Many things in life take time. Good wine, good whisky, and in my case, good ideas.
For some time now, my fingers in many pies approach has bewildered many. Am I the tech guy? Am I the online marketing guy? Am I the newspaper guy? Or am I the food guy (thanks to my very public journey with BBQ Master reaching its culmination just before Christmas,).
This weekend I will have my first outing as the actor guy. Playing guitar and entertaining audiences at a local production of Hansel & Gretel. Another strange deviation…
The answer is obvious to me, I am all these things, but mostly I am a creator. I am lucky to be able to create things, it is a talent it took me a long time to realise not everyone knows how to use. Every one has it, but not everyone can use it. When you are the custodian of a creative vision, you can’t understand why people don’t see the same things as you.
You can look at a tumbledown house and see the amazing home it could become with some creative renovation. You can see a seemingly insurmountable business problem and find a creative way to resolve the issue. Creative thinking is a key skill in business and in life, and it turns out, I have been under using my creative talents immensely.
I am not a huge believer in some unseen universal force that has ultimate control over what we may or may not achieve, nor do I believe in putting things out into the universe. I believe in building self. Building self belief, building that part of your mind that can see something so clearly that you know how you can make it your reality.
Everyone has this ability in some capacity, but like any muscle it needs to be worked. You need to exercise it daily and then you build the muscle so it becomes stronger and can become a powerful weapon in this battle called life.
But how do you flex your creative muscles when you haven’t used them for so long? Just create something, draw a picture, write a poem or a song, write a story, take a photo of something beautiful. Start with the small easy things, and get your creative vision back in tune.
Modern society has developed this ability out of most people. We get told where to go, what to eat, how to dress all through our mainstream media experiences. Marketing is a dictatorship run by companies interested in profits, not improving your life.
Creative thinking allows you to have your own lens – an ability to see the world as you think it should be. For those of us that are brave enough to take the leap of faith into an entrepreneurial lifestyle, it also allows you to design your life and achieve the outcomes you desire.
One of my favourite techniques that I use on a daily basis is to do a ‘Self Interview’. The way this works is quite simple. Whenever I am alone, because doing it front of others might lead to them having you committed, I interview myself. I imagine that I have been asked on to a TV talkshow, in the year 2020 to talk about my amazing success and the fact we are an overnight success story. I ask my self a question in my mind, then answer it out loud. For example – “So Rich – tell us about the REDD Group” I would ask in my mind, then I would talk about how I visualise our company will be in 2020, when we have just sold off one of our businesses to Facebook for 1.5billion and we are about to setup a foundation that will continue to educate young entrepreneurs and startups, but now all profits will be directed back to the foundation to run workshops and camps for school kids. This answer is given out loud. It comes out of my mouth, and back into my ears.
This results in a number of things – first of all, it helps iron out any issues I am not clear on. Why would Facebook pay 1.5billion for an as yet unnamed/undeveloped platform, what would that business have to look like in terms of scale, revenue, market share? Secondly, it allows me to work backwards from a clearly defined outcome I want to achieve and design a pathway to it. It is just creative thinking.
Most importantly, the more I do this, the more confident I am that I can achieve it. and thats when the magic happens…
Here is my theory: life is a cycle. It starts with environment, which shapes our beliefs, which then creates our habits, which gives us our outcomes which in turn, creates the environment we live in.
That’s IT! There is nothing more. Therefore you must intervene in one aspect of that cycle to make change. The easiest one to intervene in is the environment. Change the people you hang out with, get a new job, move to a new city, whatever it may be, changing environment is the easiest.
But that will not immediately change your beliefs… thats where the element I mentioned earlier comes in – time.
I changed my environment 4 years ago with a tree change, but it has taken four years (time) for it to actually create new beliefs, new habits, and now new outcomes.
The universe didn’t do this. I did this. With the help of the people in my environment.
Will we sell my secret project to Facebook for 1.5 billion? I don’t know for sure, but if I star making decisions about my life and time that reflect that is what I am aiming for… there is surely no downside.