Like the brain, creativity requires training. According to the definition in the Oxford dictionary, “Creativity is the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness.” Although it is more associated with art, creativity is also the ability to find solutions to various problems. And solutions of all kinds are what you are going to need in your entrepreneurial career.
Beyond the crazy ideas of advertising campaigns or highly original business cards, creativity is the ideal companion to help you face challenges throughout your business’s life cycle. How can you jump start creativity and make it an everyday work tool? Here are some ideas.
Being creative doesn’t necessarily mean reinventing the wheel. It’s simply a question of doing things your way. The best ideas often spring from a simple inspiration, like a tiny spark that ignites your thoughts. Entrepreneurs tend to look within their respective sector of activity for inspiration; however, there is need for a broader vision. Take me, for example. Although I’m a marketing coach, I often get inspiration from recipes, clothing collections or magazines. Give it a try!
If children seem more creative than adults, it’s because they are filled with curiosity and awe. As we grow older, this sense of wonder—which is so crucial for developing creativity—begins to fade. Be curious and take 15 minutes a day to read or listen to podcasts to open up new horizons.
Make space for creativity
Being constantly immersed in day-to-day management impedes the objectivity required to make well-informed decisions. Opportunities are missed when you can’t see the forest for the trees. You need to clear your mind to let creativity flow. Set aside some time in your daily or weekly routine to recharge your batteries and free your thoughts. Surrounding yourself with nature, where you can sit and meditate or listen to the soothing sound of water, will lead to the very best solutions.
Use different brainstorming techniques
Looking to create a marketing campaign or find an unusual solution? Alone or as part of a team, try different brainstorming techniques to explore every avenue and opportunity. Don’t hold back! The principle of brainstorming is to express ideas freely—be they outlandish or not—before paring down and identifying the ones that merit further attention. This article offers 10 brainstorming techniques.
Use the power of the collective mind
Often, solutions lie within the organization itself. By tapping into the full potential of those around you to achieve a common goal, you will benefit from an extensive bank of knowledge and expertise, as well as a vast network of contacts. If you are self-employed or an independent contractor, there are several “mastermind”-type groups in which you can take advantage of this collective power and creativity.
We learn by doing—uninhibited experimentation stimulates creativity. Creative people have an overall perspective of the world. Your company would also benefit from your having a broader vision. An open mind means being open to others’ ideas. I bet you can learn a lot from your employees, your business partners, even your children on how to manage your company.
Good ideas, solutions and original concepts rarely happen on demand. On the contrary, they often surface when we least expect them. Have you ever had an amazing idea as you’re about to fall asleep at night, or while taking a shower? This is why I encourage you to be curious and open, be free to think, and be inspired every day.
What’s your favourite tip on fuelling creativity? Let us know!
Stéphanie is a consultant, trainer, coach and motivator for entrepreneurs looking to turn their passion into a thriving enterprise. This Inbound Certified content marketing expert provides business owners with ongoing support to hone their entrepreneurial skills, as well as training empowering them to handle their own marketing. In doing this, she gets them to develop and apply marketing strategies that are more creative, people-centred and focused on the entrepreneur and his or her community. She also shares her love of marketing and creativity through her blog, her talks and her Être entrepreneur créatif podcast available on iTunes.