Ten ways to feed your mind

Smart business people have an insatiable thirst for knowledge. They never stop trying to develop their understanding of the world.

Tim Smit, founder of the Eden Project, is so passionate about consuming information and meeting people he otherwise wouldn't, he will only accept every third event invitation. This introduces a random element to his networking strategy: he never knows who he might meet or where he might go.

Tim passionately believes "all strong leaders should regularly take their views to the cleaner". Here are Smit's top ten ways to consume something new:

  1. Watch a different TED talk every day - it's obvious once you're in the TED crew, not obvious when you're not.
  2. Follow more people on Twitter. Forget the ego-flattery of having a high follower to following ratio and instead benefit from a wider stream of thoughts and opinions.
  3. Use YouTube and Flickr as search engines - you should find what you're looking for AND something valuable you're not.
  4. Engage in popular culture. Don't be a snob: read tabloid newspapers, watch The Apprentice, X-Factor, Big Brother, Eastenders every now and again. Use iTunes and Amazon to keep an eye on the music and book charts.
  5. Get into audiobooks - even if you can skim read a 300 page book on the tube, will you? Audiobooks get the job done.
  6. Speak to children and young people. Ask them what they did today and what frustrates them.
  7. Network erratically. Go to events for industries that have no relevance to you. You'll go from being the same as everyone else in the room to being the one who's different and interesting. Also, network in different cities.
  8. Shake up your social life. Visit your local art gallery every month regardless of the exhibition. Let your friends choose the movie, play, gig or restaurant. Find out about educational walks or talks in your area and go along. Take an evening course in something totally different.
  9. Check out and sign-up to Springwise and other sites that give you regular idea and trend updates.
  10. Look across the pond for rising trends too. Read US magazines and websites and watch live streams of US events.

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