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100DC Day 65: Practice Innovation

100 Day Challenge: Practice InnovationIn 1994 I started a homeschooling business. It included a subscription monthly newsletter and a small (and ever-growing) catalog of educational products.

Within a couple of months I used a space on America OnLine’s servers to create a very rudimentary web site for the business. The site included resource categories with products listed by category (with hyperlinks!). Each product had a description, product number, and price. The site included contact info as well as directions for phone, mail, or fax ordering. (Although I had merchant account that allowed transactions to be run through a modem, there was no online ordering at that time.)

As far as I know, Bright Spark Press had the first homeschooling catalog online. It was straight up, boring HTML code, but it was an innovation in that market.

Innovation: To make changes to something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products.

Innovation isn’t inventing something new. It’s reworking a process or changing a dynamic. Innovation is what gives a competitive advantage, interest, and efficiency.

When I teach my five home organization systems, conference attendees get excited. But it’s not because I invented doing laundry. It’s because I changed the method of doing laundry so that it’s no longer time-consuming drudgery. And, in fact, it’s a bit of an innovation to innovate on something as mundane and old-school as cleaning clothing.

In your life and business, innovation will be most beneficial in those areas that bog you down, that nag at you, that never get done or take inordinate amounts of time. What can you do to make them easier, faster, more fun? What can you do to increase efficiency and quality?

Those are the innovations that will change your life for the better in short order.

Join me in the 100 Day Challenge!

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • underdog March 6, 2013, 5:48 am

    As a stay-at-home dad, I found that running my home like a business has helped me make things efficient and kept it interesting. I’m always looking for new ways do thing so free up time and have a more streamlined home.

    I’d be interested in seeing your laundry method. That’s one area that still is a pain in my ass. Pardon the French.

  • underdog March 6, 2013, 5:50 am

    I see my French put my comment in to moderation. Sorry about that! I’ll watch my language from now on.

  • Optimalmission March 6, 2013, 7:58 am

    I would love to hear how you make laundry less time consuming. There is literally nothing I hate more about home maintenance than doing laundry.

    Have you written about this already?

  • Alison Moore Smith March 6, 2013, 3:08 pm

    Thanks for your comment, underdog.

    Just so you know, all first-time comments are moderated. Once I approve one comment, the rest of yours should go right through. It’s just a spam-reduction technique. 🙂
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Public School Music and Art – Just Say NoMy Profile

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