Creativity is often associated with a stroke of genius, a burst of inspiration that seemingly comes out of nowhere. However, the truth is that creativity and innovation is not merely a product of serendipity or innate talent. It is a result of diligent effort, hard work, and a commitment to repetition. In this blog post, we will explore how creativity thrives in the realm of business when fueled by perseverance and the willingness to embrace repetition as a pathway to innovation and success.
The Myth of Overnight Success
“Creativity is a process, not an event. It involves passion, practice, and persistence.” – Teresa M. Amabile, Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
The popular notion of creativity often revolves around the concept of overnight success. We hear stories of ground-breaking inventions, revolutionary ideas, or ground-breaking marketing campaigns that seem to emerge fully formed and change the game instantly. However, behind these apparent moments of brilliance lies a foundation built upon countless hours of hard work and repetition.
Cultivating Expertise through Repetition
“Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is the result of good work habits.” – Twyla Tharp
Repetition is the key to mastery in any field, including business. By repeatedly engaging in a specific activity or pursuing an idea from different angles, professionals can refine their skills and gain a deep understanding of their craft. This repetition creates a solid foundation of knowledge and expertise, enabling individuals to tap into their creative reservoirs more effectively.
The Iterative Process of Innovation
“Creativity is not the finding of a thing, but the making something out of it after it is found.” – James Russell Lowell
After gaining the skills and mastery of your field you can look at ways to break those rules and move to the next step. Innovation, a fundamental aspect of business and creativity, is rarely a one-shot endeavor (Yes you have guessed it, time to rinse and repeat again) To truly innovate involves a cyclical and iterative process of trial and error. Through repeated attempts, adjustments, and refinements, entrepreneurs and creative professionals fine-tune their ideas, products, or services. Each iteration brings you closer to achieving your goals and finding novel solutions to complex problems.
Embracing Failure as a Stepping Stone
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” – Scott Adams
Failure is an integral part of the creative journey. For one brilliant idea, there is a pile of failed ones, that have built up to make that breakthrough. By viewing failure not as an endpoint but as a stepping stone, you can learn from your mistakes, iterate, and eventually achieve breakthroughs. Repetition allows you to identify weaknesses, adapt strategies, and continuously refine your approach until you find the right formula for success.
Fostering a Culture of Experimentation
“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” – Erich Fromm
Businesses that prioritize creativity recognize the value of repetition in the pursuit of innovation. You create an environment that encourages experimentation, where employees feel empowered to test ideas and learn from both successes and failures. This iterative process, supported by hard work and repetition, enables organizations to stay agile, adapt to market changes, and discover new avenues for growth.
Mental Health and Burnout
“..When we are mentally and physically exhausted, our creative energy wanes and our ability to generate innovative ideas diminishes. Taking care of our well-being and finding balance is crucial to sustaining a fertile ground for creativity and innovation to flourish.” – Arianna Huffington, Founder of Thrive Global
It is important to recognize burnout in yourself, your colleagues, or your employees. Taking a break and spending time with friends and family, ensures we all have enough fuel in the tank to continue the process. This is not giving up. It is ensuring that your work-life balance for yourself and those around you remains strong and allows you to sustain your energy over a much longer period.
Find ‘WHY’ you want to succeed
“The ‘why’ is the driving force behind success. . Understanding you’re ‘why’ empowers you to navigate challenges and keep pushing forward on the path to success.” – Simon Sinek, Author, and Speaker
All this is obviously a lot of work. Be sure you have set goals in mind to make the process worth it. This can be financial. You want to provide security for your family. It could be about personal growth and wanting to prove to yourself that you can achieve something. It could be about the lifestyle you want to achieve, breaking away from the nine-to-five grind. Be sure the goal balances the hard work and slog you are going to have to put in.
“The greatest enemy of creativity is self-doubt.” – Sylvia Plath
The key is not to give up too early. Too many times we say ‘I am just not a creative person.’, ‘Running a business is not for me’, ‘I was just not meant to be an entrepreneur’. Don’t give up. Take every opportunity you can to learn new skills and hone the knowledge and skillset you already have. Fill that notepad and create a pile of failed ideas, until you get the one that will work. Let’s dispel the myth of instant brilliance and embrace the reality that creativity is a journey that rewards those who persistently strive for excellence.