Small Business Articles from Make-it-Fly®
7 Ways to Boost Your Creativity
By Victoria Munro
||“There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.” ~ Edward de Bono
Entrepreneurship and creativity should go together. But it’s easy to get caught up in the daily routine of running a business and handling the related challenges. We can get stuck in a repetitive rut and forget to keep those creative juices flowing. In today’s competitive marketplace, it’s important to keep fanning that flame of creativity within.
Raising your creativity can increase profits, give your fresh motivation and make life and business more enjoyable. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a naturally creative person, you have imaginative, resourceful abilities inside just waiting to be ignited. Below are seven ways to boost your creativity:
Input the right stuff. Be thoughtful about what you feed your mind. Make a point to read, watch and listen to creative, innovative, inspiring material. Visit a museum or art gallery, or go places you’ve never been before.
“Are you feeding your brain protein every day, or are you just giving it candy? Most Americans sustain their brains solely on candy—that is, useless television shows, news and gossip. Are you stimulating yourself with big ideas and new learning?” ~ Jim Rohn
Take a day away to think. No phone, just you, a notebook and a pen. If a day, or even half a day a week, sounds like too much, start with an hour or two. During the week, make note of questions and ideas that come to mind, as well as problems and challenges you run into. Then use your think time to come up with innovative solutions. Keep a journal or notebook to record your thoughts.
Taking time out just to think may seem like a waste of time, and it’s not easy. Henry Ford said, “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable reason why so few people engage in it.”
Be ready to capture creative ideas. Always carry a notebook and pen. You never know when you might have a brilliant idea or hear something you’d like to further explore. Write it down quickly; don’t lose it.
Leonardo da Vinci was famous for keeping a journal of his ideas. Today, those notebooks containing his creative ideas, drawings, scientific diagrams and genius thoughts are priceless.
||Exercise your brain—train your mind to think, question and evaluate. Commit to learn something new this year. Take a class. Try something you’ve never done before. Do crossword or Sudoku puzzles. Welcome and ponder ridiculous, off-the-wall ideas rather than judging them. When approaching problems, try to think of solutions that are unique or different.
||Ask questions. Become curious about the world around you. Stop occasionally, look around and ask why? How? And what if…? Talk to people—perhaps people you wouldn’t normally connect with, ask searching questions, listen attentively and learn from them. Read some books in a totally different genre from your usual fare.
||View problems as opportunities to be creative. When challenges arise that weren’t in your game plan, see them as possibilities in disguise. After taking his dog for a hike, Velcro® inventor, George de Mestral, returned home covered with burrs. Intrigued, he inspected one of the many burrs in his microscope and saw thousands of tiny hooks that caused it to cling to the loops in the fabric of his pants. As a result, he designed the well-known two-sided fastener—one side with stiff hooks like the burrs and the other side with soft loops.
||Believe that you are creative. Think of yourself as a creative person. Webster’s Dictionary defines creativity as creative ability or intellectual inventiveness. We all possess this to some extent and we can all improve our ability to create. Becoming more creative will take determination and practice, but the results will be worthwhile and rewarding.
© 2005-2008 Victoria Munro.
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About the Author: Victoria Munro is
co-founder (along with husband Dave Block) of Make-it-Fly®
LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for
small-business owners through creatively designed programs
and tools. Victoria has started and run nine different
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