Give a kid a cardboard box, entertain her for a day. Give a grown-up a cardboard box, she will glare at you and tell you to recycle your own damn self.
So, why is it that kids have way more fun with the box than with the toy that was once inside? Seriously, if you want to be the favourite parent, just bring home an empty refrigerator box. Your spouse may not appreciate it taking up all of that room in the house, but the kids are on your side now, and it’s all about power in numbers, baby!
The point is, kids have incredible imaginations, and as we get older and more crotchety, our imagination tends to dwindle. Having a lack of creative spark can really affect our ability to solve problems in innovative ways or develop truly original ideas. Whether it is self-doubt, lack of motivation, or just a general feeling of being stuck, it helps to have a fresh perspective.
When starting or building your business, there are so many details that need your attention. You are fully in the reeds in so many ways. How can you possibly harness imagination when you are too busy working on pricing, websites, marketing, training, formatting, branding, writing, sales, travelling …? You get the idea. But a little imagination, mixed with a dash of creativity, is what will bring your ideas to the next level, thus avoiding stagnation within your business.
When thinking about the year ahead, perhaps your creative business genius might need a little bit of a wake-up. The two killers of creativity are
When you become clear on what you want to do for the next year and focus your attention on your plan, you slow down noise and make space for creativity to flourish. And when you stop comparing yourself with others, you can articulate what uniqueness you bring to the table, again allowing more space for creativity.
“But what do I do with all of this space??” is what you are probably asking me right now. Well, calm down. I’m going to tell you! Be curious. The more curious you are, the more creative you will be! Ask a bazillion questions. For example, ask your suppliers questions, such as "What’s new? Anything trending? What’s popular? Why? What is falling out of favour? Why? Are you going to finish that doughnut? Why?" Look for different ways to market your business. Look overseas at your industry and examine what they are doing and what they are saying. What language are they using? This will get you thinking in a slightly different way.
Here’s a great example: Netflix began as a mail-order DVD rental service. Read that sentence again and try not to laugh at the absurdity of it. It seems so archaic, right? “Hey honey, I want to see the new Tom Hanks movie.” “Sounds great! How about we watch it in 1-2 weeks?”
By keeping on top of trends and listening to what customers were looking for, Netflix shifted its business model to what it is today. If they had failed to harness their creative problem solving, they would…well, they’d be Blockbuster.
One of the struggles of being a solo-preneur is that there is often no one to spitball ideas at — or even spitball spitballs at! Having someone act as your sounding board is invaluable as it energizes the part of your brain that harnesses your creative potential. We would love to be your sounding board, should you ever feel stuck in your journey. We are big-picture thinkers and thrive on creative problem solving. You may see a refrigerator box, but we see a rocket ship to the moon! Or possibly a divorce… you should probably get that box out of the living room.
Your Creative Sounding Board, Madsen Avenue firstname.lastname@example.org www.madsenavenue.comPosted: Tue Apr 7th 2020 12:00pm a year ago
“I have been a part of the Womanition magazine for 10 years. I decided to try a 2nd year and commit to attending Dorothy's events. Wow! What a difference. Dorothy says....'show up and magic happens' and it's true. Events like the Biz Brigades and Aces Workshops have inspired and motivated me to be a better business woman.” -Glenda Polak