In the first two years of starting a business, entrepreneurs are in survival mode. During that time, anything that can go wrong, probably will. One of the biggest problems during those first two years is that when you were an employee, you were told what to do. Because of that, your creativity muscle stopped working — and that muscle is what must be working in order to make it in business.
In 1968 Dr. George Land conducted a study of 1600 kids ranging in age from three to five years old. In this study, he tested their creativity. The test was so good that NASA ended up using it to find scientists and engineers.
Here’s what he found:
- Five year olds scored 98% on the creativity test.
- The same kids, five years later, at the age of ten scored 30%.
- By the age of 15, their scores dropped to 12%
- Then 280,000 adults were tested and they scored just 2%.
Dr. Land concluded that we’re all born creative, and that non-creative behavior is learned.
The other day my kids that are two and four years old were playing with a car. It went under a couch, and they couldn’t reach it. I didn’t jump in to help them. I just sat there, watching to see what they would do. First, they tried pulling the car out with a butter knife, but that didn’t work. Then they grabbed salad tongs, but that didn’t work either. Finally, they grabbed a broom, and were able to get the car out.
This is an example of the creativity — the ability to figure out how to solve a problem — that kids naturally have.
A lot of times as adults all we need to do is, figuratively speaking, grab a broom to fix our problems. But we don’t do it, because we’ve been taught non-creative behavior.
What does this have to do with business? EVERYTHING! Almost anyone that makes it as an entrepreneur is a creative person.
A lot of times people come to me with a problem and when I can help them come up with a solution in just a few minutes, they’ll wonder why they didn’t’ think of it themselves. It’s because they’ve learned non-creative behavior that prevents them from processing issues and solving problems at higher levels in their business. This non-creativity results in failure.
In today’s video I cover:
8 Things that Cause Entrepreneurs to Be More Creative
#1: Desperation – 04:28
When you’re desperate, you’ll figure out what you need to do to survive.
Yesterday I asked Mario a question:
Let’s say you lost this job, this company went out of business, your wife left you, your kids left you, you had no apartment, no car, your license is suspended, you have no money, and no one was willing to have you live with them, what would you do today, right now?
He sat there and said, “I have no place to live, and I don’t have a car to sleep in? Well, if I go get a job, and I need to eat food today, I won’t get paid for two weeks, and since I have no savings I need to do something to get money today. Maybe I need to go work somewhere that pays tips, or go to a person that’s selling products and I can take that product, and go sell it for cash, so I can make some immediate money today. Then I can buy something wholesale and sell it retail. . . ”
Within 10 minutes, he figured out his one, two, three.
Why did he come out with his one, two, three? Because his mind went into a place of desperation. When we’re desperate, we figure out things we need to do to survive.
But the challenge becomes this. The purpose of entrepreneurship is not just survival. I’ve heard people say, “I’ve been a business owner for 30 years. Man, it’s a struggle.” It’s not supposed to be a struggle for 30 years! If it’s that way for you, it’s because you’ve chosen to be in survivor mindset. You need to eventually graduate from the survivor mindset, into creation.
#2: Frustration – 06:46
Creativity also comes about through times of frustration. It could be something with your kids’ behavior, your financial situation, or any other thing that frustrates you. You’ll come up with a solution to solve the problem of what frustrates you.
#3: Curiosity – 07:40
Curiosity can be a muscle or a byproduct. It could be that you’re naturally a very curious human being or it could be the fact that curiosity is a muscle that you’re developing.
If you’re curious about ways to do things better, you’ll come up with creative solutions.
#4: Love – 08:16
When you love someone, you come up with creative ways to show them that you love them. People are at their most creative when they’re in love.
#5: Hate – 09:34
When you hate someone, you’re also very creative. You can come up with all kinds of things to do to get back at them!
#6: Passion – 09:52
When you’re passionate about something, you find many ways to be creative. It doesn’t matter what it is. If you’re passionate about something, you’ll automatically have creative ideas regarding it.
#7: Purpose – 10:02
Purpose involves a cause beyond yourself.
I was recently asked, “So why do you create all this content about entrepreneurship?”
I said, “Honestly, this is an absolute purpose of mine. It has nothing to do with money. Money is very easy to make. Once you learn how to make money one time, you can learn how to make it for the rest of your life. But there’s a purpose because I know what it did for me to go from a 1.8 GPA kid in a broken up family, and being absolutely broke, to being a successful entrepreneur. I want to inspire and encourage as many people to become entrepreneurs as possible.”
That sense of purpose gives me creativity.
#8: An Uneasiness About the Status Quo – 11:06
If you’re uneasy about the status quo, if you’re not content, or happy with how things are, and you want more, if you want to make things better, that mindset gives birth to creativity.
The Good and the Bad of Creativity for Entrepreneurs
Those are the eight things that give birth to creativity, but let me tell you both the good and the bad sides of creativity.
- You’ll constantly figure out ways to solve problems.
- You’ll constantly figure out ways to process issues.
- You’ll constantly figure out ways to improve processes.
- You’ll make others around you better.
- You may set up a system in your business that’s working, and you keep changing it because you’re so creative, this leads to :
- No stability
- No consistency
- Because of this, you never gain momentum. If the system is working, why change it? Don’t change the part that’s working, because every time you do, you lose momentum.
How to Become More Creative in Life and Business
- Make a list of the most creative minds you know. Make sure they’re positive!
- Spend time with those people. Study them. Ask them questions. Learn from them.
- Be more curious about life, about solving problems, about everything. That allows you to figure out ways to solve issues.
- Increase your energy. You need a lot of energy because creative people are typically very energized.
- Get inspired. If you’re inspired, a lot of things will happen for you.
- Ask more questions.
I like to bring a group of three to five people together. I’ll put a problem on the wall and ask, “How can we do this better?” We’ll discuss all of the “what ifs” and by purely processing that issue together, what takes place is more than solving a specific problem. Through the process we develop our creative minds, so that we can go from being 2% on a creativity test, to 10, 15, 20%. We’re relearning the creative habits we used to have many years ago.
My Challenge to You
Pick any topic, and think about how you can make something better. For me it may be, “How can we make the voting system better?” Or, “What do you think about what that person said the other day? Do you agree with them?” If the person doesn’t agree, ask them why. Look at various problems, including problems that other companies are having and ask yourself how you would solve the problem.
Then take those same abilities and apply them to your own business. Through this you’ll be able to solve both big and small problems because your creative mind has become incredible at processing issues.
Applying this creative thinking will help every aspect of both your personal and business life.
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