Do you think you’re creative? No matter what you think, the answer is probably “yes!” We are all creative in our own ways, whether it’s viewing the world in new ways, finding hidden patterns, or making connections between seemingly unrelated things and finding solutions.
Creativity is the basis of innovation, and also the source of new products and services, new industries, new ways of doing business, new business opportunities and ultimately wealth creation. So, you can see why creativity is important for entrepreneurs.
Here are five ways you can fire up your own creativity and inspire great things for your small business.
Think in opposites
Sometimes, thinking about opposites can help you come up with a great business idea. When you’re able to hold two conflicting thoughts or outcomes in your head at once, you can often come up with creative ways to bridge the gap between the two – even if there doesn’t seem to be a connection. For example, clothing company Everlane could be said to think in opposites: What if clothing could be both ethically-made and affordable? To connect the two opposites, they adopted a strict e-commerce business model, reducing retail markups and cutting out the overhead necessary to run a brick-and-mortar store.
Have “think time” every day
For at least a few minute per day, unplug. Put your phone in the other room. Read, garden, go for a walk, go for a run, or sit and let your mind wander. Get into a routine of letting your brain loose every day — just not while you’re driving, please!
Be a kid again
When was the last time you played with Lego? Did a jigsaw puzzle? Looked for shapes in clouds? Built a sandcastle? Kids are masters at creativity because of how they play, losing themselves in imagination and coming up with amazing stories and ideas. They also can’t be dissuaded by “That’s not how it’s done” or “That won’t work” – they try anyway.
Write down all your business-related ideas
Don’t worry about how good, bad or strange your ideas might be. The key here is to set your mind free to develop a stockpile of ideas that might one day develop into something new or useful. Perfectionists, practice makes perfect here!
Spending time each day in quiet contemplation may seem challenging or even counterproductive at first, but the more you practice, the easier it’ll be to draw upon your creativity when you need it. Try to “free associate” as much as possible.
See? Creativity isn’t always about being artistic. If you can only draw a stick figure, you’re still creative! Your small business will thank you.