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Creatively Stuck? Fellow ECPs Share What They Do When Hit A Wall

Some ideas include walking away for a bit, hitting the internet and coffee... lots of coffee, among others.

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  • I call a staff meeting. I have a very creative group of opticians and when we get together and brainstorm the ideas flow. — Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy & Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
  • Wait for the next wave. — William Berk, Gleek and Howard Opticians, Millburn, NJ
  • Go on an idea/inspiration walk. — Kevin Count, Prentice Lab, Glenview, IL
  • Take about 30 minutes not doing work-based things to think outside of the box on new creative things to do for a certain season/holiday. Read INVISION for inspiration or see what other businesses are doing to feed off their energy. — Heather Harrington, Elevated Eyecare, Denver, CO
  • Seek help from my creative coworkers. — Heidi Hipsher, Northland Eye Care, Flagstaff, AZ
  • Look at what other non-optical businesses are doing. — Siobhan Burns, The Eyeglass Lass, New London, CT
  • Move on to another task that doesn’t require as much creativity, like QuickBooks. It always comes back to me after that! — Nytarsha Thomas, OD, Visionelle Eyecare, Zionsville, IN
  • Talk to employees; we share Pinterest groups too. — Pam Peters, Midwest Eye, Downers Grove, IL
  • Pinterest. — Caitlin Wicka, San Juan Eye Center, Montrose, CO
  • Ask the staff or my spouse for ideas. — Sonja Franklin, OD, Modern Eyes, Austin, TX
  • I bounce things off of others, Google or use Pinterest. — Ann-Marie Weaver, Optimal Eye Care, Lewis Center, OH
  • Leave it alone for a time and hope to come back later with fresh eyes. I also seek out help from others. — Nichole Montavon, Oskaloosa Vision Center, Oskaloosa, LA
  • I usually give myself a break. Take some time off from trying to be creative and something will eventually come that will be awesome. — Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • Call my older brother who is an MD. — BJ Chambers, Carrera Optical, McQueeney, TX
  • Go on vacation! — Kimberly Theis, Powell Vision Center, Powell, OH
  • Borrow someone’s else’s! — Mark Perry, OD, Vision Health Institute, Orlando, FL
  • Pinterest or leaf through old trade magazines. — Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • Hit the internet: Google, Pinterest, ODs on FB, FB Private Practice Group. — Susan Holt, OD, Coastal North Vision Care, Myrtle Beach, SC
  • I take a step back and allow my brain some rest and try again. Maybe ask another’s perspective to get more ideas flowing. — Selena Jachens, Urban Eyecare & Eyewear, West Des Moines, IA
  • Collaborate with colleagues. — Denise Robertson, Washington State University Vision Clinic, Pullman, WA
  • Look back on how I could have done something better and try to rework something that work okay but not great. I feel that sometimes things don’t work as well because it wasn’t the best time or place for the idea. — Nicole Leonard, Custom Eye Care, San Antonio, TX
  • Look to other opticals for inspiration. — Travis LeFevre, Krystal Vision, Logan, UT
  • Very recently I was working on creating a TV ad and felt brain dead. I simply recorded a few notes, rough ideas on what I wanted included in the ad. The next day, I opened the document, moved a few things around, corrected the grammar and created an exceptional ad. The moral of this story, go home, clear your mind and trust in your ability. — Pam Housley, Texas State Optical of Nederland, Port Arthur, TX
  • Sit back and think some more to solve a case; ponder a better solution outside the box. — Kenneth Weiner, OD, Livingston, NJ
  • Talk to other people. — Danielle Doniver, Heritage Optical, Detroit, MI
  • Go to INVISION? — Minh Ta, Specs Appeal, Decatur, GA
  • Go for a bike ride! My mind is inspired every time I take to the pedals! — Bethany Cassar, Complete Eye Health, Holland, MI
  • Read INVISION magazine. I can always get ideas there and online. — Martha Davenport, Safe Vision, Wheatfield, IN
  • I look for inspiration from trade magazines, blogs and social media sites. It helps me when I feel like I’m in a rut. — Christine Howard, Attleboro Vision Care, Attleboro, MA
  • Unplug from the electronics, sit in a quiet room and eat chocolate. — Erika Tydor, OD, Shoreline Eyecare, Shoreline, WA
  • Get another person’s perspective on the issue. — Elizabeth Knaus, A to Z Eye Care, Arcata, CA
  • I find the coolest person I know, butter them up by telling them their really ill-fitting glasses are…well…trendy(?) and bounce some ideas off of them. Another perspective always helps me. — Kirk Lee, Eye Care Associates, Ellisville, MS
  • I am a fan of the Google … or I go on Pinterest or Instagram and just scroll around on the pages that I follow. Sometimes just NOT thinking about something helps me figure it out. — Kim Hilgers, Monson Eyecare Center, Owatonna, MN
  • I try and get inspiration from other brands, not necessarily in the optical field. I search Instagram and other websites, watch videos, etc. — Cynthia Sayers, OD, EyeShop Optical Center, Lewis Center, OH
  • Think outside the box. — Leisa Lauer, Westcliff Optometry, Newport Beach, FL
  • I ask a patient, “What are your thoughts?” Many times once they begin speaking key words are said to spark an idea or recommendation on my part. — Robert M Easton Jr, OD, FAAO, Oakland Park, FL
  • Walk away for a bit. — Dorothy Reynolds, Optical Alternatives, Milford, CT
  • Read INVISION magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine, or talk to other doctors that I consider mentors. — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • I always try to grab inspiration from everywhere; Facebook, online, journals, trade magazines etc. So far those things have given me TOO many ideas so being stuck is not the issue it is trying to focus and implement that is. — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • Reach out to my old office and old optical friends for ideas. — Gayle Bergthold, Bee Cave Vision Center, Bee Cave, TX
  • In terms of displays, I look at Pinterest! In terms of frames, I look at Opticians on Facebook. — Tiffany Firer, Lifetime Eyecare, Jenison, MI
  • I look at other industries for inspiration. Sometimes when you stop thinking about something the best ideas come. — Adam Ramsey, OD, Socialite Vision, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
  • Read INVISION magazine. (Does that earn me a bonus?) — Scott Keating, OD, Vision Trends, Dover, OH
  • I’m visual. I get on Pinterest. — Nikki Griffin, EyeStyles Optical and Boutique, Oakdale, MN
  • Take a break from that project, than come back to it. — Ron Catterson, Clear View Optix, The Villages, FL
  • Read more articles in whatever area I’m working on to scan for ideas. Then do something completely different for a while like getting out in nature so my subconscious can work on it for a while. — Elizabeth Atkinson, OD, Atkinson Eye Care, Algonquin, IL
  • Doodle. Lots of doodling. — Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • Drink some coffee and come back to it later. It gives my brain time to reset. — Deanna Phillips, Clemmons Family Eye Care, Clemmons, NC
  • Coffee. And music. From Mozart to Metal and back. — Pablo E. Mercado, Optima Eye Care, Alpharetta, GA
  • Read a magazine, browse Pinterest, sleep! — Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND
  • Turn to INVISION to see what others are doing for inspiration. Slowing down and taking a moment. — Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision, Edmond, OK
  • Take a break and relax in the swim spa. — Pam Neagle, Austin Eyeworks, Austin, TX
  • Brainstorm with colleagues and family. — Tammy Warmouth, Main Optical, Luzerne, PA
  • Read, research…expose myself to outlets that generate conversation and ideas. Take a break and come back around to allow my mind to open up. — Dianna Finisecy, Wagner Opticians, Washington, DC
  • Read and research. — Sabina Krasnov, i2ioptique, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Look at others in the profession and see trends, troll the internet. — Chris Clark, Advanced Eye Care Optical Shoppe, Panama City, FL
  • I look at what other retailers are doing. — Vlad Cordero, Focus Eye Care PC, Hackensack, NJ
  • Look online or go to my family and/or friends. — Kimberly Riggs, OD, Ligonier, PA
  • Brainstorm with my coworkers. There’s nothing like hearing someone else’s thoughts/ideas to get my creative juices flowing again. Love to collaborate! — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South Georgia, Valdosta, GA
  • Go on vacation and scuba dive; visiting practices in other countries gives me a healthy perspective on how good we have it in the states. — Dennis Iadarola, OD, Center for Vision Care, Monroe, CT
  • Take a step back and go on vacation or at least get out into nature and reset. — Larah Alami, OD, Hudson River Eye Care White Plains and Tarrytown, NY
  • Scroll through Instagram. I’m a very visual person. I could watch hours of people decorating cakes/cookies or throwing pottery. Three hours later… — Renee Berry, Nappanee Family Eyecare, Nappanee, IN
  • I read. Fellow opticians on OOF, management tips, style magazines, look at other types of businesses for influence. — Annette M. Prevaux, The Visionary, Allen Park, MI
  • Podcasts from all sorts of businesses. Looking for ideas not just from optometry. — Kristina Jordan, OD, The Eye Site, Mishawaka, IN
  • Do something else. — Kevin Bushouse, Rx Optical, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Clean and attack my pile of paperwork. — Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • Smoke pot. — Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates, Girard, PA
  • Come up with a few ridiculous ideas and that usually shakes the cobwebs to make room for creativity. — Sarah Bureau, sbspecs, St. Catharines, ON
  • Search for more ideas! — Susie Phillips, Dr. Brendon Johnson, O.D, Pekin, IL

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