On Tuesday, I shared a quote about creativity from Mary Lou Cook:
“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks,
breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”
I also promised to go a bit deeper into how you can do all those things in your business. Regardless of how creative you think you are or have told you are, you do have the ability to be creative in your business. And this creativity, coupled with a measure of authenticity, can create the profitability you desire.
So, here are some ways to be creative in your business:
To invent is to “create or design (something that has not existed before); be the originator of.” When you offer services or products that are similar to services and products that are offered by others, being inventive can appear to be daunting. However, because you are the only you around, creating or designing something that is unique is within your grasp.
How? Incorporate your personality. Add in your unique background and experience. Mix in your one-of-a-kind story.
For example, when I was a science writer, my unique selling proposition was that not only was a talented writer, but I also had a degree in science. Most of my competition were writers who just loved science but didn’t have the background, or were scientists with no real training or extensive experience in writing. I had both. I “invented” a unique niche where I was a rare commodity.
What do you bring to the table that is fairly unique to you? How can you incorporate that into what you offer?
Experimenting is something I love to do, maybe that’s why I got into science. But really, I think its just because I’m insatiably curious. One of my motto’s growing up was “Curiosity may have killed the cat … but satisfaction brought him back!”
I know that experimenting in your business can sometimes seem scary. It involves a measure of risk-taking and courage. But, when you mix this with that and watch to see what happens, often magic leaks into the equation. You may not get the result you were hoping for, but you will get a result that teaches you something valuable about your business, your clientele, or even yourself!
How can you experiment in your business? Can you make a new offer that is a mixture of previous offers? Can you take what you do and bring it to a new niche? Can you do an A/B split test on your next promotional email?
If there is one thing I’m good at, it is thinking big. My ideas, if they start small, always grow into much bigger projects, ideas, concepts, etc. Growth in your business can mean a lot of things:
- More offerings
- More clients
- More contractors and/or staff
- More complex ideas
- More times a year doing something
How can you be creative in the growth of your business? Can you re-purpose your content into different deliverables and formats? Can you delegate more, giving yourself more time to focus on your brilliance? Can you expand your current ideas so they are bigger, better, more empire forming?
4. Taking risks
Sometimes, what seems risky on this side of an activity turns out to be a piece of double chocolate cake on the other side. For example, I have a minor fear of heights, so a couple of years ago when I was given the opportunity to try out zip lining in a controlled, indoor environment, I decided to give it a try.
Standing on the platform, firmly inside my harness, and looking down at the representative at the end of the rather small line that would be supporting my weight, all sorts of risk assessment thoughts went through my head. Would the harness break? Would the line break? Would I embarrass myself with a bodily function?
But you often can’t have breakthroughs without taking a little risk. So I took a few deep breaths and stepped off the platform.
The ride lasted a few seconds, going no more than 10 feet. The representative brought the ladder over to me and I safely and soundly got down off the zip line.
I made it … and OMG it was freaking AWESOME! Zip lining around the world (I hear Jamaica has a good course) is totally on my bucket list!
How can you take strategic risks in your business that will, potentially, move you forward? Can you invest in a new program or coach? Can you make an offer you’ve been afraid to make before? Can you play a little bigger in your business?
5. Breaking rules
OK. I’ll admit this one can be challenging for me. I’m a rule follower. I dutifully wait at the corner until the red hand goes away, revealing the green walking man. I’ve even been known to create rules just so I can follow them!
But so many rules really aren’t written in stone. They are guidelines. When I cook, or write, or do any of the creative things I enjoy, breaking the rules comes as part of the territory.
What are the rules you are blinding following in your business? How can you break them in a way that makes you stand out? Are any of those rules really guidelines that you can strategically leave in the dust?
6. Making mistakes
The key is in what we do with those mistakes. Do we let them make or break us?
As you go about inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks and breaking rules, you’ll be making mistakes and, I hope, learning from them. Some of those experiments will have no or unpleasant results. Find out why so you can do better next time. Some of those risks you took won’t pan out. Why? How can you be more strategic next time? And those rules you broke? Well, some of them, as it turns out, really shouldn’t have been broken. But you never would have known that if you didn’t give it a shot.
How can you turn the mistakes you’ve made (and are going to continue to make) valuable lessons that can propel you forward?
7. Having fun
Having fun is at the heart of creativity. You are at your best creative potential in moments of joyful abandon to the moment of creation, when you don’t let your shoulds or rules or monkey brain tell you otherwise.
How can you have more fun in your business? Can you work with more clients who are people you actually enjoy being around? Can you do more projects that you enjoy doing?
Now It’s Your Turn:
Did you like, enjoy or find these ideas helpful? Why or why not? What are your thoughts on bringing more inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun to your business? Please share your ideas, experiences and sage wisdom in a comment below.