One of the great things about running a small shop is the ease with which we can take our show on the road. This morning, I decamped to our local café, the Open Eye, where I set up my laptop, tapped into Carrboro’s free wi-fi and loaded up on fine, locally-roasted coffee. In the space of an hour, I’ve processed emails, come up with a fun direct mail campaign arc, and run into a few folks I just don’t get to see otherwise.

Is my productivity higher here? Not necessarily. But the change of venue is as energizing as the caffeine and the soundtrack. Getting away from the familiar jumpstarts my creativity and thought process. My perspective changes simply because the view has.

And, I’ll be honest, sitting around this joint gives me a good sense of what my neighbor Bob Saunders calls “the pulse of the people”. I learn a lot about what’s making its way along the grapevine and what the local kilt-wearing runners are concerned about today. I get ideas for op-eds, for ads, for lots of things from the snippets of conversation I overhear during lulls in the action. It’s a great idea generator!

Where do you go to get your creative juices flowing? Right now I have to get back to the factory floor!