When I was a child, my mom gave me a coloring book and crayons. I would spread color all over the page (as opposed to staying within the lines of the pictures).
One day my aunt saw my book and said, “you have to stay within the lines.” Instead of taking her advice I continued to apply color after color all over the page. Layering colors on top of each other with wild abandon. I didn’t think it was fun to stay within the lines or restrict my pictures to nice, neat blocks of color.
I use that same philosophy right now when I’m trying to solve a problem or want to come up with a new idea for a product or service. I have to be willing to open up my perspective, otherwise I’ll never see the opportunities that may be hidden there.
Even if you don’t consider yourself to be an artist, you can use creativity to make leaps and discover possibilities. Consider how you deal with problems or situations where you feel blocked. Do you give up when the usual solutions don’t work, or are you willing to try new ways to get around those obstacles?
Often entrepreneurs are going totally out on a limb and do things that have never been done before. They can’t rely on past experiences to guide them, so they have to be willing to take chances and follow their gut feelings. This is at the heart of creative brainstorming, which is a very useful tool for discovering possibilities where seemingly none exist.
When you tap into your creativity you’ll be surprised at how your perspective can change simply by looking at things in a different way. Don’t be afraid to go outside the lines. Open yourself up to limitless possibilities!
Copyright © 2010 – 2014 Deborah A. Bailey
Excerpted from the book, “Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life.”