We are all born creative. The urge to create—to put your stamp on something—is innate. And even if you don’t define yourself by your creativity, your business thrives on it.
It’s the engine that produces your ideas, services and products and inspires how you market and sell.
It helps you build your unique competitive advantage so you can sell at healthy margins and be selective about which work you take on and which markets you enter.
So make no mistake: making time to be creative is mission-critical.
The challenge? We’re all wired a bit differently when it comes to channeling our creativity into our work.
Your (working) creative genius may be writing, while someone else may be all about developing new services, shooting videos or designing artwork.
The commonality, especially for idea-driven entrepreneurs, is to carve out the time and space to be creative.
Try these four essentials to keep stoking your creativity consistently:
One: Have some fun
Have you ever noticed that your best ideas come when your mind is not on task? On a walk, at the beach, cooking up a gourmet treat, having a chat with an old friend. Indulging your creativity should be fun—and forcing it pretty much guarantees it won’t be. So instead of being that person—the one who seems to always be working 24/7—do something just for you. Spark some joy and your creative muse will rise up to thank you.
Two: Think white space
White space is having the physical and emotional space to think freely. I tend to create best when there is order AND beauty around me, with nothing more than light ambient noise (unless I’m at the ocean—crashing surf always inspires me). You may be the complete opposite—which is why you want to create the white space that works reliably for you. Oh, and this also means silencing that nit-picky editor that lives in your head.
Three: Build it into your week
This sounds like a creativity killer, but it’s actually the reverse. Consistently attending to your creativity is liberating. It’s not only something you can look forward to, but that continued focus pays dividends. You may have to sacrifice something else—an hour of TV-watching or catching a movie with friends—but you’ll feel more alive from having fed your own creativity than consuming someone else’s.
Four: Follow your curiosity
Let’s face it, this is where you most want to go AND where your interest will sustain you. What challenges are you most curious to explore? What gets your motor revving? Now this simply could be a hobby that you use to feed your creativity and keep you grounded as a “maker”—baking pies, playing the violin, working on your ’68 Camaro. Or it could be the muscle you use to keep your business thriving—writing a book or developing new products for example.
Your creativity is priceless—maybe your most precious asset as an entrepreneur. Isn’t it worth making the time to protect and sustain it?