Editor’s note: This is a guest post by James T. Noble, whose goal is to make small businesses bigger. He’s worked with some of the world’s largest brands and companies to market their products and services online – including Disney, Microsoft, 20th Century Fox, Virgin, Coca Cola, MTV and many others.
Creative thinking is important to business success. Actually that’s an understatement… it’s VITAL to business success. Especially in small business where we’re constantly having to find ways to stay adaptive, innovative and ahead of the game. Creativity = innovation. Innovation = progress. Progress = business. Thinking creatively means being willing to think beyond limitations and envision endless possibilities. In short, creativity enriches your business– and your life.
But so many entrepreneurs find creative thinking a BIG problem. It’s not that they’re dumb or boring, it’s just that creative thinking requires a different mindset to the one most of us use for business.
I’ve delved into the depths of the business mind – and it’s dark. I’ve discovered 5 of the BIGGEST blocks entrepreneurs face when trying to achieve successful creative thinking – so read on and I will enlighten you on how to overcome them:
Problems and tasks can be daunting and it’s easy to feel swamped – but it’s true that the reaction to a problem is often a bigger problem than the problem itself. Not dealing with things most often just makes the problem bigger, and then it becomes a big scary problem that you think you’re NEVER going to overcome. And then what happens? Brain freeze. Your creative mind goes as dry as the Gobi – and that really is a disaster.
Try to see it differently. A difficult problem or task is an opportunity. It’s a challenge that’s going to inspire you and develop your skills. Just think of the amazing sense of achievement you’ll have once you achieve your goal! Tackle any problems head on and relish them – it will not only unblock your creativity, it will build your confidence and make you feel all warm and fuzzy too.
Thinking You Aren’t Creative
Oh c’mon now, stop that. Humankind is inherently creative, but we don’t always open ourselves up to the creative flow – instead we commonly build constructs that limit and deny our creativity. Telling yourself you aren’t creative is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once you realise that actually you have the power to be as creative as you want, you can break through your limits and awaken your natural creativity. Take back your creative power!
Being Too Serious
Just because it’s work doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. In fact having fun is CRITICAL to creative thinking. It is possible to take your work seriously and be focused. Expressing playfulness is an incredibly effective way to stimulate creativity, and it makes you happier too. Create a lively, vibrant working atmosphere and show your humorous side and you’ll soon have more innovative ideas and solutions than you know what to do with.
Fear of Failure
This one’s a major obstacle to a lot of people, and that’s because failure is generally regarded as a big fat negative. Instead of getting hung up on being a loser, turn failure around so it is actually a positive experience. Failures are part of development and growth, they help us learn and improve, and they are a sign that you are actually achieving something rather than just sitting around wasting time. In other words, failure isn’t fatal …failure don’t seem so negative now, eh?
Needing to be Right
Unfortunately most of us have been indoctrinated into a shocking social system that demands we conform and ‘do the right thing’ or ‘find the right answer’. Bad news. That sort of thinking will hinder your creative thinking because there is NO correct answer, there are any number of possible answers. That’s what thinking outside the box is all about – it removes the mental roadblock of what is ‘correct’ and reframes the problem to come up with any number of inventive solutions.
It’s time YOUR business benefitted from the nourishing juices of a creative mind -so loosen up and get brainstorming!