For entrepreneurs, it doesn’t matter what line of business you’ve gone into. Creativity will help your new company grow and thrive, and being a creative entrepreneur can make the difference between a major flop and a roaringly successful product or service.
Many people feel like creativity is something better left to designers, or maybe to visionaries like Steve Jobs. However, creativity is a skill set like any other.
When you flex your creative muscles, it’s just like doing reps at the gym, but for your brain. Your creativity will get stronger and start to produce amazing results.
Here are some surprisingly simple tips and tricks to boost your creativity as well as your business.
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Think outside the box
Yes, this saying is a cliche, but try to think of it as proven advice instead of a cheesy banality. Ideas, solutions, and insights can be found in the most unexpected places. Learning to find inspiration from anywhere is an important part of becoming a more creative entrepreneur.
The world around you is full of inspiration. You can start by paying extra attention to the things you already like. Try to uncover what attracts you to your favorite TV shows, brands, social media personalities, music, books, and more.
Next, break out of your comfort zone to look for new ideas. Even if you don’t enjoy a particular movie, ad, song, or website, try to think about why other people might like it. You can make great connections when you step outside your own experience.
Finally, be sure to unplug and participate in the world around you. Overheard conversations, coincidences, and chance encounters can be wildly inspirational if you’re paying attention.
Once you’ve gathered a mental collection of interesting insights, think about applying them to your business model. Not everything idea will be right for your brand, but you just might find an amazing concept where you least expect it.
Focus on the future
When you’re growing a business, you can’t passively hope everything will pan out. Successful creative entrepreneurs are always planning for what comes next. Thinking about the future will help your company keep moving ahead, but it can also help you practice your creative skills.
Always have a plan for your business, complete with milestones, goals, and target dates. The SMART goal framework can help you develop goals that are perfect for your unique situation.
SMART goals are:
A SMART goal for your company is a particular goal that can be clearly defined and measured. This goal is practical and within your reach. You’ve also assigned a specific timeline for this accomplishment.
Once you’ve set your goals, you get to be creative in making them come true. Challenge yourself to come up with multiple ideas to accomplish your goals. Your first idea isn’t always the most successful plan, so keep going until you’ve thought of several different strategies.
Creative thinking will help you uncover new, inventive campaigns that stand out from the competition. Always aim to make several plans when you’re setting goals. Once you have a selection of ideas, you can choose the best way forward.
It’s hard to come up with new ideas when you’re bogged down by old business. Give yourself the gift of a clean slate. To help your creativity, try to keep both your mind and your workspace free from distractions.
Clutter is distracting. If your desk is covered in sticky notes, stacks of paper, completed projects, empty water bottles, or anything else, you’ll have a hard time concentrating on your work. The same effect is true when your computer screen is covered in icons, open programs you’re not using, pop-up notifications, and other distractions.
Clean your workspace regularly to allow new ideas space to grow. You can try clearing off your desk at the end of each workday, almost like a ritual that the day is over. Also, consider straightening up whenever you shift from one task to another. An empty desk lets you focus on the future instead of the past.
As a creative entrepreneur, you should also try to keep your mind uncluttered. It’s easy to get distracted by other ideas when you’re working on a particular project. Try writing down these insights and returning to them at a better time.
Meditation can also help you clear your mind. You can enjoy a better mindset with just a few minutes of meditation each day. Explore free apps and guided video meditations to see how you like the practice.
Flex your writing muscles
If you want to be more creative, it’s time to get obsessive about writing. Writing is an amazing tool to help you become more creative. This simple task also has many other mental benefits that can boost your business’s success.
Most creative entrepreneurs are overflowing with ideas. This inspiration is what drives people to go into business for themselves. Capture your ideas so they don’t get lost in the shuffle.
Start an idea journal or notebook where you write down all your great ideas. When you write an idea down, you can save it for later. This allows you to get the distracting idea out of your head, focus on your current task, but also develop the idea at a better time.
Your idea journal can be physical or digital. Some people enjoy using a small physical notebook that easily fits in a purse or pocket. Other entrepreneurs work best keeping a digital list on their phone or laptop.
Writing down your ideas helps improve your mental retention skills. Over time, you’ll be able to remember more things with higher levels of accuracy.
Tracking your ideas also helps you refine them. Your ideas will be stronger and your business pitches more developed with a little practice. Perhaps you’ll enjoy it so much that you’ll want to become a writer!
Always be learning
One way to improve your creativity is to keep your mind sharp. Creative entrepreneurs should challenge themselves to always be learning. Professional development, academic enrichment, and fun projects can all stimulate your brain.
You can focus on your company with professional courses. Classes are available for every business skill imaginable. These courses can teach you valuable new tools while also keeping your mind active.
Academic courses are also a great way to jumpstart your creativity. Whether you’re finishing your degree, pursuing an MBA, or taking continuing education courses, going back to college exposes you to new thoughts, people, and experiences.
Informal learning also helps your brain develop. You can take up a new hobby, learn a language, or teach yourself a practical skill to stay sharp. Your creativity will improve even if the project doesn’t have anything to do with your business goals.
Today’s creative entrepreneurs can find a range of learning opportunities. Online courses, video tutorials, TED Talks, and other forms of online content are easy to fit into your life. Even better, many online learning tools are free to use.
You can also explore more formal classes. Look for weekend workshops or certificate programs offered by local colleges, universities, and professional organizations. You can even pursue a degree if you have the time and resources to invest in yourself.
Meet new people
Creativity doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Make a serious effort to find and join your local business community. Networking events, mentorship programs, and casual discussion groups offer valuable opportunities to add business-minded people and other creative entrepreneurs to your life
When you meet new people, you’re opening your horizons. A fresh friendship can offer different insights, wisdom, and knowledge compared to your current network. Meeting new people also expands the circle of contacts that might be able to help your business grow.
There are many ways to add people to your life. Local professional organizations and networking events are classic opportunities to meet other people in your area or line of work. You might need to try several groups before you find your perfect fit, but the search will pay off in the long run.
You can also try more modern ways of meeting people. Bumble Biz can link you with other creative entrepreneurs hoping to expand their networks. Speed-networking groups such as Lunchclub are also quick and efficient ways to connect with others.
Finally, you need to commit to your plans. Both your business and your creative goals deserve your full attention. Stick to your plan even when it gets hard for the best results.
Starting a business is a major undertaking. Every creative entrepreneur is familiar with working long nights, missing out on social plans, juggling constant tasks, and wearing multiple hats. Keep your goals and dreams in sight as you work through the difficult parts of starting a business.
The drive that helped you start your company can help you power through the tough stretches as well. Do something every day that reminds you of your passion for this work. This reminder will keep your commitment fresh as you continue your entrepreneurial journey.
Invest In Your Creativity
A sense of creativity can revitalize any company. Luckily, you can take easy steps to keep your creative skills strong and become a more creative entrepreneur. Add these tips to your day and watch your business bloom.