Creativity is always such a difficult thing to talk about. For some people it is their lifeblood, the definition of who they are. For others it is this weird thing that others have that they just don’t. And for a last group it’s like a curse-word, something to be avoided.
As an entrepreneur, creativity is one of your primary assets, even if you’re an accountant or involved in a thoroughly non-creative industry. Now in a world of Start-Ups, Venture Capital and all the buzzword jingo-ism surrounding a lot of entrepreneurship today, that may sounds a bit weird. Most of what you read about is how to plot the perfect blueprint and shape your offering to get investors and so on and so on.
Of course what none of that advice can give you is the X factor that really makes your carefully sculpted blueprint stand out from the others. Further, the experience of otherrs (including serial digital entrepreneur Arthur Atwell), is leading to the inevitable conclusion that a lot of this Start-Up business boom is only making money for the people giving the advice.
One of those lovely pieces of jargon that gets bandied around is USP (Unique Selling Point/Proposition). All too often this becomes just another term for ‘how to attract funding’ and doesn’t answer any of the long term demands that being an entrepreneur entail. The emphasis is of course is on UNIQUE. What’s different about you and your idea? What’s great and new and truly helpful and why will the market love it? The market, not your funders. Funding is great, but you’ve got to think beyond that.
To be creative, you have to be willing to be sceptical of all systems, all advice. And by sceptical I do not mean that you should routinely disbelieve or otherwise ignore advice. What I mean is treat them as if they are optional instead of absolute. Start asking yourself, “Well if this piece of advice A is true, what if I do this, or that… etc.” Advice is awesome. But it’s also based on experience gained. Which means it is not unique. Learn from the example, but continue to pursue your own thinking too. The combination could you give you even better results than the advisor may have had in mind.
Don’t think of creativity as being anything other than dead normal. Because it is dead normal. It has just been schooled out of most of us. But you can’t eradicate what is inherent, so you can get it back, but you’ve got to work with it.
As an entrepreneur you’re going to need creativity to:
Respond to setbacks
Create new products
Brand your: self/company/projects
So you’re going to need to train yourself up on those dormant skills… and fast!
Luckily I have here a handy link that explains how better to access some of those wild, creative eureka moments and to recognise how to cultivate them:
The ‘Aha Moment’
Courtesy of David Rock.