Why creativity matters for founders

Why creativity matters for founders
Photo by Jr Korpa / Unsplash

Creativity is the antidote to fear

Creativity is a skill. When you train it, you get better and more productive at it. One of the hardest parts about improving your creativity is that we tend to think of creativity as a talent: someone is either creative or not.

But creativity can be learned, grown, and expressed in many ways. Communicating a vision, idea, or problem all require a creative, persuasive messaging.

To solve a problem is to invent hundreds of different possible solutions and executing on the one that is most likely to success.

Creativity is about volume. The first, second, or third ideas are likely bad ones. That’s OK — embrace that you are just warming up.

Your 500th idea might be your most brilliant, but if you stop after 5 you’ll never know.

Creativity is about persistence and pushing past your fear of not being good enough.

When you persist through failure, you free yourself to explore infinite possibilities.

If you’re afraid to fail, creativity is your weapon to fight back. The creative process is about failure.

Personal growth

How many times can you hear no before giving up?

Our egos and sense of self-worth are fragile. Especially if you’re surrounded by peers who are successful lawyers, doctors, musicians, business owners, etc.

Growing up we take tests that measure our memories and critical thinking, but we’re rarely measured on creativity alone.

When was the last time you did a task just for the sake of trying it?

Entrepreneurs know that managing their fear of failure is as important as making the sale.

  • What if no one wants my service?
  • Is my product good enough to charge?
  • I’m embarrassed to ask someone to pay me for my work.

They’re fears that hold us back from getting to the core problem: how many times do I have to put myself out there before someone takes me seriously?

When you approach entrepreneurship, or any endeavor, as a creative act you lose the crippling sense of self-consciousness and you start to ask yourself more productive questions:

  • How can I make this 10% better?
  • Who is the actual audience for my product?
  • This post only got 1 like last time I posted it (from my mom) . How can I re-work it?
"If the size of your failures isn't growing, you're not going to be inventing at a size that can actually move the needle."

 Jeff Bezos

Gift yourself the opportunity to fail

We’re all a little bit the same

This is a framework I use to gift myself opportunities to fail:

  1. Pick an interest - writing, sketching, organizing, playing music — anything where you can give yourself 15-20 minutes of uninterrupted time.
  2. Let yourself wander - Do this exercise 2-3 times a week and document how you felt after the exercise. Write a list of 3 things you liked and 3 things you’d like to improve. Don’t share it with anyone.
  3. Improve 1 thing - Before your next session revisit your improvement list and pick 1 thing to improve (examples: extend the time you did the task, try a different approach, mimic someone else’s style).

When you put yourself out there to fail, make mistakes, and try again, you are creating an endless opportunity loop to grow your personal confidence and expand your approach to creativity.

Make space in your day for a hobby that brings you joy.

Take intentional breaks to clear your head and give yourself a different perspective.

Go for a walk, write out your thoughts.

“My dad would encourage me any time something didn't go the way I expected it to, or maybe I got embarrassed by a situation, to write down where the hidden gifts were and what I got out of it.

I started realizing that in everything there was some amazing nugget that I wouldn't have wanted to pass up.”

— Sara Blakely

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