Entrepreneurship and creativity go hand in hand. Unfortunately, creativity can easily be overshadowed and stifled by business processes, leaving it simmering on the back burner rather than being a driving force. The truth is, creativity actually helps every aspect of business, so it’s something that needs to cultivated and maintained.
To get some advice on how to tap into creativity as an entrepreneur, I talked to Edmond Huszar, better known by his stage name OVERWERK. Huszar is a Grammy award winning DJ, producer, and designer. Creativity is at the heart of everything he does from creating music to managing his business. Here’s what he had to say:
Storytelling is the ultimate creative tool, a powerful way to capture someone’s attention and connect with them. “It’s important to just try and connect with what you’re putting out in the world and think about the impact it will have. Connect with the authenticity of the story that you’re trying to tell,” advises Huszar.
As you create content, think about how it makes you feel as you’re creating it, and how it might make other people feel as they experience it. Don’t just go through the motions. According to Huszar, “If you’re just doing it, if you have ulterior motives or some other agenda when you’re being creative, people can sense it in the work and it just doesn’t turn out as well.”
Approach things from a sense of curiosity, not stress.
You can’t let stress be the driving factor in the decisions you make, both creatively and from a business standpoint. Stress will always choose the quickest wins and short term gains, even if those aren’t things that will serve you well long term. Huszar describes this as being in a fear state of mind.
Choose the path you want to take, don’t let the path take you.
Huszar uses a great analogy for this tip – surfers and waves. Surfers sit in the ocean on their surfboards, but they they don’t ride every wave that comes along. They choose which waves to ride. “If you just get swept up in the ocean, and you’re just being barreled around in the undertow, then you’re not really riding the waves, you’re just caught in them.” Don’t get caught by the waves of your business, choose which ones to ride out and which ones to let crash back into the sea.
Set up your environment to foster creativity.
The space you work from should be filled with things that put you in a good mood, that bring you a sense or calm or boost your energy. It doesn’t matter whether your workspace is a cubicle, kitchen table, or a fully appointed office, you need to surround yourself with things that foster creativity. If your space is less than ideal, flex your creativity muscle to see how you can make it work better. Try adding plants and pictures, and use color to shape your mood. Bold and bright colors can boost energy and soothing blues and greens can evoke a sense of calm.
Creative thinking turns challenges into opportunities.
Out of every challenge comes an opportunity. Creative thinking will help you learn from the challenges you face. When you’re faced with an obstacle, think of ways you can get around it, transform it, or use it to your advantage. With a bit of creativity, you’ll be able to find a solution.
This is a principle Huszar has followed his entire career and it’s served him very well. “All the challenges I’ve experienced in my past, dealing with those things, it’s led me to a state of mind where I’m not so affected – no matter the size of obstacle. Now it’s more like, okay, this is the hand that I’ve been dealt, how am I going to deal with the cards I’m now carrying?”
Take time to experience the moment.
Creativity gets lost in times of overwhelm. To prevent this, you need to take a conscious approach. “Try to experience each moment individually as opposed to layering all your thoughts on top of each other. If you layer all your thoughts together, your brain becomes a muddled mess. But if you if you’re able to really parse each experience, and try and be in each moment as much as you can, it allows for each moment to breathe.” Creativity is born in these moments.