Posted 11 Dec 2012
A Day In The Life: Shed Simove
Courvoisier UK invited Ideas Man, author of ‘Success Or Your Money Back’ and host of December’s The Future Series networking session, Shed Simove, to join us in an interview as we tried to uncover a ‘typical’ day in his life…
For those who don’t know, how would you best describe your role as an ‘Ideas Man’?
This is always a tricky one. People need neat boxes to place you in and I relish pursuing many passions, but I would say I’m an entrepreneur, author and performer – as well as a corporate speaker on innovation and creativity. I get things done and make ideas happen – and enjoy speaking with individuals and companies about how to do so.
How did you find yourself in such a career?
In my opinion, schools fail us – because no one tests our latent abilities when we’re young. Certainly no one discovered my creativity when I was at school, and so instead I had to slowly unearth it myself. I had a television career for fifteen years, which included working on high-profile programmes like ‘The Big Breakfast’ and ‘Big Brother’, but I ultimately believe in the human brain and its ability to think of solutions to any problem. So I turned my interest to other areas that excited me – and used my brain for those. Now, I make novelty gifts and write books on personal development. I also started speaking to big companies who were very receptive to my techniques and needed the injection of creativity and innovation that I could provide. These days because of the internet and the fact that anyone can copy an idea, it’s more important than ever to be innovative to maintain your competitive edge, and that’s why having constant ideas is vital.
Would you say there was such a thing as a ‘typical’ day in your life?
There’s not – and in fact, it’s taken me 20 years to make sure there isn’t! Having an atypical day is my aim and I try to pack it with exciting, unpredictable, fun events. Life is short, so my goal is to fill my time with interesting stimuli and have multiple ideas on the go at once.
Do you have a morning routine designed to get you inspired and ready for the day ahead?
I use triggers for inspiration, and one of my favourites is horses’ names. I sometimes look on betting websites at horses’ names first thing in the morning to send my mind in different directions and get myself thinking. Try it, it helps!
What part of the day do you feel at your most creative?
I find you can be creative at any point during the day – in the bath, in bed, in the pub… When you’re relaxed, ideas often bubble up from your subconscious, and that’s why it’s crucial to carry a notepad and pen with you at all times – or failing that, call your answering machine to ensure you capture all of your ideas.
How do you motivate yourself throughout the day to keep the ideas flowing?
I motivate myself by carefully choosing to focus on only the goals which completely and utterly excite me. This way, I find that any challenges I may face along the way are easily overcome as the inspiration I feel drives me to keep going.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
It’s most rewarding when you get to meet and collaborate with interesting people who are talented in a completely different way to you. I also enjoy the amazing places I get to visit as a result my corporate speaking, and find it enormously fulfilling when one of my books or speeches inspires someone. And if my novelty gifts can make people laugh as well, then I feel like I’ve hit the double jackpot: inspiration and laughter.
Do you find that taking breaks during the day helps to kick start your imagination, or do you prefer to push straight through when inspiration strikes?
I don’t believe in structure, and have always found the concept of a 9-5 day very odd. My brain is always working, as even when relaxing the subconscious can still find solutions. Added to that, the world is so connected nowadays that even if you have a brilliant idea at
4am you can get straight on the Internet, contact an expert and start to make it happen.
What would you say has been your greatest success?
I’m very proud of my books ‘Ideas Man’ and ‘Success Or Your Money Back’ as people take real value from these. I’m also proud of my television career, of having sold over one
million novelty products worldwide, and of my speeches too. It’s not really for me to say what my greatest success has been, but if I’ve spread a little magic then I’m happy. My next idea, though, is always my best!
Are you able to switch off in the evening or do you have to force yourself to relax?
I never switch off. Opportunities are everywhere and my brain is always thinking of ways to twist existing ideas and put two seemingly opposing ideas together. These are some of the core creativity techniques I cover in my latest book, and as such, my mind is constantly full of ideas.
With such a busy day-to-day schedule, when do you find time to plan for next year?
There’s a balance between forward planning and leaving time for thrilling and unexpected opportunities, so although I do plan ahead I also try to give myself enough space to grab anything wonderful that comes my way.
Can you give us any details about what we can look out for next from Shed Simove?
I’m currently working on a new fiction book, as well as a variety of new naughty products, so make sure to keep your eye on my website and follow me on Twitter. I’m working towards becoming a well-known public speaker on creativity and innovation and also looking forward to forming exciting new collaborations with my fellow talented members on Courvoisier The Future 500 and to start many more adventures in the future.
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