How to achieve your creative potential as an entrepreneur? How can you maximize your creative abilities?
Creativity is one of the most important assets as an entrepreneur. It will make or break you and your company. It is also one of the key drivers that drives people into entrepreneurship.
There are many measures of success. Money is often a token currency and statistic used, whether it is funds raised, revenues, valuation, or how much your company fetches on exit.
Yet, whether that is millions, billions, or hundreds of billions, it is all a poor proxy for reaching your potential.
At the end of your venture or life, this is what really counts. It will be what you rate yourself on and whether you have regrets or are satisfied.
What Is Creativity?
Creativity may be defined as using your imagination, especially in producing artistic work. As well as the generation of ideas, and possibilities useful in solving problems.
The ability to come up with ideas and new ways of looking at opportunities and problems.
This may sometimes be or be seen as a genius and natural talent. Yet, creativity is also a skill and one that you can learn, hone and improve upon. Especially, when creating processes to assemble ideas, recombining different elements, and breaking down problems to find solutions.
There are two main types of creativity that apply in entrepreneurship.
The first may relate to your individual talents and skills to produce some form of art. In this setting, it may mean coding, product design, marketing, sales, or something else.
It is important to note and be aware that this creative thing you love doing and think will be the basis of a great business may not be something that you actually get much time to spend doing as a business owner. In fact, without the tips below, you may not get to do it at all.
The second and actually more applicable form of creativity as an entrepreneur is problem-solving in building the business itself and achieving the mission and vision for the company.
This is going to show up in so many more ways than you realize. Even if you have a startup business or two under your belt already.
Creating a startup is really about signing up for nonstop daily challenges around the clock until you move onto the next business. All day, all night, from every angle.
It is going to take elite problem-solving skills and creativity to survive and manage everything in your business.
This may range from not running out of money to hiring and marketing, networking, pitching, pitch decks, assembling a board, and the art of fundraising and M&A dealmaking. So, how to achieve your creative potential as an entrepreneur?
Keep in mind that in fundraising storytelling is everything. In this regard for a winning pitch deck to help you here, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
Creativity: The Most Important Skill For Entrepreneurs
According to WeWork and the World Economic Forum, creativity was set to become the third most important skill for employees (not just their bosses) by 2020.
That came in just behind critical thinking and complex problem-solving.
From a founder’s perspective, it may come right alongside managing a team and having the focus and discipline to keep executing, and expertise to analyze and make sense of all the data. All of which can require a lot of creativity too.
There are countless ways in which you’ll need to find and practice creativity as an entrepreneur. These are some of the most fundamental.
Any good startup is the product of innovation. Innovation is the product of creativity. It is essential for finding uniqueness.
In addition to establishing a strong foundation and basis for creating a business around an idea, it is essential to transcend all of the boundaries and hurdles.
Maintaining An Edge
You’ve never won and just have it made as a business or business leader. At the beginning there can be so much to do just to prove your concept can work.
Then once you have proven it, everyone else in the world from the biggest and best-funded corporations to edgier and leaner and more aggressive startups are going to be working on beating you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You have to constantly be creative and innovative and evolving to stay ahead.
Creativity is essential to the economics of being able to survive and thrive. For competitiveness and getting the most out of your team when you are big, and all the way back to getting it off the ground, going from zero to one and creating something out of nothing.
It has even been said that creativity is more important than intelligence.
Characteristics Of A Creative Entrepreneur
How to achieve your creative potential as an entrepreneur? And, what are the traits of creative entrepreneurs?
- Refusing to accept the status quo and that it can’t be done
- Being open-minded
- Willingness to try new things
- A large appetite for learning
How To Do More Of Your Creative Thing As An Entrepreneur
If you identify as a creative type, then how do you find the ability to do more of your creative thing as an entrepreneur and business owner?
Many people love doing something and maybe good at it, and think that it flows that they should go out on their own and create a business doing it.
It is good to be able to spend your time doing something you love and care about and getting paid well for it.
The hard truth is that this isn’t necessarily the right recipe for creating a wildly successful, fast-growing, big company.
In reality, becoming an entrepreneur and business owner means that you are becoming a business owner and leader. Not the doer in the trenches.
In fact, to make it work as a commercially viable business, you are probably going to have to spend the least time possible doing that task you thought you got into the game for. Maybe none at all.
All of a sudden your number one job is to make sure your company doesn’t run out of money and to recruit the best possible talent in all areas.
You can’t afford to be coding or designing or drawing out your own marketing materials. Your company just won’t last.
If that sounds soul-sucking to you, then maybe entrepreneurship or at least a startup is not for you. Or it is not the right idea to build one around.
If you must do it, then here are the three ways:
- Carefully defining your role in the company and your title to just run that department
- Hire and automate to free yourself up so that you can have fun doing that task
- Make it your new side hobby outside of your business
Aside from developing their creative skills, there are several hurdles that every entrepreneur needs to overcome. Check out this video I have created. You’ll learn in detail what the snags are and how to deal with them.
How To Increase Your Creative Potential
The beautiful thing is that as with many other things, while creativity is often seen as a natural talent, it is also a learned skill that you can build on and constantly improve. So, you can learn how to achieve your creative potential as an entrepreneur?
You don’t just have a certain dose or quota or limit of creativity that will be used up.
In fact, if you just do it and jump in, and get started, your creative potential will grow and open up as you do and face new challenges to be creatively solved.
Here are some of the many ways you can build on and grow your creativity exponentially too.
Of the hundreds of hyper-successful startup founders that I’ve interviewed on the Dealmakers Podcast, it is amazing what a high percentage have a significant amount of travel in their backgrounds.
Either during their childhood which set them up for starting their own business later in life, or after their first startup, in search for a bigger and better idea and the best way to do it.
There are so many benefits to travel. It forces creativity and will give you so much more creative input.
Hire For It
Hire creative people. Recruit for them, screen for it in the interview process, and prioritize it when choosing your hires.
Reward creativity in your business. Reward yourself and your team members for their creative efforts. You will get more of what you reward, and less of what you don’t.
Get Away From Your Screens
It can be hard to be creative, stuck in front of the same screens, feeds, and opinions. Even the AI of Netflix and Google have been shrinking our worlds.
It’s almost impossible to find new things and new perspectives because they keep boxing you in. Turn it all off.
Consult Creative Thinkers
Consult people who are known to be creative thinkers in their fields. Find creative thinkers for devising marketing plans, fundraising, hiring, and more. Learn how they think in addition to listening to their recommendations.
Have either solo or team brainstorming sessions. Through as many different related ideas on the table or whiteboard as possible.
Get together with your peers of other business owners and entrepreneurs. See how they have solved similar problems in their businesses.
Spend time clearing your mind of all the clutter so that you can really focus on creatively solving this problem.
Go running, hit the gym, play a sport, go swimming, take up martial arts. It is a great way to develop your mind.
Spend Time On Your Goals & Vision
Spend dedicated time on your goals and vision. Really own that and get passionate about them again. It will spur you to be creative in solving any roadblocks.
Learn New Things
Take classes to learn new skills, listen to podcasts, read books and blogs, pick up creative hobbies from painting to pottery to poetry.
More new inputs will expand your mind and how you approach problem-solving. It will also help you understand how to achieve your creative potential as an entrepreneur?
Makeover Your Workspace
It’s hard to get good new ideas with the same old view every day. So, design your workspace, or go work somewhere else for a few days.
Plays brain games. Try chess, brain-stimulating apps, or puzzles.
Get more sleep and better quality, you will think a lot better for it.
One of the best ways to overcome roadblocks in your business is to find ways to reframe and look at the problem differently.
Whether in person, online, in-house, or with consumers and panels from different fields, collaborate and get as many different opinions as you can.
Ask lots of what-ifs. What if the impossible was possible? Think all about the positive and best possible outcomes.
Change Your Schedule
Shake up your schedule. If you are used to working 9-5, try working through the middle of the night. If you are used to working late, try getting up before dawn.
Instead of traditional brainstorming where you are trying to connect similar ideas, try throwing completely random ideas and words into the mix instead.
Make Time Just For Creative Thinking
Instead of just spending time in meetings logically trying to hammer this out, or ignoring it and getting busy on other things, set aside dedicated time just for creative thinking each month.
Make a conscious effort to understand how to achieve your creative potential as an entrepreneur?
Creativity is essential for entrepreneurship. It may be the very root of all entrepreneurship.
The good news is that even if you don’t feel very naturally creative you can learn it, nurture it and grow your creative potential. These are some of the ways you can start and lean on when you get stuck.
You may find interesting as well our free library of business templates. There you will find every single template you will need when building and scaling your business completely for free. See it here.