Most people do not consider themselves creative. And that makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy. All young children are creative, but year after year, we take away their creativity.
We believe that the most important thing is the correct answer.
And when I work with clients, many of them are looking for the right answer and are afraid to do anything unless they are sure that the answer is going to work 100% of the time.
But that’s no way to run a business.
Of course, you want to know what I call “the Marketing game”, where there are certain principles and rules.
But that is only the beginning. After knowing those principles and rules you need a bit of creativity to take the principles of marketing and combine them and improvise until your message works in a way that people notice and respond positively to it.
Creativity Applied To Marketing
So How Do You Get To Be Creative If You Think You’re Not?
First of all, everyone is naturally creative. It comes with a package called a human being. However, that creativity has been overshadowed by too many rules and restrictions, the need to do things right, risk aversion, and the fear of looking bad or doing the wrong thing.
What a load of false beliefs and constrictive thoughts!
The good news is that there are a plethora of tools that can unleash your creativity, none of which are difficult to implement, and they really do work. I am going to share with you one of those tools, one of the most powerful.
Distance Yourself From The Problem
The concept is simple: you are too close to the problem. You are so caught up in trying to find the correct answer that you become paralyzed. In a recent session at the Marketing Club, we explored these ideas and in the following session, a participant shared a powerful story about how she used this technique to distance herself from the problem.
What this participant did was train a friend in how to market her services. And she found that by coaching that friend, she herself had dozens of great helpful ideas for her. It wasn’t that she was a marketing genius, but by distancing herself from it, by removing herself from challenges, lots of creative ideas flowed into her head.
For example, if you are going to open a restaurant, you may find it difficult to think of a design and decoration theme. But haven’t you gone to a restaurant that wasn’t well designed and immediately came up with several great design ideas to make the restaurant more attractive and dynamic? You were able to walk away from the problem because you were not the owner and therefore were not under pressure to fix that problem.
Perhaps that is why the problems of others always seem easier to solve than our own since we can distance ourselves from them.
Find a way to distance yourself from problems and you will see how many creative ideas will almost magically begin to flow. Let me walk you through some ways to make this work for your own business challenges.
1. You’re trying to come up with a unique message for your business and you hit a brick wall. Instead of thinking about your business, think about helping a business that is far away, in another state, or in another country. Same situation, but it’s not your business. Lots of good ideas are likely to come to mind.
2. You can’t think of any title for your articles. So instead, you distance yourself from the problem by thinking about the challenges of your clients, not the titles. What are the mistakes your customers have made over the years? I bet you can find dozens almost immediately. Those that you can convert into titles for future articles.
3. You’re experiencing some real-time management issues. It seems like you can’t handle work and you feel overwhelmed. When you try to fix it, you don’t get very far. Find a friend (like my participant did) and train him. Listen carefully and then try to come up with ideas on how to get more done in less time. I promise you’re going to get a surprise.
4. You find it difficult to motivate yourself because you are not sure of the direction you should take. In this case, distance yourself by putting yourself five years in the future. So instead of struggling to look forward, effortlessly look back and see what your business would look like if it were a huge success. This simple change in perspective usually leads to motivation.
This simple act of distancing unleashes your natural creativity. In fact, distancing is the opposite of identification. Instead of getting trapped inside your own limiting beliefs, you free yourself by examining your challenges from an outside, more objective point of view.