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There’s no doubt about it – your hyper creative mind operates on a different level. You listen to people around you who long to rejuvenate their creativity.
But you? You can’t seem to shut your creativity up.
At all hours of the day and night random great ideas pop willy-nilly into your mind. And from the outside this would seem to be a great thing.
But it’s not. Your hyper creative mind is running you ragged. You’re chasing all your ideas and not completing what you set out to do. Frankly, you’re not really getting anywhere.
How can that be?
How can you be so creatively brilliant but never seem to achieve the level of success you know you could?
Because you might be suffering from a hyper creative mind.
Understanding the Hyper Creative Mind
Hyper creative people have traits that are similar to ADHD:
The traits of inattention, impulsiveness, restlessness, daydreaming, lack of social skills, enthusiasm, hyperactivity, and difficulty in finishing projects are descriptive of successful and creative people as well as “ADDers.” (http://borntoexplore.org/evolve.htm)
Which means if you are hyper creative your inability to remain excited about a project once you get part way into it, is not simply because you are lazy, have no stick-to-it-ness, or just don’t care. Part of your brain is hardwired to want to spend all it’s time just creating those new brilliant ideas that get you so stoked up.
Now that we know it’s not all your fault that you’re this way, the question is, what can you do about it?
What can you do to turn that hyper-creative fire into hyper-success?
3 Steps to Keep Your Hyper Creative Mind on Task
1. Be Aware of Your Brain’s Battle
Be mindful of what’s going on in your brain.On a simplistic level your brain has two systems that fight for control:
a) The instinctual system that keeps you alive (if it’s cold get warm, if you’re hungry, eat). Your instinctual system lives in the moment and often knows what’s best for you (finish the project, get the paycheck).
b) And you have your intelligence system. This system can think and reason and decide what you might or might not want to do. This system allows you to override what might be best (you know it would be healthier if you went out and got that exercise but well, you’d rather watch TV).
As the two control systems battle it out the result is that you don’t always do the “right” thing. Every human has this internal battle, but for the hyper-creative person the bombardment of ideas creates fertile ground for more frequent and exhausting fighting. As in, you know you need to finish that project but the impulse to pursue your new idea feels too strong to ignore.
2. Explore Your Personal Hyper Creative Pattern
Ask yourself these questions:
- On any given project, when do you begin to lose focus or interest?
- Is it not too long after you begin a project?
- When you start on the final stretch before the end of a project?
- Do certain types of projects always lead to loss of interest?
- Do you do better when you work in a group or alone?
- When you have short or long deadlines?
- Do you hate paperwork or love to see reams of organized folders?
Once you get when you begin to lose focus and what types of projects lead to lackluster interest, think about what the signals might be that precede your usual crash and dropping off a project. Do you start finding excuses to do other things? Do you stop keeping to a schedule or start calling friends? Do you start poking holes in your project and decide it’s just too flawed? Or do you simply start to cut corners and do less than your best?
Take some time responding to the above questions because understanding your personal hyper-creative pattern will help you develop the best emergency plan in step 3.
3. Prepare an Emergency Stay-on-Task Plan
Generally speaking, hyper-creative people have strong highs and lows. You probably know this about yourself – you get that new idea and pow! you are higher than a kite and feel it’s this idea that will not only make the world a better place, but will skyrocket you to fame and riches. The best time to put your emergency plan into action is when you are on a high and you’ve just hit one of your signals (step 2) that the crash and loss of interest is coming.
The following ideas are suggestions to get you started on your own stay on task plan. But use what you know about yourself, and your responses in step 2, to develop a plan that is specific to your pattern and your needs.
Idea 1. Create a no way out for yourself
If you are the type of person who hates to disappoint people you can use this. Tell your boss you will have the project complete by Thursday and even if you have to stay up all Wednesday night you’ll probably get it done because you want to avoid having to go into their office and saying, “I’m sorry, I didn’t get it done after all.” For humans, avoiding discomfort is a strong tool so figure out something you want to avoid and then build that into your emergency plan.
Idea 2. Chunk the remaining project tasks
Most steps of any project have multiple smaller steps. Even when you start to lose interest there are most likely aspects of the steps left that you innately enjoy. Breaking down what’s left into small bites will help you see that there are portions you’d still like to do.
Idea 3. Make your environment more fun
As you face your usual crash and loss of interest, make what you have left to do more fun. Is a fancy coffee drink a rare treat? Go to your favorite coffee house and get one while you sit there and crank through the dreaded paperwork. Or, if you always crash and burn at your desk, take your laptop outside. The point is to shake it up because that just might be enough so you can coast to safe project completion.
Don’t be hard on yourself. Keep in mind that even two steps forward and one step back is still moving forward. Ideas are great and what the world needs to continue to progress. Once you get a handle on your own hyper creative pattern you will begin to feel more like you are controlling it, rather than like it is controlling you. Then you can get back to being excited about all those great cool ideas with the confidence that now those very ideas that used to hinder your success can contribute to it.
Resource: The Hyper-Creative Personality by Blaire Palmer
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
In many ways, it’s easier than ever to become a successful creator. Ideas can potentially spread virally thanks to social media and online platforms. As an entrepreneurial artist, you can create an amazing life for yourself. However, it may require you to take your focus off of superstardom and shift it toward monetizing what makes you happy. Having realistic expectations and clear, attainable goals, will go a long way in helping pave the path towards your future.
1. Find a niche
In order to make a profit, you need to find a consumer base to serve. The easy way to find a consumer base is to look at the problems you’ve encountered and find a solution for them. Once you’ve found a solution, you can easily generate income by solving those problems for others. Every market is competitive in some capacity. You bypass competition by being creative, niche-ing down, and creating a space for yourself. Follow these tips, and your journey to becoming a successful creator or artist will be far less daunting.
2. Work with others
There are so many businesses centered around the arts that you can become involved in to fund your creative endeavors while simultaneously helping others. Keep in mind that your business can be both B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer). Networking is crucial. If you’re an introvert, then you may have some difficulty with this. Create a business environment and authority through your work to get people to come to you if you can, and actively seek out opportunities to refer your business to someone that you want to work with.
Staying motivated as an artist can be tricky. A lot of business coaches and entrepreneurs will make you feel guilty for feeling burnt out. They say “your passion and problems should drive you,” but oftentimes that’s unrealistic. Creating an unsustainable amount of work for yourself in order to gamble on a dream can potentially have ill-effects on your mental health. Pace yourself, and know when to take a break.
Start where you are with what you have. Keeping a “day job” is important in the beginning so you have the resources to fund your creative endeavors. The easiest way to get startup money is to save some of the money you make from your day job and/or reinvesting the money you make from your small creative business. Whether you’re freelancing or selling your art/product, you should reinvest your profits in order to grow!
5. Getting investments
Knowing an investor never hurts, but there is considerable work to be done before you should approach a lender of any kind. You need proof of concept and a solid business plan to illustrate how the investor will see a return. In the beginning, it is easier to start small. Crowdfunding is an amazing tool that can certainly boost many creative businesses. However, the burden is on you to get people to literally buy into your idea. Is the idea sound? Is your product worth the investment? Do you have the support of enough people who will buy into YOU to help you fund your dream? Crowdfunding only works when you have an amazing product, an amazing solution, or an amazing personality/story.
6. Stay the course
Having trouble staying on track? Make lists. Create schedules. Find accountability partners, mentors, and masterminds to help guide you. Create situations where others hold you responsible for creating, that way you push yourself to make deadlines. Building a community around you and the operation of your business is a key to success. Not only will it keep you motivated, but it will also create an environment where everyone pushes for innovation.
7. Consider your options
Be honest with yourself on your strengths and weaknesses. Ask someone you trust to be truthful with you for an outside perspective. When you’re in the middle of the creative storm it can be difficult to be objective with your work.
If things aren’t playing out the way you want them to, consider a “pivot.” Don’t quit, but take inventory on what is and isn’t working. Investors often employ what is called the “law of asymmetrical returns” or “asymmetrical payoff.” Generally speaking, it is a risk management tool that is referenced when the potential payoff of an investment is greater than the effects of the risk over a period of time. If the potential payoff of a big win is considerably greater than the cost of accumulated small losses, then it is an investment worth looking into.
Being a creative entrepreneur is a calling, and it’s not recommended to anyone who is focused on an immediate return on their investment. If this is the path you choose, be ready to stay in it for the long-haul. If you have a solid idea with a great upside potential, and you can stay in the game long enough, you’ll eventually win. The goal is to be informed and spread out that risk across products and services, as well as knowing when to shake things up.
Franchise Your Business
For many of us, we’re serial goal-setters. We find it easy to set goals and love to dream big. When it comes to reaching those goals, though, that’s another matter.
The problem isn’t your goal-setting ability. Instead, our inability to reach those goals often comes down to our modus operandi, our system for reaching them.
What do I mean by system? Think of it as your plan of action, the route you’re going to follow, a set of steps you take daily. It’s the “how” of reaching your goal and obtaining the results that you want.
Now, it’s not that you shouldn’t set goals. Goals are important too. After all, they’re the direction you want to head and can help you stay in the right lane. But it’s important to think of your goals as a helpful guiding North Star. Your target, if you will. While the system that you end up implementing is the bow and arrow; and how you’ll end up hitting that bullseye.
By creating systems and establishing good habits today, you’ll be closer to achieving your goals and will also set yourself up for long-term success. With this in mind, here’s a look at why implementing systems is more important than goal-setting alone.
It sets you up for continuous improvement
With a good system, you’ll be setting yourself up for continuous improvement.
How? Because performing a set of daily habits allows you to actually make progress, not just think about that progress like you do when goal-setting. It’s also sustainable, and you can continuously revisit your system if needed – tweaking, improving, or creating new habits to give you the outcomes you want.
As Steven Handel, author and self-improvement coach of The Emotion Machine, explains, “Systems are different from goals because they are focused on sustainability. Systems don’t require a specific benchmark that we reach or don’t reach. They are an approach to life that we practice and build on daily.”
Your goal might be to build a thriving business, but your systems are how you will actually do this. It’s the procedures on how you create products, hire employees, and keep accounts. These are the small method adjustments that will allow you to scale.
This is why systems are so crucial and better than goal-setting alone. If you achieve your goal, say, launching and scaling a successful business, but then you forget how you got there, then the goal is not scalable. Instead, it’s better to systematize your approach so that if you do fail, you can quickly run a post-mortem to see where you went wrong. This way, you’ll know what not to do in the future. And when you do win, you’ll have a documented system on how to achieve it again and do better the next time.
You can rally your team around the plan
Big-picture goals are great, but it can be hard to get your team excited about them. On the other hand, with systems, you can show your team your blueprint for your company and get them on board with you.
If you can, get your team involved in creating the systems with you. Brainstorm together and show them that having a step-by-step guide on completing tasks will make life easier. It creates efficiency because they will know what to do, how to do it, and when.
And as your business grows and hires new employees, it will be easy for them to pick up the knowledge and procedures you already have in place.
It allows for creative input
“I will reach $200,000 in revenue this year.” That’s a great goal, but what does it actually mean, and how is it actionable? It’s what you will be doing that counts.
Think creatively about implementing new systems. Even if there is a one percent change in how you do things, the accumulation of all these small changes will make a difference.
Just take a look at the British cycling team – they made small creative changes, like switching to a more comfortable saddle, but the accumulation of all the changes paid off in a big way (spoiler alert: they have six Tour de France victories).
It creates a long-term mindset
You’ve trained hard and run your marathon. But now what? You’ve achieved your goal, so what is there motivating you to maintain good running habits?
Focusing on a system allows you to continue doing well after a goal has been achieved because it’s not about a singular achievement.
It’s the commitment to the process, and once a good habit is created and maintained, you’ll see how it’s benefiting your company. You’ll have the incentive to keep doing it because you keep seeing the rewards. This is the long-term mindset that you want.
“The purpose of setting goals is to win the game,” says James Clear, best-selling author of a number of books, including Atomic Habits. “The purpose of building systems is to continue playing the game…true long-term thinking is goal-less thinking.” That’s revolutionary!
It keeps you grounded
Finally, a system keeps you action-oriented because you see the progress being made. It’s tangible and gives more satisfaction and long-term happiness.
If you base your happiness on achieving a goal, you’re saying to yourself, “IF I reach my goal, only THEN can I be happy.”
But here’s the thing, why not permit yourself to be happy and grounded all the time?
By putting a system in place, the goal is now the outcome of all the actionable procedures you’ve done. You’ll also shift from a mindset of failure to one where you’re pleased to see your systems running well, and as a result, your big-picture goals being met.
And this is what will motivate you and drive you to continual success long-term, both in your personal life and your business.
You might think that creativity requires the antithesis of rules and regulation. Even the thought of being creative conjures up images of disorder. Messy rooms, paint everywhere, scraps of paper with ideas scrawled across them. The frantic creative genius works away, oblivious to the world around them. Chaos. Method in madness. Flashes of brilliance among a cluttered existence.
How to be creative as an entrepreneur
The best entrepreneurs are creative. They need to find ways of solving old and new problems. They picture a world that doesn’t yet exist, they bring products to life using only their imagination. They think of ways to move forward, grow bigger and stand out. Doing more with the same tools doesn’t happen by accident, it’s intentional and it requires ideas.
Consistency and creativity
Although at a glance they seem to conflict, the secret to creativity is consistency. It’s a myth that creativity has to come from chaos. Creativity rarely exists without routine and order of some sort.
Consistency creates the framework from which genius can emerge. It underpins it. Inventors conjure up thousands of ideas before discovering the one that changes everything. Van Gogh made art daily, cycling various techniques until he found his calling, and even then it wasn’t appreciated until after his death. Business leaders follow repeatable routines of daily actions, trusting that they will one day reap what they sow.
Keishawn Blackstone is an entrepreneur in the entertainment industry, running tak3-One-Productions. He’s 24 and was born in Los Angeles. He didn’t go to college; educated instead by experiences and books. With three director credits on his IMDB, Blackstone’s early success has stemmed from his healthy habits. He meticulously plans his day and ensures consistency throughout his week. Blackstone stands by the mantra, “no rules”, and “set[s] no boundaries about how far or high the ultimate goal can be,” yet boundaries that keep him sharp and progressing define his day. It seems contradictory, but it works.
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Limitless achievement requires limits. Unwavering confidence requires humility. Brilliant creativity requires routine. It’s an arena of paradoxes. Business coach Melitta Campbell said, “It’s hard to be creative when your parameters are too broad, so the first step is to narrow your focus. Go back to your purpose and your clients’ needs, for example, and ask yourself, ‘could this work if. ’ Once you set yourself some limits, your creativity kicks in.”
Decision fatigue is real. Waking up only to spend time deciding what to wear and eat and where to work is a waste of mental energy that could be better spent elsewhere. Removing mundane decisions by setting and sticking to rules reduces physical and mental clutter. It makes space for experimentation within safe confines and helps creativity thrive.
How to be creative as an entrepreneur
Remove daily decision-making on things that don’t matter by planning your week ahead of time; meal prepping on a Sunday or planning the first thing you’ll do each day. Remove yourself as a bottleneck to decisions by training and trusting a team member to make them. Set personal policies on what you do and don’t do after or before certain times. They might include not checking email until 10am, not responding to friends’ messages until lunch, not doing admin of any sort until you have created something, whatever that might be.
The morning is a glorious time because your head is fresh from resting and everyone else is still asleep. There are fewer vies for your attention.
You can read about the morning routines of world class performers online, and it’s a common question in media interviews with successful entrepreneurs. Whilst reading you’ll notice that there is no commonality in the specific actions. The commonality is that a routine exists. It matters less what you do, it matters more that you do it the same every day.
The opposite of having a morning routine is meandering through your day paying attention to anything that tries to grab it. It will likely lead to having a day on someone else’s agenda; fulfilling their goals and being at the mercy of their needs. Mindlessly scrolling the news waiting for something to react to, seeing what has hit your inbox since yesterday, checking social media platforms or bank accounts or status reports; it all can wait.
Find inspiration from areas outside of your field. Jewellery designer Lucille Whiting knows that tunnel vision doesn’t aid her creative work. “Never stop learning” she advised, “seek out new ideas and talk to new people online or otherwise. Read, take photographs, journal, keep a hundred notebooks to draw, doodle and scribble down midnight ideas. Collect, take screen shots, add webpages to favourites and keep them in organised files.”
Content strategist Kirsty Bartholomew encourages cross-sector learning on the hunt for new ideas, “Get curious about how other people in different markets and niches build their business. It really opens your eyes to different opportunities and can shake up your ideas.” Founder of Coven Girl Gang, Sapphire Bates, knows that rest is as vital as work, “Ensure you make time for things that aren’t work. My best ideas come when I’m not working. I can be doing literally anything else; cooking, walking, phoning a friend, doing a puzzle, anything that allows my brain some space from my business to step back and think creatively.”
Be creative as an entrepreneur by being open to absorbing and processing new information. Let novel points of view sit in the back of your mind until the inspiration you seek comes forward of its own accord. Let yourself be inspired.
Being creative as an entrepreneur
Clearing the way for creativity requires incorporating consistency and operating within a framework. It requires removing pointless decisions and creating routines and habits that will continue to serve you. It means being intentional with every second of your day, especially the morning. It means being open to learning outside your industry, scope and office.
Laying the foundations clears space for creativity to emerge. It makes room for ideas, experimentation and lets inspiration strike.
As an entrepreneur or a high achiever, you may be overwhelmed with seemingly endless work or the general feeling that there’s not enough time to do everything you want to do. To make it through the day, it’s easy to fall into “bad habits” or let tasks fall to the wayside. However, it is important to establish positive habits to set yourself up for later success. Setting goals and boundaries, both personally and professionally, is necessary to sustain the life you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
To get a better idea of what that might look like, we asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council to share positive habits they’ve found that have led to success. Here’s what they suggest:
1. Create a task list first thing in the morning.
Every morning before the day begins, and sometimes even as the previous one is ending, I like to briefly review my upcoming tasks for the next day and then prioritize them according to importance. Just spending this short 15 minutes allows me to have absolutely everything in alignment, and the result of that is a much better and more efficient day.
2. Share difficult problems you’re working through.
I’ve never understood founders who keep things “close to the vest.” When we’re wrestling with a major issue, I talk about it with anyone who will listen! Working through the problem with different people yields different ideas. As importantly, people will want to help you, and you never know who is connected to the person who can ultimately help you solve your issue.
3. Practice transparency.
Being 100 percent open and transparent at all times has been my guiding light for over a decade now. Honesty is indeed the best policy. It helps in clearing out conflicts as early as possible, building healthy business relationships based on trust and commanding a respectful corporate brand.
Running on a regular schedule helps me to actually clear my mind and focus on what the biggest things are to help me succeed both at work and in life. The release of endorphins is key for sustaining a happier state of mind, focus, energy and overall positive moods.
5. Eat healthy.
What you eat can make or break your day. I used to eat so many sugar-filled, processed foods because I was super busy and that was what was quick and available. But I felt lethargic and gross. I was doing a million things and didn’t have time to worry about what I was eating. But it affected my day. So now I bring healthy snacks with me every day, and I’m sharper and more productive longer.
6. Follow up.
I am a firm believer in following up on every significant encounter in my professional life. It doesn’t matter if I’m working with a new investor, giving performance reviews or helping resolve internal conflict. I always try to follow up with the other part so we are always on the same page. I believe this led to my success because it resolves issues before they arise.
Even if it is only for five minutes, when things really ramp up and my day is getting hectic, I now take a step back and meditate. This short break allows me to refocus, take a breath and remember what is important at that moment. This is a newer habit for me, but it has been tremendously helpful in keeping me on track and productive.
8. Let go.
Most problems are not as serious as they seem. Learn to let go of things that are not important in the long run. Here’s a simple reality check exercise: If something won’t matter a month from now, don’t even bother to stress about it. Once you learn to let some issues slide, you’ll realize these were not the real issues in the first place.
9. Carve out time for what matters.
As a mother, running a business can be difficult. But if you want to succeed, you’ve got to be able to find the time. Being able to squeeze as many minutes out of your day is an important skill to have. It not only takes time management skills but also perseverance and determination. It’s also important not to get overwhelmed: You have to plan your day in order to get the most out of it.
10. Practice skills.
I spend a lot of time practicing my skills to improve them. That takes time, but it pays off in the long run because it sets me apart from those not willing to practice. It’s like sports or an instrument: The more time you put in, the better you get. I apply that to anything I use in my job and it gives me similar results.
11. Talk yourself up.
We don’t understand all the psychology behind why certain techniques for success work and others don’t, but a popular one I’ve been trying lately is talking myself up in the mirror. There’s something about repeating positive mantras to yourself that works—it gets you pumped for the day and ready to tackle its challenges.
12. Put people first.
Some days I spend more time on other people’s priorities than my own. However, my “service first” attitude is one of my favorite parts of being an entrepreneur. I’ve found that when I go out of my way to be helpful and accommodating, I almost always see a return on investment. Plus, befriending interesting people challenges me and makes me better. Give all that you can, as often as you can, to anyone you can.
13. Reach out to people you admire.
Talking to people I admire within the industry, as well as watching people online with a wealth of knowledge are building blocks to success. You get to look inside the mind of someone whose work ethic and motivation you envy, and it makes you think about things differently. Talking to people I admire, and whose success level I want to reach, only motivates me to get the ball rolling.
The Surprising Secret to Becoming a Resilient Entrepreneur–and, No, It’s Not About Working Harder
Resiliency is defined by how well we recover. To recover, you must rest.
There is a very real and dangerous issue plaguing today’s entrepreneurs: burnout. And, get this. The more passionate you are about your business, the more likely you are to suffer from burnout, according to this Harvard study.
I see references to resilience in entrepreneurs being tossed around as being a good thing, and it is, but the meaning of resilience is usually grossly misinterpreted. Resilience is about recovery from hard work and stress, not about pushing yourself to the limit. And, recovery requires self-care. Just as athletes need to allow for muscle recovery; entrepreneurs need to allow physical and mental recovery time.
Many entrepreneurs claim that there is no time for self-care; they almost always put themselves last on the list of priorities. These are the entrepreneurs who struggle, not only personally, but with achieving their goals. In fifteen years of helping entrepreneurs realize success and happiness, I can tell you that those who learn self-care achieve success faster, smarter, and with greater ease. They learn how to become truly resilient entrepreneurs. That means taking the time to recharge, making different choices, and yes, taking some calculated risks. This excerpt from yet another Harvard study says it well.
“Mustering your resources to ‘try hard’ requires burning energy in order to overcome your currently low arousal level. This is called upregulation. It also exacerbates exhaustion. Thus, the more imbalanced we become due to overworking, the more value there is in activities that allow us to return to a state of balance. The value of a recovery period rises in proportion to the amount of work required of us.”
After reading that information, you may be thinking, “I really should take a vacation.” Well, this isn’t about prescribed tasks like taking frequent breaks, extravagant vacations (face it, vacation prep and recovery can be stressful) or spending the weekend at the pool with your cellphone nearby.
Resilience is gained by the benefit of taking time out to do things that are specific to your recovery needs. These are the actions and activities that are most likely to get your mind off of work so it can fully recover from work stress.
It’s important to place yourself at the forefront, rather than allowing your self-care to be an afterthought. You may resist this idea at first, viewing it as counter-productive, but it’s just the opposite. As a result of frequent and solid recovery time, you will be more clear-headed and gain more strength. You will work faster and smarter. You will get your health in check. You will make better decisions, feel fewer negative emotions, and be more creative. In other words, you will get yourself unstuck.
Set yourself up for self-care success.
The key here is to get your mind completely off of work and enjoy whatever it is you’re doing at the moment. Think about how you can be more present during your time away from work. Put away your cellphone during meals, for instance. Focus on the people you are with, instead of allowing your mind to drift back to work. At work, keep stress at bay by restricting interruptions so you can focus intently on what you’re doing.
What recharges your batteries?
Next, think about what makes you feel cared for but doesn’t cause additional stress as you prepare for it. A massage, time with friends who know how to pamper you, seeing someone like a therapist or a coach who will not only listen but hear you. Asking for (and graciously receiving) help from others. How about time in nature? Meditation, yoga, exercise, a proper diet. What recharges your batteries?
Say no to things that you do out of obligation or for the purpose of pleasing others. This is not to suggest that you avoid activities with family and friends, but that you explore your reasons for doing them. Also, say no to employees and clients if their requests are frivolous or out of bounds.
What stops you from taking this time? For many entrepreneurs, it’s that they’re busy doing non-entrepreneurial tasks. Define these responsibilities and hire someone to take them over. I’ve said this in so many of my articles–that’s because it works. When you spend your time mostly on money-making, growth activities your business will thrive.
Develop a growth mindset.
Change your perception of self-care rather than have a fixed, negative mindset around it. Self-care is not about indulgence–okay, maybe sometimes it is–but mostly it’s about taking care of the engine that makes your company run, that’s you. Do you consider an oil change for your car indulgent? No, it’s akin to self-care, so why do so many entrepreneurs resist it?
Schedule daily time for yourself.
Lastly, schedule at least one hour a day to do something you enjoy and/or recharges your batteries. Choose something that will take your mind completely off of work. Also, prepare for a good night’s sleep by avoiding activities that stimulate your mind for at least one hour prior to bedtime. Restrict blue screens from the bedroom.
It’s time to put the oxygen mask on you first, others next, not the other way around. Now breathe and relax for a moment. Notice how good that feels. Take this opportunity to make a list of ways to restore your energy and find true resilience. Then, just do it.
How to achieve your creative potential as an entrepreneur? How can you maximize your creative abilities?
Creativity is one of the most important assets as an entrepreneur. It will make or break you and your company. It is also one of the key drivers that drives people into entrepreneurship.
There are many measures of success. Money is often a token currency and statistic used, whether it is funds raised, revenues, valuation, or how much your company fetches on exit.
Yet, whether that is millions, billions, or hundreds of billions, it is all a poor proxy for reaching your potential.
At the end of your venture or life, this is what really counts. It will be what you rate yourself on and whether you have regrets or are satisfied.
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What Is Creativity?
Creativity may be defined as using your imagination, especially in producing artistic work. As well as the generation of ideas, and possibilities useful in solving problems.
The ability to come up with ideas and new ways of looking at opportunities and problems.
This may sometimes be or be seen as a genius and natural talent. Yet, creativity is also a skill and one that you can learn, hone and improve upon. Especially, when creating processes to assemble ideas, recombining different elements, and breaking down problems to find solutions.
There are two main types of creativity that apply in entrepreneurship.
The first may relate to your individual talents and skills to produce some form of art. In this setting, it may mean coding, product design, marketing, sales, or something else.
It is important to note and be aware that this creative thing you love doing and think will be the basis of a great business may not be something that you actually get much time to spend doing as a business owner. In fact, without the tips below, you may not get to do it at all.
The second and actually more applicable form of creativity as an entrepreneur is problem-solving in building the business itself and achieving the mission and vision for the company.
This is going to show up in so many more ways than you realize. Even if you have a startup business or two under your belt already.
Creating a startup is really about signing up for nonstop daily challenges around the clock until you move onto the next business. All day, all night, from every angle.
It is going to take elite problem-solving skills and creativity to survive and manage everything in your business.
This may range from not running out of money to hiring and marketing, networking, pitching, pitch decks, assembling a board, and the art of fundraising and M&A dealmaking. So, how to achieve your creative potential as an entrepreneur?
Keep in mind that in fundraising storytelling is everything. In this regard for a winning pitch deck to help you here, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
ACCESS THE PITCH DECK TEMPLATE
Creativity: The Most Important Skill For Entrepreneurs
According to WeWork and the World Economic Forum, creativity was set to become the third most important skill for employees (not just their bosses) by 2020.
That came in just behind critical thinking and complex problem-solving.
From a founder’s perspective, it may come right alongside managing a team and having the focus and discipline to keep executing, and expertise to analyze and make sense of all the data. All of which can require a lot of creativity too.
There are countless ways in which you’ll need to find and practice creativity as an entrepreneur. These are some of the most fundamental.
Any good startup is the product of innovation. Innovation is the product of creativity. It is essential for finding uniqueness.
In addition to establishing a strong foundation and basis for creating a business around an idea, it is essential to transcend all of the boundaries and hurdles.
Maintaining An Edge
You’ve never won and just have it made as a business or business leader. At the beginning there can be so much to do just to prove your concept can work.
Then once you have proven it, everyone else in the world from the biggest and best-funded corporations to edgier and leaner and more aggressive startups are going to be working on beating you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You have to constantly be creative and innovative and evolving to stay ahead.
Creativity is essential to the economics of being able to survive and thrive. For competitiveness and getting the most out of your team when you are big, and all the way back to getting it off the ground, going from zero to one and creating something out of nothing.
It has even been said that creativity is more important than intelligence.
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I was fortunate enough to catch up with the $340 Million Silicon Valley Entrepreneur “Gurbaksh Chahal” this week to find out what it takes to succeed in life and in business.
Gurbaksh had sold 2 successful online advertising companies by the age of 25 for a total of $340 Million and is onto his 3rd and biggest company yet, RadiumOne. Gurbaksh will be launching RadiumOne in over 70 markets and is excited to announce that Australia is one of them.
Below is amazing success advice from a die hard entrepreneur Gurbaksh Chahal :
Joel – The first company you created “Click Agents” was founded by you at the age of 16 and not long after that, it sold for $40 million. Nine years later you sold your second company “Blue Lithium” to Yahoo for $300 Million. Making close to half a billion dollars in the space of 9 years, can you tell us, is there some secret formula that we should know about?
Gurbaksh – Well I think the secret formula comes down to success in general, and you’ve got to constantly keep an open mind, be creative, and don’t be afraid to re-invent yourself.
When I was 16 I didn’t really have a clue about business, so you could say “I got lucky“, whatever that means. The second time around I learned what it was really like to be a CEO and I believe that both of these opportunities have prepared me for my current company, by every metric whether it’s revenue, size, opportunity, mission or geography, RadiumOne is the biggest of all of my endeavours.
Joel – Do you believe it when they say “Ignorance is bliss”? Do you feel that when you were younger that maybe you were a bit ignorant and that could be the reason why you didn’t see a lot of the obstacles ahead of you that some of the more experienced and older entrepreneurs would have been scared of?
Gurbaksh – I wouldn’t say “Ignorant,” because I think the thing that was probably my biggest virtue was that I didn’t know the meaning of failure.
The older you get with the traditional message of schooling, or the methods of society, whether it’s family, friends or situational you end up trying to play it safe. At 16 I didn’t really know what I could lose. There is an essence of, when you are fearless, you become more creative, and the more fearless I became, the more creative I was.
Joel – What would you say has been one of the biggest fears you have ever faced and what did you do to overcome it?
Gurbaksh – So here’s the thing, there is constant fear in business. You’ve got to have the stamina to realise that is the very path to success and you’ve got to be able to stomach it.
There has been several times when I have put everything on the line and I have had to re-invent myself or I’ve had to hire a completely new leadership team and make significant product changes and all of those were betting the company on something.
All of those are triumphs to success, so there’s no real path, success is never linear, it’s almost like a hockey stick. The more risk you take, the more of a U-Shape formula you should end up with.
Joel – I just came back from a holiday in “India,” I understand you were born there but grew up in San Francisco. One stand out thing that I noticed over there is that they are very committed to their traditions.
Do you still carry on any traditions from the motherland?
Gurbaksh – From a cultural stand point and a family stand point I am Indian by heart, but at the same time I’m probably more spiritual at the end of the day, and that’s defined in the inner you and I think that defines who we are as people.
Living a life that has a greater purpose and living up to it is the ultimate degree that we should strive for.
Joel – How do you balance your life? I find it a challenge at times to balance mine, and I only run a blog and a couple of other business ventures so I could only imagine that you would have your plates pretty full most days.
Gurbaksh – At the end of the day, you have to look at success itself as a balance. There are a significant amount of things that you have to do to achieve happiness at the end of the day. Nonetheless, you’ve got to make sure you have balance in your life.
There are a number of things that we need to do as entrepreneurs to be successful, but what is success at the end of the day? Is it your bank account? Is it happiness? I think that at the end of the day it’s happiness.
In an article I did for LinkedIn, I talked about un-plugging yourself from the wired world. The importance of continued learning, giving back, less over thinking, being grateful for what you have, realizing that relationships are everything in life, making peace with your past, being authentic and learning how to forgive.
Joel – Where do you see the world heading with technology and how do you stay on the curve of innovation?
Gurbaksh – One of the key paths to technology is that it changes significantly and quickly. I have been blessed as I have stuck to my roots of advertising technology and I have been given the opportunity to re-shape it and create it 3 times around now and I think the key secret there is that you should stick to what you know.
I’m a very different entrepreneur than many others. I look at Elon Musk and think of him as a genius because he is that guy that can juggle many different things in many different industries, but I don’t think many of us can do that. Even when you look at the late Steve Jobs, he re-defined 8 different industries.
I, on the other hand just stuck to my core which I think is kind of a testament were “If you can do everything that’s great, but if you can be really great at just one thing then that’s also not bad.” I have looked at that as an opportunity and a blessing to continue to innovate.
Part of the key metrics to success in an enterprise is to know how far you are really willing to take it. Are you pushing the boundaries? You can’t make safe bets.
Even today, 4 years into this, 300 employees worldwide, profitability, significant amount of revenue and so forth, the decisions I make as the CEO goes from choosing the color palette on the website, choosing the design of what the reporting looks like, down to what the product ends up becoming.
So you really have to:
- Be someone who pays attention to detail
- Be creative
- Problem solve
- And always be creative with the way you solve those problems.
Joel – What is your true definition of success?
Gurbaksh – I think success is defined by understanding purpose. If you live a life of purpose then you’ll never be bored.
17 Growth Mindset Quotes That Will Inspire Your Success and Happiness
If you believe you can learn what it takes to create your own success at work and in life, congratulations — you have a growth mindset.
“Picture your brain forming new connections as you meet the challenge and learn. Keep on going.” — Carol Dweck
According to Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, when we have a “growth mindset,” we believe that our intelligence, creative abilities, and character are things that we can improve in meaningful ways. We can always learn and get better at what we do.
Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, asserts that adopting a growth mindset can help us succeed more and be happier — both at work and in our lives.
Here are 17 quotes that will inspire and motivate you to embrace and develop your own growth mindset — and get more out of your work, and your life.
1. “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed no hope at all.” — Dale Carnegie
2. “Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance.” — Samuel Johnson
3. “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” — Margaret Thatcher
4. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” — Albert Einstein
5. “Challenges are what make life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” — Joshua Marine
6. “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” — George Bernard Shaw
7. “The tragedy of life is not so much what men suffer, but rather what they miss.” — Thomas Carlyle
8. “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” — Walt Disney
9. “Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” — Napoleon Hill
10. “Becoming is better than being.” — Carol Dweck
11. “The problem human beings face is not that we aim too high and fail, but that we aim too low and succeed.” — Michelangelo
12. “We find comfort among those who agree with us, and growth among those who don’t.” — Frank A. Clark
13. “A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it is committing another mistake.” — Confucius
14. “Vision is not enough. It must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps; we must also step up the stairs.” — Vaclav Havel
15. “To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.” — Unknown
16. “Everybody dies, but not everybody lives.” — A. Sachs
17. “My dad encouraged us to fail. Growing up, he would ask us what we failed at that week. If we didn’t have something, he would be disappointed. It changed my mindset at an early age that failure is not the outcome, failure is not trying. Don’t be afraid to fail.” — Sara Blakely