Ways In Which Entrepreneurs Can Enhance Their Creativity
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
While entrepreneurs inevitably possess a multitude of skills, 'creativity' yet remains to be a subjective, sensitive, and a universal challenge. The mind space that goes into reinventing the wheel in showing novelty through ideas and products, in conceptualizing the unthinkable, and convincing the end user (who could be the client or the employee) is not only a herculean task but also an absolutely essential. Let's start by defining 'Creativity'. Wikipedia defines it as 'the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness.' But I personally do not think this definition is enough. Creativity in entrepreneurship is beyond original ideas. It is beyond just the use of imagination. It also includes bringing tricks to the table, it includes using your instinct, it includes looking doing whatever it takes to run the company, it includes using various perspectives and rubbishing your critics, it includes quietening your mind in order to remove the smoke and fog so one can see clearly. Creativity in entrepreneurship is not just bringing new ideas or looking beyond the obvious, it is the pure art of survival.
While imagination is the beginning of creation, and creativity takes courage, and what can stop an entrepreneur from being courageous in order to survive and thrive?
I like to believe that entrepreneurial creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye, you must think out of the box but never kick out the box altogether. From a myopic view, one may say that what is required is that one should work constantly towards improving their product or service and optimising the business. But as an entrepreneur with 4000 similar service providers located within 50 kms of my office, I can safely say that it takes immense creativity just to be afloat let alone expand your business.
Therefore let's look into what it takes to get an edge over the competition, being feasible and efficient:
You are Not Just a Sailor, You Need to Be an Explorer
Welcome neo-realism. Bring together the absolute opposites to create something iconic. Experiment, learn and implement your new ideas. Appreciate and consider every idea, irrespective of its source. Always be a student, never stop learning. Better yet, never stop exploring. There is always an answer in the nook and cranny of a lurking conversation with a client, a resource, an employee or a friend. Keep that in the back of your mind that it is to your advantage that you keep abreast of different viewpoints which will help you answer all kinds of questions, like how to place yourself in the market, prominently; or how to make your product stand out from other established brands. Explore, observe and analyse all kinds of markets especially the international ones. Read and converse with successful and inspiring people. It will open new windows for you. Your mind is an open ocean, your journey is to explore every high and low tide.
You Cannot Have a Plan for More Than a Week, You Must Have a Vision
Keep your plan for the week ready. That's perhaps all you will have control over anyways. But here is the trick, place it next to your vision. It always pays to adhere to the rules as long as they serve potentially to the organisation. Aim for improvement rather than perfection. Brainstorm your way through choosing an idea. I never spend more than 20 minutes in a meeting. I never look at a fixed vision, my vision keeps evolving. Yours must too. As Pablo Picasso once said that the chief enemy of creativity is good sense! So keep your enemy away, and be fearlessly distinct. To achieve your Eureka moment, creative thinking can be taking inspiration from others' ideas by transforming and combining them - but for short-term only.
Comfort Zones Keep Changing, You Must Redefine Comfort
Everyone is advised to get out of their comfort zones if they want to create more. But, let's hang back a minute. The word 'comfort' is key. Creativity comes out of being in a good space. Give your mind some relaxation and peace; give this little something to yourself and your mind will generate ideas, such that you would find unthinkable. It could start with using the right moisturizer, or meditating for 3 minutes between meetings, or it could be wearing comfortable sneakers to a negotiation - whatever works for you - try to make things easier for yourself where the impact on your cortisol levels are not damaging. The idea is to help yourself turn your negatives and positives, just how Coco and Breezy turned the negative effect of bullying into a successful eyeglass business worn by Lady Gaga and Beyonc?.
The Smoke in Your Mind is Dangerous to Health
Having a calm and empty mind is a must for an entrepreneur to let the creativity flow. But this is virtually impossible considering you are running after clients, employees, and vendors, contractors, networking circles all while desperately chasing your dreams. Giving you the advice that you should just get rid of everything that's unnecessary on your desk and on your mind is so useless! So, here's a warning instead - Help your health before you can't chase anything! It's a daunting but a very imperative task to slow down as an Entrepreneur and commit to your health. Your mind is just like your mail inbox, which is flooded with several unsorted tasks, but if acted upon can be easily sorted through.
Sort out the essentials of your life and eliminate everything that is not required. Make a journal and jot down everything; it helps you explore different areas of your life making de-cluttering easier.
Visual clutter also makes your mind a mess. Look around you and the heap of stuff just lying around. All of it is a visual clutter that is taking a toll on your mind as well. Get rid of it all. Nothing in life is more important than a calm and peaceful mind.
New Day, New Goals
Being an entrepreneur is not an easy task. You are always surrounded by mass loads of work. And you cannot afford to miss a single thing when creating more from your business. This is why it is necessary for you to set an everyday goal for yourself - a goal to learn, a goal to look at inspiring art, or a goal to understand your client brief better. No creativity comes out of a long-term goal. It is short-term small goals that help with evolution. This also helps in making your work easier to handle. You know what your long-term target is; so, in order to achieve them, you need to break down the task into daily actions. While doing this, you will let your mind into a creative mode of simplifying your work, and you will have clarity of where to put all your focus on.
You are not a superhero. And you don't need to be one. Just focus on a single thing at a time. Every day break-down of goals helps you measure the progress you are making towards your main goal.
In conclusion, most of the important factors in being creative will depend on how well you are aware of your own personal attributes. To manoeuvre projects, creatively never leave the banks of optimism, vision, self-control and having initiative, persistence, tolerance and resilience from within. Unbreakable faith in oneself is a cherry on top.