Jim's Marketing Blog

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How to become a creative thinker!

This post is all about creative thinking and why you should proactively develop your creative thinking skills, if you want your business to thrive!

Creative thinking: You do it all the time

Every time you see a traffic jam ahead, then figure out an alternative route, you are employing creative thinking. Every time you go into the kitchen hungry, then put a meal together using the odds and ends you find, you are employing creative thinking.

Whether you know it or not, you already think creatively all the time.

Creative thinking in your business

It’s often said that business is all about problem solving and I agree. Business is an ongoing series of challenges and opportunities, which require creative answers.

For example:

  • Creative marketing: You need to find creative ways to attract the attention of your prospective clients. This has never been more important than today, because your prospective client’s have never had to cope with so much information. There’s a lot of noise out there and your message needs to cut through it.
  • Creative copywriting: If you want the people who read your marketing messages, blog posts, social media updates or newsletter, to contact you or share your work with their friends, your content needs to be compelling. This calls for creative copywriting.
  • Creative vision: If you want to spot the opportunities, which other people miss, you need to be able to see what they can’t see. You need creative vision. Most people miss genuine opportunities, because opportunities usually come disguised as hard work or they come wrapped within a problem. Creative vision allows you to see the diamond, when it’s still in the rough.

Creative thinking in an ideal world

I’ve often spoken to business owners about developing their creative skills, who said that in order to create, they needed everything to be ‘just right.’ They need the phones not to ring, they must have had a great night’s sleep the night before, they mustn’t be worried about anything and they need to feel great. Otherwise, they just can’t get creative.

At that point, I share these 2 ideas with them.

1. Creative thinking and comfort is not always a good match

A common factor behind 99% of successful musicians, is that they start off unknown, broke or both. It’s from that position of discomfort, that they create the work that gets them famous.  Then once fame comes and they have used up all their material from when they were struggling, they often disappear. Very, very few chart acts achieve smash hits for more than a handful of years. Some are one hit wonders.

The mansions, luxury cars and huge bank balances seem to have no positive impact on their creativity. Often, quite the opposite!

2. Things are seldom perfect

By deciding you can only think creatively, when circumstances are perfect, you’re not going to create very often. This is why it’s really important to give yourself permission to create, even when you may not have had a great night’s sleep and especially when you have a worry on your mind. In fact, the best time to employ creative thinking, is when you need a creative answer.

Permission to create

Whatever reasons you have given yourself in the past, not to create, I suggest you kick them into touch. You are a creative person. You have answers within you right now, to your most pressing challenges. You have ideas within you right now, which could lead to the creation of life changing opportunities.  Give yourself permission to create and learn to trust your answers.

NOTE: If you want to know how to become a confident, creative thinker, I recommend you subscribe to my NEW site, Creative Thinking Hub. It’s packed with ideas designed to help you develop your creativity and improve your problem solving skills.

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  1. Good article. I’m reading Jon Acuff’s “Quitter” right now and he just stated a good definition of creativity. “A wild mind with a disciplined eye”.

  2. Hi Jim, lots of great ideas in that article.

    As you say the time to be creative is when you are in a situation that demands real-time thinking e.g. in that traffic jam, rather than when you are in your composed, relaxed and well rested environment and decide to turn the creative switch on as chances are nothing will happen!

    I find that when you are up against the clock, the wall, the deadline etc that’s when you can create greatness, I think that pressure is a great motivator.

    Thanks for writing this article and I wish you a great 2012!

  3. so there is hope for us accountants then? :) Happy new Year Jim

  4. I found that creative juices flow best when confronted with pressure and problems.

    Successful businesses evolve over time by solving internal problems/ issues and providing solutions to the marketplace via the products & service they offer.

    You won’t find successful businesses getting comfortable… Becoming an industry leader and staying there is anything but comfortable.

    Cheers Jim!

    • Absolutely right, Mark.

      It’s ironic, but the most comfortable people financially, seldom stay within their comfort zones for long.

  5. Jim, you’re absolutely right.
    From the moment anyone of us is looking for self development, evolution or even a simple action to go out of the box: there’s an action. This action is translated by ‘going out of the comfort zone’ and starting create something from the ground.
    Any successful business I know has been built from zero and then started to be creative. By simply willing to be different and attracting new people we all need to be creative in some ways.

    Creative thinking is not just a way of life, creative thinking is a skill that we all have to maintain and reinforce at each step of our evolution. No matter the domain, no matter the location, the best great thinkers of the world (including our ancestors) were creative.

    Cheers, Jim!

  6. Thanks for sharing this one. Very creative idea in making this post. Its packed with great information about being creative enough for this year. Love the post so much.

  7. Jim – very positively put sir!

    I find it interesting that many organisations can outsource creativity – focusing on creatively executing strategies to their customers or consumers – when it would be better to use creativity to first develop those strategies. Many companies are stuck in an fear-based inertia – trying to do more for less and becoming ever more risk averse.

    Business creativity will not only help companies survive 2012, they’ll thrive.

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