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Running or managing a spa or massage practice certainly isn’t always smooth sailing. Sometimes when problems or challenges arise, you can rely on tried and true solutions to get you through the difficulty. But we live in a rapidly changing world thanks to technology, a 24/7 news cycle, population shifts and globalization and challenges may emerge that require a completely new way of resolving them.

So how do you come up with new ideas to meet these new challenges head on? You may need to learn to think outside the box.  More specifically, it means you may need to look at a problem differently than you ever have before and approach the situation from an entirely new perspective. As an example, you may be losing massage therapy clients because they are retiring and moving out of the area. Previously, when you lost clientele, you may have stepped up marketing and advertising in your community. But now things may be different because new people are moving into the area that may not be familiar with massage. Therefore, you may need to think of ways to educate a while new group about the benefits of massage.

Here are five ways to help you begin to look at things differently – outside the box – to handle new situations that may come up:

Take a course:  Learning something new and acquiring new facts can prove to be very helpful in looking at a situation with a broader perspective.  It can help you to come up with possible solutions that you otherwise wouldn’t have considered.

Learn about another industry: Other industries may face similar problems or issues but have come up with different ways to resolve them. That’s why it’s valuable to learn about industries other than spa and massage therapy. One way to do this is to join a local Chamber of Commerce chapter or other group of business professionals. You’ll get opinions and insights from a range of industry professionals.

Change your setting: It can be helpful to get away for a day or more or find a new place to just sit and let your thoughts flow.  For example, find a comfortable coffee shop away from work and home stresses, sip a coffee or tea and let the ideas flow freely.  Also change your routines. Be spontaneous. It may help to stir up new ideas.

Listen to others: Tune into other people. Listen to what they have to say. Paying attention to other people’s thoughts may help you come up with new ideas of your own.

Take another route:  In “How to Think Outside the Box,” Steve Mueller suggests trying this following exercise:

  1. Take out a piece of paper
  2. Write down a challenging task
  3. Write down precisely how you intent to accomplish the task

Next, challenge yourself to come up with as many different solutions as possible. Don’t let yourself get stuck. Keep pushing yourself to come up with different solutions

These are just some ideas to jumpstart new ideas to resolving problems. Once you start thinking outside the box, you’ll enjoy the new ideas that start coming to mind.  You may find thinking outside the box not only solves problems, it may take your spa or massage practice into a new and exciting direction.