One of the most important traits as a successful business owner – or entrepreneur – is to have a creative mind. But first we must find the answer to the question of how to be a creative entrepreneur ?
There is a great line in Alice in Wonderland when the Queen says, “Sometimes I think of 6 impossible things before breakfast”. I think you will agree that this has to be creativity at its best! As a small business owner this is an ideal you really need to strive for – but how on earth can you open up your mind to get to the point where ideas just spill out?
Small business owners are expected to be creative and inventive, otherwise how could they run their own firm? If you have a sneaky feeling that creativity is not one of your strong points what can you do to stimulate your brain and get it kicked-started? The following tips will help you to get to started to lock that creative juice flows in.
Too many people are “limited thinkers”. They have their world placed squarely in a box and nothing can exist outside of that. If the newspaper reports something then it must be right. If Joe next door says that something is impossible then he must be right. As a small business owner, you cannot afford to be a “limited thinker”. You have to be an “unlimited thinker”. Get into the habit of seeing no boundaries; decide that there are no taboos. Have the belief that with a bit of focus you can find a creative solution to all of your problems. This is the foundation for a creative thought process.
Creative ideas invariably come when you look into the future. The feeling of propelling yourself forward and seeing the problem solved is a great motivator. Do you think you could achieve the same result if you were backward focused? I don’t think so! Train yourself to be future-focused, always looking ahead, not a traditional thinker who tries to find answers in today’s world.
Be a Writer
Once you open your mind to the joys of creativity the ideas will quickly start flowing, as if someone has opened the flood gates! Just like flood water, unless you catch it the ideas are lost for ever. Capture all your ideas by carrying a small pocket notebook with you. As soon as an idea pops into your mind, write it down. It doesnít matter how outlandish it is, you can look at it in the cold light of day later on.
The fact you are responding to the ideas by noting them will further encourage you to be even more creative – good deeds encourage more good deeds!
If you are naturally an untidy person, then get out of the habit! A cluttered office will lead to a cluttered mind. You cannot expect your brain to work efficiently when all it’s doing is constantly reminding you how untidy your office is. To be creative remove all the clutter from your life and free your mind.
All of these points are great, but if you do not take any action with your ideas, then you may as well not have bothered. An idea is nothing but a thought unless you take a specific action to help bring it to life. Periodically review your notebook and see if there are any hidden gems, or ideas which can be quickly actioned. A lot of your ideas may not suit at all but in there somewhere is probably an idea, which if acted upon, could change you or your business. Commit fully to move forward on as many of your ideas as you can.
Do not be afraid to break down the boundary walls. As John Stuart Mill said, “That which seems the height of absurdity in one generation often becomes the height of wisdom in the next”.
You never know what you can really achieve until you break the limitation of your own mind and let those creative juices take over. I hope this article has helped to answer your question just a little bit of how to be a creative entrepreneur.
Let me close with one question – can you be creative enough to be dismissed as a dreamer? No? Then get practicing! Remember – practice makes perfect and persistence never fails.
One question that often pops up in our mind is, how to be more creative ? There are many benefits of being more creative which we will discuss in the next article. But before we delve into that, let’s look at what creativity really means, and how we can become more creative in our daily life.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, being creative means:
As you can see, creative involves to “create” something – which is where the word “creative” comes from – out of nothing or something that already exists. It also involves unconventionality. Many of the most creative inventions in the world were never thought to be able to be created – until they were and then people believed. Belief is a very important factor in being creative. Many of the most creative solutions in the world are not brand new creations at all. People have thought about them before but they just do not believe that it can be done – until someone did it.
So how do you become more creative? There are many practices, readings and exercises that you can learn to train your mind and imagination to become more creative. But the most important practice in being creative is actually really doing it.
However, to help you getting started, here are seven ways that can help you start your journey in nurturing your brain and mind to be more creative.
1. Think Like A Child. As adults we tend to think in a conditioned way aimed at showing how clever we are. Yet, as children, we were simply spontaneous and far more creative in our thinking. To re-capture your childhood curiosity, allow yourself to just wonder at things, to be completely present in the here and now, and to detach yourself from what you thought was real.
2. Make New Connections. To be innovative doesn’t require a university degree; it simply requires making a connection between existing ideas. For instance, did you know that ice cream was invented in 2000 BC yet it took another 3900 years for someone to come up with the idea of a cone? It’s when you take two seemingly unrelated items and use the spark of creativity that genius happens.
3. Be A Little Illogical. It is a peculiarly Western trait to want to tie things up in neat bundles. We prefer solutions to problems, and answers to questions. To be creative, you need to be comfortable with things that don’t fit. The Eastern tradition is more in tune with incongruence. As in this Zen koan, or problem: what is the sound of one hand clapping?
4. Laugh More. Tom Peters says that the creativity of a workplace can be measured by a laughometer, ie how much it laughs. Humour is one of the greatest creative devices. It jolts us out of our normal patterns and puts ideas together that shouldn’t go together. It has been found that after listening to comedy tapes, studentsí ability to solve problems rises by 60%.
5. Think Outside Your Limits. Many of the products we take for granted today are the result of people thinking outside their limits. John Lynn recalls attending a computer conference in the 1980′s at a hotel when someone joked that the next thing they’d be thinking of would be computerised doors. When he went back to the same hotel 20 years later, all the doors used computer-programmed key cards.
6. Adopt and Adapt. To be creative doesn’t require blue-sky thinking. You can still be creative by adapting what works elsewhere. An American airline that wanted quicker turnarounds on their flights adopted the techniques of Formula One pit crews. Another source of ideas is nature. Georges de Mestral adapted the way certain seeds stick to clothing and invented Velcro.
7. Remember Your Dreams. Dreaming and day-dreaming can create a rich seam of ideas, because that’s when we relax and let the subconscious mind work by itself. The Roffey Park Management Institute calls this “washing-up creativity” because most flashes of inspiration come when we are walking the dog, sitting Archimedes-like in the bath, or doing the washing up.
Try to apply these seven creative thinking techniques and make them part of your daily thinking, and I am sure that new solutions to your problems will open up to you more easily and quicker. Remember though that consistency is very important – just like everything else in life. The best engineer is not the best because he is a genius (although it could play a little part in his success). If you read the biography of the most successful people in the world, you will find a common theme that they keep trying and practising and never give up. Persistence never fails and practice makes perfect – a great combination to improve our creativity.
© 2014 Creative Ideas.