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Productivity / Innovation

The most creative people I know

Writers, designers, actors, artists… they are all deemed ‘creative’. But creativity isn’t the preserve of talented individuals. For soloists, it’s a way of life.

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At some point, a majority of us decided to turn our backs on working for an employer. Now, you work your own hours. Set your own budgets. Plough your own furrow.

If that’s not a definition of a creative lifestyle, I don’t know what is.

So a big hurrah to us. But the fact we’re creative by default isn’t enough. Lounging around in cafes smiling – and maybe gloating a little – won’t keep your creative muscle flexed.

And we definitely need to flex it! If we don’t at least try to sustain the passion and energy we had for our business when we started up, boredom or even hostility will creep in.

But it’s hard being Chief Motivator when you’re also Chief Filer, isn’t it? So here are some tips on how to ensure the pilot light doesn’t go out.

"If we don’t at least try to sustain the passion and energy we had for our business when we started up, boredom or even hostility will creep in."

Keep yourself interested

Take a job you find a chore and, where possible, combine it with something you love. Work on your business plan in the bath. Cold call while eating cake.  I can also recommend writing your newsletter in a freshly made bed.

Always seek to improve

Tweak processes, sound out possible partnerships, read up, get out and meet new people. Consciously trying to take things to 11 will stop you from getting stuck in a rut and keep your creativity flowing nicely.

A caveat: too much time on this can be counterproductive. If you find your systems never settle, you start projects but never finish them and you suspect you’re an overthinker, consider yourself guilty as charged.

Want more articles like this? Check out the innovation section.

Set deadlines

Tasks without deadlines invite procrastination, the arch enemy of creativity, to take a hold. Time limits can be inspirational. Think less ‘to do’ list and more ‘just do it.’

Look after yourself

If you’re tired, wrung out, stressed to the eyeballs or otherwise on the ropes, the Muses will not be amused. Keep well and nourished, and your creative side will thank you for it.

Is creativity important in your business or is it all a bit abstract for your liking? What tips do you have for flexing the creative muscle?

In the meantime, I’m off for a coffee and a gloat.

Sam Leader

is a former director of Flying Solo and the co-author of Flying Solo - How to go it alone in business.

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