The Practice of Info-sponging and The Daily Magnet

 Info-Sponging is the way to grow!

What the heck is that? I was first introduced to it by Jeff Hoffman, the co-founder of Priceline.com when I Choices to Changes authored by Sheila Kennedy of The Zebra Ink introduces info-sponginginterviewed him for my book, Choices to Changes.  “Info-sponging is observing what is happening outside your industry and in the world, literally taking notes and then connecting the dots of random ideas to create new solutions. This is about noticing the changes that are happening in the world, getting excited about them, and making them fit in new ways. Hunting for changes rather than fearing them.”

Practically speaking how exactly does one info-sponge?

Grab yourself some Post It Notes – either physical or virtual. I used to do it with actual post it notes and that is how Jeff did it to. Now I post the ideas to an app on my phone. Either one works and it depends on what is most efficient and comfortable for you. Then you surf the net or read a newspaper or troll social media. Look for ideas of interest to you. They don’t have to be in your industry, in fact it is better if it is not in your industry. The goal is to check out what other people are doing and thinking. Those ideas that intrigue you are worthy of a Post It Note. 

Next is to review those ideas every few weeks. Brainstorm around them. See what might fit or can be adjusted to what you are doing and sharing. Info-sponging is how Priceline.com was created.  Jeff and his team were scouring through the post it notes and came upon how a meat and produce supplier handled selling off nearly expired food. They applied the same sale tactics on a plane ticket which is just like nearly expired food. Once the plane takes off, you can’t sell it, just like expired food you can’t eat. That is how Priceline.com took off!

Another example that Jeff shared was about Ray Kroc and McDonalds. Ray was frustrated one day that there might be a better way to deliver the products. He left the restaurant to run a few errands and get refreshed. When he was at the bank dropping off deposits, he noticed that there was a lot of construction going on outside the building. He asked what they were doing and turns out they were installing the first drive through window at the bank … so customers wouldn’t have to get out of the cars to come in and bank. Ray went back to the restaurant and started plans for the first McDonald’s drive through.

How does this help you as an author?

You have your area of expertise or your story idea that is solid and you don’t want to get in the habit of imitating or copying another’s work, BUT getting a new angle on how to demonstrate or teach a concept can be a life saver to a non-fiction author that has writer’s block. Info-sponging is also a fantastic way to pick up ideas for future story lines for fiction writers. It also might open new opportunities to collaborate with people that aren’t connected to you yet. Just today while I was searching through a tech blog, I found a resource that provides ePUB conversion and Kindle E-book design services. It is certainly worth giving it a little more research and exploring to see if we could form a new partnership. I wouldn’t have had the possibility open, if I hadn’t spent some time info-sponging today.

The Daily Magnet including Info-sponging from Sheila Kennedy at The Zebra InkIt is a great tool to use and I highly recommend it for a maximum of twenty minutes each day. Yes – I said twenty minutes a day – don’t let it be a time suck for you! This is so important to my practice that I have added it to The Daily Magnet.  The Magnet came from the practices that the Confident Entrepreneurs applied to their daily routine to attract more abundance into their lives. I used those practices in a sixty-day experiment that tripled my income, opened invitations for speaking engagements and attracted my ideal clients.  It is a free download and you can find it here at THE DAILY MAGNET.

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