7 critical ways to develop the 1 essential skill all entrepreneurs should have.
12 Sep, 2017INFLUENCIVE.COM
Many skills are necessary for an entrepreneur to have, but some are more important than others. What is the most important skill for entrepreneurs to have? Ask a dozen entrepreneurs, and you’ll often find that you’ll get a dozen different answers. Finding a solution to a problem is always a popular response. After all, if an entrepreneur can’t find a solution to a problem, then are they truly an entrepreneur? Another answer would be the ability to sell anything.
If an entrepreneur cannot sell potential customers a product or service the business simply won’t go past the idea stage. One other popular response would be finding team members—getting the right people on board with your vision.
It’s not sales, finding team members or even finding a solution. I believe it’s creativity! Creativity is something that unfortunately doesn’t come naturally to some, or even most people. It’s hard to get your creative juices flowing if you’ve not been exposed to it during your lifetime. It’s something I’ve had a long struggle with over time. I’ve now realized that it’s the fuel for my entrepreneurial fire, like petrol for your car. Without petrol, the car will not run.
All ideas start with a creative spark. Until you’ve created your idea, you have nothing to sell—nothing that will generate you any income. Creativity doesn’t mean that you have to become an artist or a musician. For me and many others, creativity means that you have the flair in you to turn an idea from your imagination into something real. Something that will change the lives of others in a positive way.
So in my eyes, there is no difference between an artist, musician or entrepreneur. The former impact the world with their music and art. An entrepreneur changes the world with their vision and ideas.
Drop that thought as quickly as possible. You are creative. It just takes time to get yourself into a state where your creative side reveals itself. A lot of people will say that the modern day educational system dulls our creative side down by stamping a fixed mindset into our early days of information processing. For a long time, I thought that this might have been the case.
In fact, I became that fixed mindset while growing up. I was wrong. Creativity is something that is lost if it isn’t used for an extended period of time.
Creativity takes form in many different ways.
I never believed that I was creative. I would watch my business partner Brad draw designs and think to myself, “Why can’t I draw or think like that?”
After much thought and consideration and speaking with a guest on our podcast, I realized that I was creative, just not in the same way that Brad was. I had been creative in all aspects of my life when I thought about it deeply. Over the past 18 months, I realized that I had written over 80 blog articles, created four new websites from a blank canvas, created 100’s of Instagram images, written endless amounts of podcast show notes, edited hundreds of hours worth of podcast material and overcome a tonne of challenges in business.
The point that I am trying to make is that just because I wasn’t creating art or wasn’t creating music didn’t mean that I wasn’t using the creative side of the brain.
You can create all different types of things and still class them as being creative.
Creativity is in all of us! Have you ever thought to yourself, ‘Why can’t I get a six pack?’ You already have everything you need to start working on getting a six pack, it’s just going to take some time. Like many things, you have to work for it to become noticeable. Being creative works the exact same way.
You have to do daily exercises to bring that creativity out.
Here are some of the exercises that I have managed to uncover while trying to bring out my creative side.
Do not be fooled by the word. Reading isn’t easy. It’s time-consuming! How often do we get a spare 1-2 hours a day to set aside for reading a book? Hardly ever. The best time I’ve found for me to read is when I’m on vacation, simply because I’ve dedicated a week or two to having time to myself.
I’m not saying that you have to go on vacation once a month to be able to bring out your creative side, but finding time can always be hard. Finding the time will be worth it! The books you read do not have to be all business books. They can be fiction or non-fiction, as long as you are putting your brain to work.
Reading puts your mind into a world of its own and allows you to use your imagination in a way that you never even knew you could.
2. Listen to Podcasts
This whole article was based off a podcast episode that I listened to on the commute to work. In fact, the majority of my creative writing has come from the back of listening to podcasts. I don’t know what it is, but when I listen to them, I think to myself, “This would make a great article!.”
Listening to podcasts are an excellent way to consume information if you haven’t got a lot of time. Some podcasts allow you to listen to real entrepreneurs that tell their stories so that you can learn from them and their mistakes.
Most importantly, podcasts are a great way to generate the creative juices, as the majority of the time you’re on the move whilst listening to them which then sparks the brain into thinking about new ideas.
3. Change of Environment
An excellent way to ignite your creativity is by changing the environment you work in. I typically work out of my bedroom at my parent’s house. I am fortunate enough to have a couple of desks with all of my equipment in one place. However, what I find is that I cannot seem to concentrate for longer than a couple of hours at a time because it’s the same environment that I’m used to. To get the creative side of you working at a faster rate, why not switch up your environment?
Find a coffee shop to work in or move to a different location in your office or home. Or even go outside in the fresh air.
Having a different environment triggers a different sense of alertness, and keeps you from getting distracted.
Related: You can now find jobs on BEAM
4. Drink Coffee & Water
I’ve been trying to get Brad to drink coffee for so long now, and I’m not sure why he won’t touch the stuff. Coffee is an amazing way to get the creativity workers in your brain churning away at full speed. Since starting down the entrepreneurial route, I don’t know how I would have managed to cope without it. It may be a mindset thing, but if I ever lack that creative urge I’ll take a short 10-minute break to make myself a cup of coffee. Then away I go.
It’s also important to keep yourself hydrated, especially if you need some creative inspiration.
Staying hydrated is always important.
5. Chat with Your Circle of Influence
Talk with the people in your circle of influence. I cannot stress this one enough! There have been so many times where I’ve sat not knowing where to begin until I engage in conversation with someone in my circle of influence. Speak to people who are going to boost you to the next level, and if you haven’t got these people around you, then find them! They’re everywhere. Connect with people on Facebook or on forums. You can meet some amazing people on the Internet!
The majority of my circle were found on the likes of Facebook, Instagram & Reddit.
Talk to them about ideas, experiences and current situations. I can guarantee you this will flare your imagination and creativity into overdrive.
A fresh outlook will always help in your business.
Oh, my, gosh, exercise is by far my go to practice when trying to think of fresh ideas for my business. Studies have shown that exercising before enduring an epic task not only helps with creativity, but also with focus and concentration. On the podcast that I listened to before writing this article, the host recommends swimming as his chosen exercise allows him to focus on one thing and lets him be alone with his thoughts.
My recommendation would be running. In my experience running does the same thing as swimming, allowing me to organize my thoughts into sections and then upon returning, it helps me focus on tasks that are important.
7. Go to Meetups and Conferences
I’ve met some incredible people at meetups and conferences who have allowed me to dive into their journey with them. This gets my imagination going by implementing their experiences into my own business and interests.
Surround yourself with like-minded and differently minded people and learn from them.
Even though this takes time and money to do, I find that they’re worth it as I always walk away with new creative ideas.
Creativity is what separates us from the crowd who are all doing the same thing. It’s what makes us human, and it’s what makes us entrepreneurs.
The process of creating something new that’s come from you and nobody else is one of the most rewarding things that you can do.