How to Cash in With Your Creativity

Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of focusing their creative energy in a direction that ruins their business. Learn how to use your creativity to work for you instead of against you.

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Just recently, I started sharing my podcasts online and without even really promoting it, we soon became the number one business podcast in Holland and third overall. Soon after that, we moved to number one overall. Things are really going well in my business and there are some things that I am doing that I would like to share with you.

Last year, after watching a video of Ned Hallowell, I made some changes in my business. In the last six months, those changes have made a huge difference in my business, my bank account, and me. Hallowell is a psychiatrist who works with entrepreneurs with ADD or symptoms of ADD. He believes that about 90% of entrepreneurs need some type of positive, creative outlet in their lives. For those with this need, it must be fulfilled on a daily basis or, he believes, we will release this creative energy in a destructive way. In other words, we will do crazy s%&* like drive 300 miles per hour in a Ferrari, or develop some type of addiction to food, alcohol, sex, or anything that “scratches our itch” for creativity.

According to Hallowell, this need to be creative on a daily basis is a requirement for our happiness and if we do not meet that need in a constructive way, we will find some other way to fulfill the need. This may result in destructive behavior and, in the case of entrepreneurs, has the potential to destroy our business.

“Many people fulfill their instinctive need to be creative by making changes to their business. What they may not realize is that changing does not necessarily mean improving.”

So, what types of behavior are destructive vs productive? The answer lies in the actions you take that effect your business. Many people fulfill their instinctive need to be creative by making changes to their business. What they may not realize is that changing does not necessarily mean improving.

One of my entrepreneur groups is called the Bar Raisers, and I always provide one-on-one coaching services for each member. One member I recently met with, who is in the information marketing business, has around four or five-thousand people on his mailing list and does about 200,000 euros a year in business. He has a small customer list and is doing well — not great, but okay. He also is a recovering addict which means he has a tremendous itch that needs to be scratched all the time.

In talking with him, he expressed that he had about 16 different products that he wanted to create. The addition of that many products to a business is a lot of change but probably not a productive change. In other words, his need to express his creativity could potentially cause him to make decisions that are disastrous for his business.

In his video Ned Hallowell said, “I wrote 17 books, not because I am a great author, but because I need a creative outlet.” In his case, the books were constructive. He did not change his business model or change products. Instead, he used his creative energy in a way that was productive and helped his business grow.

Dan Sullivan says that many entrepreneurs within a 25-year period become an entrepreneur with 25 experiences per year, rather than 25 years’ worth of experiences. Think about it, are you an entrepreneur with 10 experiences per year or with 10 years’ experience? Are you changing all the time or are you improving all the time?

I am a person who needs to have a daily creative outlet. For example, today I had a relaxing day with my wife and daughter. My wife and I had some time alone, we had time together as a family, and we visited my wife’s brother. I went to the gym and then we had dinner together. It was an amazing day. Yet, I have an itch that I need to scratch. I feel that I have to create something–every day. For me, creating something daily makes me feel more present, more happy, and it is just fun. I can spend 12 minutes and 24 seconds recording a podcast for my listeners and that is all it takes me to feel better. Thousands of people will hear my message and I get to feel better. So what do you think, is this working for my business or against it?

We live in such an amazing time. There are so many ways you can cash in on your creativity besides making changes to your business. Instead, try creating epic marketing material, publish something every day—Facebook posts, YouTube, podcasts, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn — in a way that works for your business.

I want to brag like crazy for just a moment. Last week, I created epic marketing material, which means creating value. It is not about selling something, but creating marketing material. I recorded multiple podcasts, wrote some cool stuff, had some great conversations with people during two webinars that I did, and held a seminar on Tuesday evening for Bar Raisers. All of that, and I feel great! My schedule if pretty full right now but I have never felt so free. I don’t really have any big deadlines. I just create. If you are in Holland you probably saw me on Facebook—we are really crushing Facebook right now. I used to hate Facebook, until I understood that I could scratch my itch on a daily basis and post it on Facebook. Now, many people know about me. Not just me, but the amazing insights I share. I hope this is insightful for you.

“The realization that I have a need to create something every day has made a huge impact on me, not just personally, but also the difference in my business and bank account from six months ago is unbelievable.”

In summary, make improvements to your business, not changes. Focus on one or two amazing products instead of creating a gazillion. Rather than several large projects, work each day on one micro creativity. My guess is your business will never be the same. Cashing in on your creativity on a daily basis could really grow your company if focus your energy in the right direction. If you are a creative person, creating the most content, and the best content in your market, you will win.

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  • 2 April 2015
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