.

More from Entrepreneur

Learn to be a better leader and develop successful marketing and branding strategies with Dr. Patti Fletcher's help.
Book Your Session

For a limited time only, get this bundle of Entrepreneur PressĀ® titles for less than $30 (60% OFF) on our bookstore when you use "LEAP" at checkout.
Buy Now

Are paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.
Get Your Quote Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.