You’ve got a million problems to solve at any given moment. Concerned with the livelihood of both the company and your team members (not to mention yourself), you attempt to do everything. You’re cleaning the bathrooms, calling on prospective clients, and working on the product all on the same day. Amidst the highs and lows of entrepreneurship, it can sometimes be easy to stumble into a creative block. You know you have the creative ideas you need to continue being successful locked somewhere inside you, but they feel so distant that you wonder if you will ever be able to reach them.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Below are five tips for rediscovering your entrepreneurial creativity. Enjoy!
Work-life balance used to be a joke along with words like “stress” and “anxiety.” If you’re old enough you can remember those times. The reason they are no longer jokes is because they turned out to be true! You do your best work when you are energized, well-rested, and relaxed. Prolonged muscle tension has shown to have an impact on your blood flow throughout your body, as well as your ability to maximize brain function. So get that 90 min massage, learn your circadian rhythm cycles, and structure your weeks in a way that allows you to have down time to take care of yourself and do what makes you happy.
Have an adventure
Are you stuck in a routine? Do some local exploring, add to your experiential portfolio, make friends that have completely different outlooks on life. Join a biker’s club…or cycling club (here in Kansas City we have midnight rides that explore the city with strangers). Go to a festival, work on a farm. Do whatever you need to do to break the monotony and build up a portfolio of varied experiences.
How’s your breathing and meditation skills?
Did you know that just by exhaling loudly while striking, boxers and martial artists are able to hit 20 percent harder, recover faster, and have more endurance? Breathing is everything. It supplies oxygen to the brain and muscles so they can perform better, while affecting body functions ranging from your mood to your stress levels and critical thinking. It is well worth it for you to invest in learning how to breathe and meditate. After all, there is a saying in some parts of the world that “shallow breaths kill.” [Queue dramatic transition to the next suggestion.]
Columbia Business School professor Adam Galinsky conducted several studies in which he found that “foreign experiences increase both cognitive flexibility and depth and integrativeness of thought…the ability to make deep connections between disparate forms.” In other words, different cultures have very different outlooks on life and ways of viewing the world that impact everything about the society. By immersing yourself in it, you jumpstart the part of the brain that makes connections between ideas and actions.
From traffic signs to the food, everything is a reflection of the history and experiences of the people living there. If you travel to a place with a different culture (which can even be here within the U.S.), and immerse yourself in it by walking around, eating at local restaurants, staying with locals when possible, doing what they do for entertainment, and meeting lots of different people along the way…your brain will be forced to make sense of all of this new information with the same muscles that it relies on for creativity. Through your brain’s needing to make sense of the world around it, you will kickstart your creative machinery.
Alternatively, sometimes all we need for our creativity to come back is to declutter our mind. If the constant tasks and worries that come with entrepreneurship are what’s keeping you from reconnecting with your innovator’s mindset, then consider taking a trip to somewhere awe inspiring where you can disconnect from the business and your stressors, and reconnect with nature and the music you love.
Hang out with other creative people
What is one of the best ways to get inspired? By hanging around other people who ooze creativity and inspiration. Often, those blessed with the superpower of creativity will find that their understanding of the creative forces transcends their field, so you will reconnect with that “Big Creative Energy” if you’re in those surroundings. The best people to immerse yourself with are those who are emotionally liberated to live and create. Be a part of their world and have them show you some of their favorite activities for getting their creative juices flowing. When in the right environment creativity is contagious.
One of the biggest trends you will find is that you have to interrupt your normal patterns in order to recapture your creativity. That means forcing yourself to not worry about your usual stressors, and reconnect with fun, inspiring, adventurous, holistic experiences that serve you the person, not you the entrepreneur building a business. In feeding your body and soul, you will reignite your superpowers of creativity. Go forth and prosper.
Lillian James Creative is a creative content & marketing firm that believes in creating rational and emotional connections between clients and their future clients.