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Victoria Dzenis
Creative Entrepreneur Coach, Artist's Way Facilitator
Seattle, Washington
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Why Creativity Is Fundamental to Your Business Success

In an environment where big box retailers flourish, creativity is central to the survival of any small business. As entrepreneurs or solopreneurs, we must find ways to stay nimble, adaptive, and innovative. Boosting creativity is the answer.
Written Aug 31, 2010, read 11586 times since then.
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Creative thinking will save your business – and it might just save our economy, too. Imagination generates innovation which gives your business its competitive edge. The most recent neuroscience reasearch supports the idea that creativity is fundamental to the success of any business. Creativity has been on the decline in America but there’s something we can do about it. 

According to a recent Newsweek article, “The Creativity Crisis”, while IQ scores steadily rise with each generation, America’s creativity scores are declining. While other countries are investing in changes to their education system that promote creative thinking, the trend in our school system has been to cut back on experiences in the arts.

The good news is that even if you don’t think of yourself as a “creative person”, creativity is a natural part of how the brain works. It’s like a muscle you can strengthen with the right tools. These aren’t skills many of us learned in school, but anyone can master them.

In an environment where big box retailers flourish, creativity is central to the survival of any small business. As entrepreneurs or solopreneurs, we must find ways to stay nimble, adaptive, and innovative. Boosting creativity is the answer.

Here are the top 10 reasons why juicing up your creativity is fundamental to your business success:

  1. Creative thinking helps you to see opportunities in the marketplace or come up with a unique solution to a problem—and isn’t this the cornerstone of any business?
  2. Creativity is key to innovation. When issues come up, you’ll be able to think of ways over, under, or through the roadblocks.
  3. Creativity stimulates the brain and helps us to wake up and pay attention. Noticing more of what’s around us aids in developing novel approaches to help your business stand out.
  4. Creative thinking helps you keep your business presence fresh. You’ll be able to constantly reinvent your business in order to stay in your customers’ awareness.
  5. Creativity helps you shift your perception so you can better understand your customers’ point of view.
  6. Creativity gives you a higher tolerance for risk—you’re used to working through fear of failure.
  7. Creativity improves your leadership skills. Being an effective leader means being creative in your approach and problem-solving. When you have the capacity to let go of the outcome and be open to out-of-the-box thinking, you free your business team up for generating new ideas.
  8. Creativity helps you to broaden your vision of what it means to be successful in your  business—what it can offer to the world.
  9. Creativity strengthens your resilience. When those inevitable stressful periods come up, you’re able to bounce back faster instead of getting derailed.
  10. Creativity invites flow and feels good, and when you feel good, you attract your ideal customers and clients.

Can you creatively think of even more ways that creativity can help your business?

As the Newsweek article states, “The new view is that creativity is part of normal brain function.” Making creativity a part of your normal business functioning will increase your capacity to innovate, tolerate risk and achieve success.

A special Thank You to fellow coach Susan Lee-Pullen for her contributions to this article.

 

Learn more about the author, Victoria Dzenis.

Comment on this article

  • QuickBooks And Xero Outsourced Contractors Bookkeeping Services 
Lynnwood, Washington 
Randal DeHart, PMP, QPA
    Posted by Randal DeHart, PMP, QPA, Lynnwood, Washington | Sep 01, 2010

    Victoria,

    Great article; you give a very comprehensive explanation of creativity and how it can benefit business owners.

    Warm Regards,

    Randal

    www.contracting4profit.com

  • Spiritual Counselor, Healer, and Writer with Divine Messages. 
Seattle, Washington 
Sea Gabriel
    Posted by Sea Gabriel, Seattle, Washington | Sep 01, 2010

    Thank you, Victoria, for writing an article illuminating the creative process which is so vital for business!

  • Writing & Publishing Coach, Business & Marketing Consultant 
Bellevue, Washington 
Deborah Drake
    Posted by Deborah Drake, Bellevue, Washington | Sep 01, 2010

    Tora,

    A great inaugural piece and I do hope you plan on writing more.

    My favorite line of all:

    In an environment where big box retailers flourish, creativity is central to the survival of any small business.

    I could not agree more...

    Deborah!

    Authentic Writing Provokes

  • Creative Entrepreneur Coach, Artist's Way Facilitator 
Seattle, Washington 
Victoria Dzenis
    Posted by Victoria Dzenis, Seattle, Washington | Sep 01, 2010

    Dear Randal, Sea & Deborah,

    Thank you so much for your comments! I am so glad you're finding the article helpful and thought-provoking.

    I feel compelled to mention again that Susan Lee-Pullen co-wrote this article with me. I was unable to find a way to "co-publish" the article here on Biznik (like you can co-host an event) so I want to make sure to give her credit.

    As you may already be aware, the two of us (Susan & I) will be co-hosting a workshop on September 17th: "This Is Your Brain on Creativity" further exploring the Top 10 reasons above and providing concrete steps you can take to incorporate creativity more fully into your business. I hope you will consider joining us!

    Thank you again for rating & commenting on the article!

    Sincerely, ~Victoria

  • Seattle printing, mailing, marketing solutions 
Kirkland, Washington 
David Berkey
    Posted by David Berkey, Kirkland, Washington | Sep 01, 2010

    Like your first article, Victoria. Thoughtfully produced and comprehensive in scope. In the print and communications world, creativity is what we live for. Print validates our businesses. So, why not make them as creative as possible? Now, to get those juices flowing .... ah yes. Feels good. ~David

  • Fitness Diva Extradordinaire  
Federal Way, Washington 
Nicole Pontillo
    Posted by Nicole Pontillo, Federal Way, Washington | Sep 01, 2010

    Victoria,

    Congrads!!!!!! Great article and this is your first!! Wow would love to hear about your process!

    Take Care!

    Nicole

  • Digital Catalyst 
O'Fallon, Missouri 
Kelly Ross Kerr
    Posted by Kelly Ross Kerr, O'Fallon, Missouri | Sep 01, 2010

    Victoria,

    Great job! You and Susan hit it right on the money.

    My business is to help clients find creative solutions to their marketing/branding problems, and I can say from experience that a lot of times it just takes a second set of eyes with a "creative perspective" to solve most business problems. We just get so wrapped up in our business that we can't think about it in any different way than we do day to day.

    So again, bravo! Keep posting!

    Kelly

  • Bellevue Graphic Designer/Illustrator/Toy & Book Creator 
Bellevue, Washington 
Susan Straub-Martin
    Posted by Susan Straub-Martin, Bellevue, Washington | Sep 02, 2010

    Victoria:

    Great article! Everyone has the capacity to be creative, they just need to remember how to tap into it and use it.

    I am very creative and I have a brother whom is a scientist. We had a discussion about creativity that went something like this... "I would love to be as creative as you are." He says. I replied, "You may not draw or paint, but you come up with experiments that solve problems." You do things by thinking outside the box, this is your form of creativity!"

    We all have the ability, to again create an America that is a leader in innovation, just think outside of the box.

    Thanks Victoria

  • Database Marketing Guru 
Houston, Texas 
Susan Clark
    Posted by Susan Clark, Houston, Texas | Sep 02, 2010

    During the summer months I update software technical manuals to conincide with new releases. By its nature, it is not a very creative task. I find that if I plan and execute a "creative" job before or during the writing updates, that I am much happier and more productive. Creative tasks might be re-decorating a room, re-designing a garden area, creating artwork, re-working a web design, or anything that involves creating something new and implementing it. Adding creativity in another area is vital in helping me to keep the flow going and to avoid burnout.

  • Residential Design 
Seattle, Washington 
Alexandra Immel
    Posted by Alexandra Immel, Seattle, Washington | Sep 02, 2010

    Excellent article. All very true, good reminder to parents to encourage building creativity muscles in our kids. Adversity often promotes creativity, it becomes a sink or swim issue. Your clients are very lucky to have you helping them to find and flex their creative muscles.

  • Graphic Designer 
Traverse City, Michigan 
Joann Sondy
    Posted by Joann Sondy, Traverse City, Michigan | Sep 02, 2010

    Beautifully stated. I couldn't imagine the suppression of creativity throughout history and find it incomprehensible that creative thinking skills are being undervalued in our own culture. It's not [all] about drawing a straight line or singing in tune -- it's the processes we use to generate and idea and take action on that idea.

  • award-winning photographer | videographer for business | sustainable industries | positive change 
Seattle, Washington 
Jed Share
    Posted by Jed Share, Seattle, Washington | Sep 02, 2010

    Wonderful article Victoria, and so true!

    • Jed
  • Creative Entrepreneur Coach, Artist's Way Facilitator 
Seattle, Washington 
Victoria Dzenis
    Posted by Victoria Dzenis, Seattle, Washington | Sep 02, 2010

    Thanks everyone for your thoughtful comments!

    @Kelly, Susan S-M, Susan C, Alexandra & Joann:

    You are right on about creativity giving us a new perspective and that all of us have the capacity to "be creative". It is as much a function of our own willingness to stretch those creative muscles and build new neural pathways in the brain as it is any innate "creative genius". Letting ourselves take those moments to exercise our creativity: gardening, writing, doodling, playing with puzzle-solving, etc., helps strengthen the connections between the right & left hemispheres of the brain.

    Thanks for reading!

    ~Victoria

  • Owner & Sole Member - Civil Split LLC 
San Mateo, California 
Sandy Rivers
    Posted by Sandy Rivers, San Mateo, California | Sep 02, 2010

    Victoria!?! Before I read your article this morning I sent off an email to the team of designers and programmers working on a site I am developing. One page of the site has an animated chameleon - the team wants to add a speech bubble for the chameleon's daily introduction (music synopsis) - I wasn't hot on the idea and explained my reservation to it, even thow they have done very creative work to date. As soon as I read your article, I sent them an apology and asked them to present their ideas...I feel so much better.

    Great timing Victoria...and you will never know how grateful I am. Thanks again. ~itsyourtime.com~

  • Networking for Mom Business Owners 
Vista, California 
Sherry Nouraini
    Posted by Sherry Nouraini, Vista, California | Sep 02, 2010

    What a fabulous article! Yes, in this competitive world, the key to success is being different.

    Just to add that being an artist isn't the only means of being creative, it is not a pre-requisite. An endeavor that involves problem solving can be a means of developing creativity. If we incorporate a problem solving approach to our educations system, we can nurture creativity in kids.

    I look forward to reading your future posts.

  • SEO Press Release Publisher 
La Quinta, California 
Christine OKelly
    Posted by Christine OKelly, La Quinta, California | Sep 02, 2010

    Excellent article Victoria and Susan! I think this is so important for small businesses to read. While big businesses may have more money behind them, they sometimes lack some of the most essential things that a businesses needs to truly thrive -- creativity and a true passion for what they do :)

  • Profit Advisor & Speaker 
Federal Way, Washington 
Stephen Percival
    Posted by Stephen Percival, Federal Way, Washington | Sep 02, 2010

    Great article! I have long been a proponent of creativity in all aspects of life. Listing the reasons for the creative process for small businesses and solopreneurs really emphasized its importance.

  • Seattle Feng Shui Environment Consultant, SoulCollageĀ® Facilitator 
Seattle, Washington 
Diane Kern
    Posted by Diane Kern, Seattle, Washington | Sep 03, 2010

    What a boring life we would all have without creativity. Not only that but no progress either, no new ideas.

    Great first article.

  • Freelance Graphic Designer 
Seattle, Washington 
Anita Elder
    Posted by Anita Elder, Seattle, Washington | Sep 03, 2010

    Great article, Tora....and it's great that Newsweek gave you supporting evidence when you needed it. It's a good introduction to your upcoming workshop on Creativity and the Brain. Hope it sparks more people to sign up.

  • Search Engine Optimization Marketing Strategist, Web Designer, and Entrepreneur 
Kirkland, Washington 
Arnold Arnan
    Posted by Arnold Arnan, Kirkland, Washington | Sep 03, 2010

    Great article. I am a huge believer of creativity. I love the process of making and being on the cutting edge of thought and idea. I consistently believe that is my edge in so many ways. Thank you for the post and the reaffirmation of creativity as a viable business tool. Speaking of creativity, check out the video documentary I made on the iphone 4. I use this as a marketing tool for not only me but also my friend who is a cartoonist.
    http://www.vimeo.com/14148296

  • Marketing Strategist 
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 
Marilyn Oliva
    Posted by Marilyn Oliva, Fort Lauderdale, Florida | Sep 03, 2010

    Thank you for sharing this great article. You are so right that we are all creative as it is a natural process of being human. You might like this article on how to know when you are in a creative flow http://bit.ly/cOri4D

  • Art & Abundance Coach and Jeweler 
Seattle, Washington 
Susan Lee-Pullen
    Posted by Susan Lee-Pullen, Seattle, Washington | Sep 03, 2010

    Thanks all for your great comments!

    @Marilyn, Thanks for the link. I agree-we get to experience flow when our strengths and a (creative or other) challenge are well-matched. Too little challenge and we're bored, too much challenge and we're discouraged and can feel hopeless. Highly relevant to life satisfaction.

    @Diane, Life would be boring indeed! And, more and more, ours is a culture driven for stimulation.

  • Consultant 
Santa Rosa, California 
Glenn Mattsson
    Posted by Glenn Mattsson, Santa Rosa, California | Sep 04, 2010

    Victoria,

    I agree 100%. Creativity is absolutely the key to success.

    Thanks for the reminder!

  • Advertising/Marketing/Idea full service source 
New York, New York 
Michael Schwartz
    Posted by Michael Schwartz, New York, New York | Sep 04, 2010

    Totally agree. I think it's the key to turning the economy around. I'd love to see a part II to this article that outlines any exercises or tips that could actually aid in conceiving ideas. I'm always looking to add these to my creative process. For me, constantly observing leads to new ideas and concepts.

  • Self Esteem Building Mentor 
Germfask, Michigan 
Michelle Sears
    Posted by Michelle Sears, Germfask, Michigan | Sep 06, 2010

    Victoria thank you for this well written article. I believe creativity plays a huge role in small business. Without creativity my small business would be nothing. Take care, Michelle

  • CPA 
Pearl River, New York 
Chris Haviaris
    Posted by Chris Haviaris, Pearl River, New York | Sep 06, 2010

    Fantastic debut Victoria! Couldn't agree more! A great book on this topic - How to Think Like Leonardo daVinci by Michael Gelb

    Best of luck to you!

  • Yoga/Health Activist & Advocate 
Seattle, Washington 
Karen Whittier
    Posted by Karen Whittier, Seattle, Washington | Sep 07, 2010

    Here's to thinking outside the (big) box--fabulous article!

  • Creative Entrepreneur Coach, Artist's Way Facilitator 
Seattle, Washington 
Victoria Dzenis
    Posted by Victoria Dzenis, Seattle, Washington | Sep 07, 2010

    Hello all,

    Thanks for your continued comments and feedback!

    @Michael: I do hope to write a Part II that will give you exercises & tips that aid in conceiving creative ideas. Look for it in the coming months!

    However, for those of you in the Seattle area, you won't have to wait for Part II if you come to the workshop I'm hosting with Susan next week on 9/17, "This Is Your Brain on Creativity". You will receive exercises and concrete steps you can take to incorporate more creativity into your business and personal life! Please join us! Here's the link:https://biznik.com/events/this-is-your-brain-on-creativity

    Hope to see you there!

    ~Victoria

  • Florist and e-commerce consultant 
Geneva, Geneva Switzerland 
Sophia Walz
    Posted by Sophia Walz, Geneva, Geneva Switzerland | Sep 08, 2010

    Thank you for this, sometimes it seems everything has already been invented and made, but your post is like a breath of fresh air in our current pessimistic atmosphere!

  • marketing coach & consultant 
Mountlake Terrace, Washington 
Barbara Breckenfeld
    Posted by Barbara Breckenfeld, Mountlake Terrace, Washington | Sep 08, 2010

    Great article Victoria!

    I look forward to more writing from you about how we are all fundamentally creative beings - that there is no special area set aside for artists, writers, dancers, and musicians that qualifies them to create.

    Warmly,

    Barbara

  • Artist 
Jackson, Michigan 
Jane Robinson
    Posted by Jane Robinson, Jackson, Michigan | Sep 12, 2010

    Victoria, Great article. This advice applies to all of life challenges. I hope that parents will work hard to raise a creative child. They grow up with the attributes you wrote about re: small business. Most parents work hard to make sure their child experiences an "ordinary" life to "fit in", "make no waves" - but... to have a creative and innovative thinking adults we must nuture the creative spirit. For ourselves, our children and our business.
    Bravo Victoria,

    Jane

  • SEO Consultant 
Jersey City, New Jersey 
Elvis Arias
    Posted by Elvis Arias, Jersey City, New Jersey | Sep 17, 2010

    I enjoyed your article, I wasn't aware of the numbers presented by Newsweek. Scary indeed. I couldn't agree more.. creativity is fundamental to business's success

  • assisstent 
New York, New York 
yasmine delaco
    Posted by yasmine delaco, New York, New York | Dec 16, 2010

    for my business i was advice by a business consultant Tucson. he was good, fast and efficient. and he help me a lot, he reduce my work and my travel trough town. i advice to get a consultant.

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