Building On Our Creativity
Whatever creativity means to you, I think we will agree that it presents an opportunity to do things differently and also to do different things. This is no different in the world of business, and sometimes it’s a key measure of a company; its ability to do things differently.

Last week was Global Entrepreneurship Week and small business, it is said, is the engine of an economy. Well it is here that you often come face to face with creativity. Many of our current businesses exist today because there was a problem to solve, a void to fill, a flaw that could be fixed.

My own business was started to fill a void, products on the market were primarily imports. I thought that I could use what I had a lot of to make a high quality local product, and so I began stitching my fabric scraps together.

At about the same time, the universe sent a woman to me who wanted 4 large art pieces for her home. I held meetings with her, created sample drawings, obtained agreement on the proposed work which would use my newly discovered fabric technique, acquired a part payment and got started on art piece number 1. Then I froze. As the chief cook and bottle washer in my business, it would be very difficult for me to get this project done and still have time to make new things for the general public, without additional help. I had to move quickly from thinking and being self-employed to thinking like and being a business owner. I needed to hire someone.

That was a big hurdle for me and I had much anxiety about it. With the help of my daughter, a Human Resources manager we identified the tasks I wanted this person to do; the skills they needed to have to help the business achieve success; and what I would have to do differently in order to feel comfortable in the new role of manager to staff in my own business. As a self-employed person, I'd always counted on my own resources, managing someone was a new way of being. As I was setting myself up to be responsible for an individual and her goals I had to quickly review how I worked and what my role required after I brought someone on board.

In this economy, only 1 person responded to the job call, and she was the right person. Now it was time to do other things differently, like start thinking like a business person. I engaged an accountant to review my data with me, share insight and make projections. I engaged someone with marketing experience to help lay out a plan to get the business known and remembered. I didn't consider it then, but now I see that I was building a creative business.

I believe we can all be creative. I also believe that we live in a world where it is important to be creative. The challenges we face can't be pigeonholed, most require creative thinking. So to solve them we need to build on our creativity. Start where you are, ask insight gaining questions, and challenge yourself.
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