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How To Rise Out of Your Rut
Six techniques to put a spark back into your creative fizzle.
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 by Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

Scott LorenzThink you're in a rut? 
If you are pondering that question, then there's good chance you're in one. You must know the signs such as boredom, lack of get-up-and-go, etc.  

The reason people get in a rut is that they do the same thing all the time. In order to break free of the things that bind you and your thought process you've got to do something different. 

It's been said you can't expect a different result if you do the same thing all the time. Here are a few suggestions from my perspective as a publicist and marketer about getting out of a rut.

1. Find your weaknesses and make them your strengths. My weakness 16 years ago was a complete lack of computer skills. Now, it's one of my strengths. How'd I do it? Took the time to go to classes on Microsoft products and became proficient in MS Outlook. Why does it matter? My entire day revolves around that program and I am far more efficient than ever. Furthermore, I could not do what I do without those computer skills which in themselves opened up other opportunities. Not sure what your weakness is? Ask your spouse, children, boss, coworkers, etc. Believe me, they'll tell you.
2. Consider establishing a consulting practice. The first step, read Million Dollar Consulting by Alan Weiss. This is my bible for consulting and should be the bible for anyone else considering this field. As a marketer, this has been the single most important book that has helped me establish my firm and charge the fees needed to succeed. One key point Alan makes is "don't sell your time, sell value." Not comprehending this fact dooms many people who try consulting and fail; they don't charge enough for their services. My copy is so beaten up, the cover is about to come off. Why? Because I read it all the time! Furthermore, I have given this book as a gift to budding consultants so many times I've lost count. If you are a consultant now or want to be a consultant, then read this book.
3. Travel. Hit the beach. Go to a foreign country where you have no idea about their language or culture. It'll force you to think differently. Some of the most significant trips I have ever taken were to China where everything was different: food, culture, language, etc.
4. Read something different like poetry or business books. Get some business books like PyroMarketing and Freakonomics and read them. Break out of the mold and read something you'd never consider, like poetry. I suggest Hero Island by Stephen Wiley, who was (and is) a successful New Jersey attorney who decided to learn how to write poetry and became a published author. He didn't let 50 years of being a lawyer stop him from pursuing a dream. 
5. Do something exciting. Take a hot air balloon ride; go sailing on a barefoot cruise for a week in the Caribbean where you are part of the crew doing the work. When you're focused on sailing, your subconscious mind will help you get free of things that trap you in the rut.
6. Meet your fears and conquer them. Can't stand heights? Learn how to parachute. Don't like to go underwater? Learn how to scuba dive. Don't like raw fish? Eat some sushi. Force yourself to do something you don't want to do. You'll be better for it.

The bottom line? You are the captain of your own ship. Start calling the shots and get out of that rut!

Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations 
and marketing firm. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC Nightly News, ESPN, The New York Times, 
and Howard Stern. 

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