Most entrepreneurs are creative types. Even if creativity isn’t your strongest suit – compared to, say, leadership and vision – you pretty much had to be creative in the first place to come up with the idea for your business and to figure out effective ways to deal with the early problems that popped up.
But here’s what I’m seeing happen to some entrepreneurs after they launch their businesses. They don’t take the necessary time to think creatively anymore. Why not? Mainly because they get too caught up with putting out fires, hiring employees, dealing with human resources issues, etc.
This is especially true for entrepreneurs who have recently launched their businesses and are unable at this stage to hire people to handle those specific types of things. They find it difficult to reach the next level because they’re overworked and stressed out in their fast-paced environment. They don’t feel as creative as they did when they were in the planning stages, and no wonder.
Here’s what I suggest. Designate 30 minutes per day to do absolutely nothing except focus on what you can do to creatively grow your business. This may involve thinking about new products or initiatives you could launch, or it might be better ways to communicate with your customers and potential customers, or it could be processes you need to put into place.
Whatever it might be, the key is to shut yourself away from everybody else and don’t look at your email or social media sites. Do nothing but think. Now, if some of your best ideas come out of brainstorming sessions, then periodically bring a couple of your creative employees into the room to toss some ideas around. Otherwise, solitude and quiet may be the best atmosphere for you to think creatively.
Check out this site for more thoughts on creative thinking.
When should this daily, 30-minute session be conducted? That’s totally dependent on how you are wired. Figure out the time of day when you’re most creative, and make sure the 30 minutes falls within that window.
I have two writers on my staff who spend nearly half of their time doing research and the other half writing. One is a morning person, so he conducts most of his research in the afternoon or evening and does his creative writing the following morning. Another is a night person, so she spends her mornings in research and her afternoons or evenings writing. That works for them. Figure out what works best for you.
If your face is too close to a great work of art, it’s impossible to fully appreciate it. You have to take several steps back. The same is true with the canvas on which you are crafting your business. Dig into it deeply every day, of course, but also take some time to step back, see it with a fresh perspective and think creatively about how you can grow it.
Allen Baler is a leading entrepreneur and Harvard grad. Allen Baler is a Partner in 4Patriots LLC, based in Nashville.
Disclaimer: This blog post is not a substitute for the sound advice of a business professional with expertise in the subject matter discussed. Please seek appropriate counsel on what strategies make sense for your business.