Seth Godin, who is often called America’s Greatest Marketer, has said that all entrepreneurs are artists, though not all artists can become entrepreneurs. And the logic behind this daring statement is the very fact that entrepreneurs create something which didn’t exist before.
Out of vacuum, no-where, successful entrepreneurs create businesses which add value to the society, solves a problem, and along the way, creates money to sustain that business. Just like art is something which hasn’t yet created before, business is something which solves a problem in a way which hasn’t yet tried before. Art and business; artists and entrepreneurs have a long and deep relationship.
And this is the reason creativity is as important for an entrepreneur, as it is vital for the artist.
What Exactly is Creativity?
Wikipedia defines creativity as “a phenomenon whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed. The created item may be intangible (such as an idea, a scientific theory, a musical composition, or a joke) or a physical object (such as an invention, a literary work, or a painting)”
If we leave aside the jargons, then creativity is that colorful splash by crayons which toddlers create on random walls and blank papers. Everyone is a born creative personality, just that with age, we tend to forget this fact, and start living our lives by standard definitions and protocols.
What entrepreneur needs to do is, reject these standards and protocols, and create something which has never been attempted before. Or in other words, be creative.
Why did Larry Page and Sergey Brin create Google when there existed several search engines? It was creativite solution to an existing problem; their algorithm did something which no other algorithm had ever done. What exactly did AirBnB did, other than crashing into other’s houses and making money from it? It was a creative solution to link empty houses with tourists. What exactly Uber did, other than connecting taxis with customers, aided by real time navigation? It was a creative solution to link cabs with end-users, using Internet, as simple as that.
Why Creativity Is Important For The Entrepreneur
Some may argue that it is passion which drives the entrepreneur, and makes his business big; some prove that leadership skills are what make an entrepreneur. But both of these skills can do little, if there is no creativity behind actions.
There are tons loads of passionate people, but without creativity, they are unable to monetize it. Every high school generate hundreds of leaders every year, who can do what they are told to do, but without creativity, that knack of breaking the status-quo, they are unable to make any meaningful presence in the real world.
It is creativity which makes an average business into a thriving one, an ordinary business into an extra-ordinary one. The mantra for successful businesses is that competitors shouldn’t surprise you; rather you should be able to surprise them. Your competitors shouldn’t make the dominating move; rather it is you should make that killer move.
Creativity is that catalyst which enables the entrepreneur to remain one step ahead of the game. And the logic behind this is pretty simple: Creativity is doing something which has been never done before. Creativity is venturing into the unknown, treading a path which is not defined yet, and creating a world which is out of imagination, even for your competitor.
Where Does Creativity Comes From?
Creativity comes from breaking the rules, imagining solutions which never existed, by dreaming.
Salvador Dali, the famous Spanish surrealist painter had a weird way to become creative. He would always sleep on a sofa, with a spoon in his mouth. In his dreams, he would see captivating surrealist images, ideas. In case any idea become so captivating that the spoon fell from his mouth, he would immediately get up, rush to the canvas and start painting.
Weird and strange, but that is the way Dali became creative. Had anyone thought of this method before? No! And precisely this is the reason he was hailed as one of the greatest surrealist painter ever born.
Three basic rules for being creative:
Break, demolish and destroy every idea which you thought was the greatest ever. Re-think them, re-model them and re-create those ideas with a new perspective.
The biggest enemy of creativity is fear, and the bad news is that, you cannot simply overcome fear, because it is part of your in-built system. Rather, embrace the fear, acknowledge its presence, and still do it. Coming up with creative ideas is not a big deal – executing them is. And once you embrace the fear associated with it, the world is yours.
Creativity can be taught, it can be practiced, but it cannot be perfected because by default, a new idea, a new creative proposition is something which hasn’t been done yet, and this is the reason there is no success or failure associated with that idea. Once you keep thinking out of the box, day in and day out, creative thinking becomes a part of your schedule, a habit, and legend says that great things starts happening after that phase.
Moral of the lesson: The creative entrepreneur combines creativity with action, and forms a habit of thinking out of the box. External motivation is always welcomed, but what matters is discipline for thinking in the creative manner. Reject rules, regulations, standards and protocols, because status-quo is creativity’s biggest obstacle.