Are you Creative? Does it Matter?

Do you consider yourself a creative person? How do you define creativity? I used to think creative was synonymous with artistic. And take my word for it, I am no artist. Stick figures are my specialty, and even they leave something to be desired. Over the years I have learned that creativity manifests itself in many different ways. Art and music for sure, but also writing and speaking, cooking and playing, communicating and teaching, building work teams and personal relationships, and many other practices.

Creativity is actually a way of thinking. It has more to do with mindset and approach than the ability to draw a realistic portrayal of a face or a fence. Being creative means thinking outside the box, doing things a little (or a lot) differently, and exploring possibilities. Creative minds trust in the unknown.

Another important thing I learned is that you don’t have to be creative at the exclusion of everything else. I am both creative AND analytical. I am both creative AND literal. I am both creative AND intelligent. You are creative and so many other things all at the same time. Why not use all your gifts in all areas of your life?

Does it matter in business if you are creative? Why does it seem to be such a sought-after trait? Creativity may seem frivolous, at the very least, or counter-intuitive at the most. When you intentionally call upon your creativity in business, however, it helps you make better decisions, problem solve, and create effective marketing messaging.

All these business questions benefit from calling upon your creativity:

  • Who should I put on this team to get the best results?
  • How can I get people to pay attention to my message?
  • How can we reorganize our space to be more effective?
  • How can we cut expenses?
  • How can we stand out from our competition?
  • What should our branding look like?

Using your creativity means exploring possibilities: what happens if I do ”X” versus if I don’t, or if I do “Y” instead?  The “how can we do this better” question always requires creativity.

The truth is we all possess creativity. The trick is in believing it’s there and trusting yourself to use it. Creativity can be nurtured and practiced by pretending you are someone else. Think of someone you know (or know of) who you think is very creative. Then ask yourself this question when trying to turn on the creativity faucet, “If I were (fill in name of creative person), how would I approach this?” A similar option is “if I were a wildly creative person, how would I approach this?” However crazy it is, we all seem to trust others more than ourselves, so if it takes an out of body experience to get started, try it!

Stop believing you aren’t creative and look for evidence to the contrary. It’s there, believe me. Then go kick some butt with it!

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