You might be asking yourself, why do I need creativity when I’m not an artist but an entrepreneur? And isn’t being creative an innate talent rather than a learned skill anyway? Here’s what I think and research supports:
- As human beings, we are all creative.
- Creativity leads to innovation.
- You need innovation in your business to stay competitive and adapt to changing times.
- Creativity can be nurtured and grown like any other skill.
- Now, below you can find out how to nurture your creativity.
1. Spend time with yourself
With COVID restrictions, this might be harder for you to do now if you have a house full of kids like me. Or maybe you’ve spent more time with yourself than you ever wanted 😊.
But jokes aside, Taking Time to Think (4T’s as I call it) should be in your regular repertoire of “mental hygiene.” When you intentionally let your mind daydream and give it enough time, it will come up with some fantastic ideas to take your business to the next levels.
The best ideas come to me when I take a relaxing bath, shower, take a break, or even better when I get out into nature.
2. Get out into nature
Research has proven that staying in nature reduces stress and ignites critical thinking, which boosts creativity. Bill Gates has mastered the thinking time in nature by spending “thinking weeks” in his cottage. Some of the most significant project ideas in his Microsoft empire-building have come to him during those weeks.
I might be biased on this one because I LOVE nature. Hiking, walking, or just sitting admiring its incredible beauty is by far my favorite way to relax and spend quality time with my family and myself.
How about you? If you love nature, I’m sure you agree. If you’ve never tried, maybe that will be the first thing you’ll do after reading the next point.
3. Try things you’ve never done before
Getting out of your comfort zone is not easy; I get it. But the hardest part is to decide and take the first step. So maybe let your best friend finally take you out for that sky diving adventure they’ve been talking about for months and didn’t manage to convince you. Or say ‘YES!’ to your significant other who’s been dreaming of seeing an opera but gave up on asking you. Or order a family take out from a place that you’ve wanted to try but somehow haven’t gotten around to.
New experiences energize our senses. They can change our outlook on the world and thus make us look at things from a brand-new angle. An article from Business News Daily explains this beautifully: “At the core is the ability to look at problems from different angles, to connect and combine concepts, and the ability to challenge traditional assumptions.” The more experiences you’re exposed to, the more angles you have when solving a problem.
4. Network with different people
Getting to know different interesting people, especially outside of your niche, also exposes you to different perspectives. New associations not only expand your network but also will challenge many of your original assumptions. When this happens, you grow, and with that, your ability to think creatively.
5. Expand Your Knowledge
In the same Business News Daily article, the author points out the power of growing your knowledge to build up your “Innovation Engine.”
Essentially, the more knowledge you build, the more fuel you’re putting into the engine. Innovation is when you implement the creative ideas that come to you into your business.
And I’m sure that you can list a vast number of ways you could expand our knowledge these days. Reading, listening, or watching online resources, taking a course, or having a mentor or a coach jump to my mind immediately. What other ways can you think of?
6. Recognize patterns around you
There are patterns everywhere: in nature (look at the seasons), human behavior and development, business, etc. Do you stumble upon a problem or unwanted result in your business over and over? Try to work backward and analyze what happened each time the issue occurred. Write it down. Are you noticing a pattern? If you do, look for an opportunity to change the pattern and with it the results to what you want. For me, it’s like a detective game that brings you to the A-HA moments!
7. Lead a healthy lifestyle with meditation.
There is a world of evidence proving that exercise and mediation are good for your body, mind, heart, and soul.
Being active oxygenates the brain, our blood circulates better giving us more energy. And once the brain is well-nourished and oxygenated, it becomes more creative.
Meditation, on the other hand, helps us balance the brain. You might have heard about two sides: left brain – more logical and scientific and right brain more artsy, emotional. A lot of people have one dominant side and don’t draw as many benefits from the other.
But what happens when you meditate? You balance both sides and use them to your advantage. Regular meditation allows you to use both sides of the brain more equally and, through that, reach your full potential.
So, what’s next?
Next, I’d like to challenge you to pick one method I listed above and fit it into your schedule right away. Pick something that will be easiest for you, given your current circumstances. Maybe meditation or going for a walk in nature? The most important thing is to decide and start.
And in case, you’ve already come up with an excuse: “Maggie, but I don’t have any time to add this to my life right now”; I prepared for you a Guide on How to Create 10 Hrs in your week in 10 mins.
You can download it here, and in 10 mins you’ll have more time than you need 😊 to start.