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How to Be More Creative in Your Business Creativity is an ongoing negotiation with yourself and the world. While making space in the daily hustle of running a business is difficult, finding small ways to tap into your creative mind can spark insights and innovations that broaden your business's horizons.

By Aaron Greenberg, PhD Edited by Micah Zimmerman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Creativity is a crucial aspect of running a successful business, as it allows for insights and innovations that can drive your company forward. While it may not always be easy to make time for creativity in the fast world of entrepreneurship, practical measures can help tap into your creativity and boost your business's potential. As an entrepreneur, teacher and author who can't wait for inspiration to strike, I always add new techniques to my toolbox to jumpstart my imagination. Here are a few techniques to try:

1. Brainstorm

Brainstorming is a powerful tool for fostering creativity in business. This can involve jotting notes on napkins, indulging in streams of consciousness or using an app like Biograph to speak my mind, collect ideas over time and collaborate with trusted partners.

Brainstorming allows you to generate abundant fresh material and make connections you might not have otherwise considered. It can also help you find new ways to reach your audience, strengthen your brand, and solve problems. Consider setting aside a dedicated time for brainstorming every day to create space for your ideas to breathe and grow.

Related: How Can Entrepreneurs Enhance Their Creativity?

2. Experiment

Experimentation is essential for any venture or project, as it promotes exploration and discovery in the face of uncertainty and ambiguity. This can take many forms, such as conducting A/B tests, using data to inform marketing and business decisions or trying out new approaches to problem-solving.

Embracing a spirit of experimentation allows for flexibility and adaptability, which can be key to success in the face of challenges. Your business will flourish when you lead with the childlike playfulness and open-mindedness that creative experimentation affords. Play around, have fun testing things out, and don't get too rigid or defined in how you think things "should" be — instead, let the results guide you.

3. Surround yourself with creativity

Get out there, move your cheese, and meet people! Creativity doesn't spring from some isolated genius in a tower staring out at the stormy sea. Instead, it comes from a community, the richness of conversation, debate and gossip.

Surrounding yourself with creative people and environments supercharges creativity in your own business. This can involve seeking mentors, inviting interesting people to coffee, attending workshops or conferences, or simply surrounding yourself with inspiring artwork and creative stimuli. By exposing yourself to new and diverse sources of creativity, you can expand your horizons and develop new and innovative ideas.

4. Take breaks

Recreation is re-creation. Taking breaks is an important part of the creative process, which gives your mind a chance to recharge and recalibrate. Even if you can't jet off to Hawaii, step away from your desk to take a walk in the fresh air and sunshine. You can meditate, practice a hobby or simply allow yourself to zone out. Taking breaks can help you return to work with renewed energy and a fresh perspective, which can help you find new solutions and ideas. Sometimes the answer comes to us only once we take a break from seeking it.

Related: Frequent Breaks Make Entrepreneurs More Efficient. Here's Why

5. Be mindful

Mindfulness is the practice of being present and paying attention to your thoughts and feelings without judgment. This boosts creativity, allowing you to clear your mind and better listen to your inner ideas and dialogues. By focusing on the present and being more mindful of your surroundings and experiences, you can increase your ability to generate fresh and innovative ideas.

There are many ways to practice mindfulness, including meditation, yoga and deep breathing exercises. Incorporating these into your routine can help cultivate focus, discipline and clarity. You can also bring mindfulness into your work by creating a calm and distraction-free space, taking breaks, and focusing on one task at a time. By adopting a mindful approach to your work and surroundings, you can tap into your creative potential to innovate your business forward.

Related: What Every Entrepreneur Can Gain From Mindfulness

6. Tell stories

Storytelling is the ultimate creative tool for entrepreneurs. It's a lifelong practice, not a task you can finish once and for all. Your story is alive and must evolve as you do. Storytelling helps entrepreneurs communicate complex ideas in a way that is easily understood and remembered. Through narrative, entrepreneurs can clearly articulate their vision, differentiate themselves from competitors and inspire others to join their mission.

A well-told story captivates the imagination and motivates people to take action. This can mean inspiring employees to innovate, encouraging customers to try a new product or service, or convincing stakeholders to invest in a vision. Find tools to draft your thoughts on the go because you never know where or when inspiration will strike. A spirit of collaborative storytelling turns team dialogues and customer conversations into authentic multimedia narratives that amplify diverse voices.

Related: The Key to Becoming More Creative and Innovative

It's important to remember that creativity is not something that can be turned on and off at will; rather, it's a continuous process that requires dedication and effort. You can keep your business fresh and dynamic by setting aside time for creativity and seeking out new and diverse sources of inspiration.

One helpful tool that can aid in this process is the storytelling app Biograph, which allows you to easily collect and organize your ideas, whether you're brainstorming on the go or looking for a more efficient way to record and share your thoughts. Tools like this streamline the creative process, freeing you to focus on bringing your vision to life.

Aaron Greenberg, PhD

Co-founder of Biograph

Aaron Greenberg holds a Ph.D. in English from Northwestern University. He is co-founder of Biograph, a book publisher and social-media platform. His publications include "Recorded Time: How to Write the Future." He teaches life writing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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