Most people don’t think they’re creative.
And that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. All young children think they’re creative, but year-by-year the creativity is squeezed out of them.
What becomes more important is the RIGHT answer.
And when I work with clients, a lot of them are looking for that right answer and are afraid to do anything unless they’re absolutely sure that answer will work 100% of the time.
But that’s no way to run a business.
Sure, you want to know what I call “The Game of Marketing” where there are certain principles and rules. But that’s just the beginning. Then you need some creativity to take the principles of marketing and combine them and improvise on them until you get your message out in a way that people notice and respond to.
So how do you get creative if you don’t think you are?
First of all, everyone is already naturally creative. It comes with the package called being human. However that creativity has been covered over by too many rules and restrictions, the need to do things right, the aversion to risk and the fear of looking bad or doing the wrong thing.
What a burden of false beliefs and constrictive thoughts.
The good news is that there are a lot of tools that can unleash your creativity, none of them are that hard to do, and they actually work.
I’m going to share one of them today, one of the most powerful.
Distance Yourself from Your Challenge
The concept is simple; you’re too close to the problem. You are so caught up in trying to find the right answer that you freeze. In a recent Coaching Call in the Marketing Club, we explored these ideas and in our next call, a participant shared a powerful story how she used this technique of distancing herself.
What this participant did was coach a friend on how to market her services. And she found that she had dozens of great ideas for her. It wasn’t that she was a marketing genius, but that by distancing herself, by being outside of the challenges, that she came up with so many creative ideas.
For instance, if you started a restaurant, you might find it hard to think up a design theme and decor. But haven’t you gone to a restaurant that wasn’t designed well and immediately came up with several great design ideas (in your head or shared with your friends) to make the restaurant more attractive and dynamic? You were at a distance because you were not the owner.
There’s been research on this. It’s a real phenomenon.
Find a way to distance yourself from your challenges and, all of a sudden, many great ideas will pour in. Let me give you a few ways to make this work for your own buisness challenges.
1. You are trying to come up with a unique message for your business and you hit a brick wall. Instead, think of helping a business that’s far away, in a different state or country. Same situation, but not your business. You’re likely to come up with a lot of good ideas.
2. You can’t think of any titles for your eZine articles. So instead, you distance yourself by thinking about your client’s challenges, not your titles. What are all the mistakes your clients have made over the years? I’ll bet you can come up with dozens almost immediately. And those can be turned into titles for articles.
3. You’re having some real time management issues. You can’t seem to stay on top of things and you’re getting overwhelmed. When you try to work on this, you don’t get far. Find a friend (as my participant did) and coach them. Listen closely and then come up with some ideas for getting more done with less time. I promise that you’ll surprise yourself.
4. You have a hard time motivating yourself because you’re not sure of your direction. In this case, distance yourself by putting yourself five years into the future. Then instead of struggling to look forward, effortlessly look back and report how your business would look if it were very successful. This simple shifting of perspective typically leads to motivating possibilities.
This simple act of distancing yourself frees up your natural creativity. In fact, distancing is the opposite of identification or attachment. Instead of being stuck inside your own limiting beliefs, you free yourself by looking at your challenges from an outside, more objective viewpoint.
By Robert Middleton of Action Plan Marketing. Please visit Robert’s web site at www.actionplan.com for additional marketing articles and resources on marketing for professional service businesses.