How to Boost Your Business by Tapping Into Creativity

I recently gave a talk at Rise Collaborative Workspace onHow to Boost Your Business by Tapping Into Creativity’. This was for the Food for Thought hour and a conference room filled with 30+ business women that came to listen.

While each person went around the room introducing themselves and telling us what they do, they were to also share what motivated them to come to the workshop. I loved hearing this same one answer that kept surfacing, “because I’m not a creative person.” I knew instantly they were in the right place.

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You see, the beautiful thing is not everyone is going to be ‘a creative person’ but most people can learn the tools and skills to become more creative.

(doesn’t that just make you sigh in relief…)

In case you don’t know, I have a business heavy background, I have 10 years of finance experience and a BBA. I just recently (Feb 2019) made the career transition from my most recent position as Director of Finance and HR to Full Time Artist. (Woot!)

So, as I prepared this talk, I put myself back into the office setting and also incorporated things I’ve learned while growing and running my own business since 2015. I made sure I was talking to everyone: the entrepreneur, the leader at an organization, the employee, and the colleague.

So let’s get started.

The talk had two parts: WHY creativity in the workplace is important and HOW to tap into that creativity.

I’m going to share the HOW…

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5 KEY POINTS

  1. Recognize

  2. Eliminate

  3. State

  4. Ask

  5. Change


1. RECOGNIZE

"Recognize that every product, every service, every method, and every aspect of your job can be done differently and better.  Approach every task with the attitude that the current method is temporary and that your job is to find a better way to do it." - Paul Sloane

I put this as #1 because I think it’s the low-hanging fruit for even the ‘non-creative’ person. If nothing else, you should be able to do this one thing. It states to just be open to realizing and recognizing that everything you do can be streamlined and can be done better. Take notice when it is.

I mean, think about the job you’re currently doing or even the field of work you’re in. Is it the same as it was 5 years ago, 2 years ago, even a month ago? Are the processes in your job the same as they’ve always been, or have they changed a little over time?

Being open to recognizing new options are available is one way to start the creative process.

2. ELIMINATE

Eliminate no or but from brainstorming/idea generating meetings: 

  • No, we've done that before and it didn't work

  • But, we don't have the money, the resources, etc

  • That's not the way we do it here

To the entrepreneur: Don’t tell yourself, no you can’t do something because you 'don’t have xyz’. Think up collaborations. For example, are you wanting professional looking photos for your website or perhaps a headshot? Maybe there’s a new photographer that’s looking to get some practice and grow their portfolio and clientele. See if they want to collaborate with you and in exchange for the photos, maybe share and give them shout-outs online, tag their work, and/or add their name to the images on your website?

Think up new ways to fulfill your needs without telling yourself you can’t because you don’t have xyz.

To the leaders and office personnel: If someone presents an idea in a group setting, do not utter one of the three lines above. That’s a great way to snuff out any creative energy and you can guarantee there was at least one other person in the group that had an idea that doesn’t want to share it now and risk getting shut down.

Cultivate a creative culture by not closing the door on ideas.

They’re just ideas, let them come out and be part of the convo.

3. STATE THE OBJECTIVE

State the objective. Start with the end point/end goal THEN craft the route with how to get there.  You’ll get some creative solutions this way.

I love this one because I use this in my business, all. the. time. It’s a way to almost back into your ideas. I’ll use an example:

Let’s say one of your objectives for your business in 2019 is gaining visibility. Visibility is your objective, now how are you going to get there? Jot down 5-10 different ways that will gain visibility for your business, no matter how silly they sound, add them to the list.

Okay, your list may say: Be in magazines, podcast features, be on the news, blogs, collaborate with local shops/boutiques, be a vendor at events, etc.

Then, the next part is to break it down one step further: HOW are you going to get into magazines, HOW are you going to get podcast features, and so on.

This creates actionable steps that start with creative ideas and brainstorming.

4. ASK

Ah, the power of the ask! Don’t waste valuable time, money, and energy assuming what people want, ASK them!

  • What does my audience want to know about?

  • What new products should I offer?

  • Are there more efficient ways to do things? 

Don't assume you know, ask! Ask your: Audience, Clients, Customers, Colleagues, Employees, Suppliers, etc.

Not sure what to share on your social media? Ask your audience - they may want to see behind the scenes of your studio or office, your processes, how you got to where you are now. Maybe your customers are interested in a new product you can offer. Want to know if there are more efficient ways of doing things in the office? Your employees spend 40+ hours in the office, they know things that can be improved, all you have to do is ask.

Let others pretty much start the brainstorming process by you ASKING the questions.

They’ll provide you with answers and from there you can get creative on ways to provide what they’re looking for.

Side note - Never be afraid to ask. What’s the worse that can happen, you receive a no? Oh well, you didn’t waste any money on it, right? It’s free! Asking is a free opportunity to open doors.

5. CHANGE

Change the attitude about failure. When we're not wrapped up in the fear of failure, we just naturally become more creative.

How you deal with failure matters. When something fails, rather than stopping and throwing your arms up saying, “oh well, guess that’s the end of that!", understand why it failed so you can improve your product or service.

Ever heard the saying (or something similar), "I succeed or I learn, but I never fail." Cheesy right? But it’s sooo true.

See failure as an opportunity to create something better.


Hope these tips help generate some new and creative ideas in your workflow and business! Let me know what you think and if you’re already doing one (or all) of these five things!

xo - Jessica