Finding Creativity and Innovation as a Small Business Owner

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Finding Creativity and Innovation as a Small Business Owner

Creativity is one of the defining characteristics of a successful business owner or entrepreneur. It is the attribute that could set one business apart from another or even provide a leg up on the competition. But, over time creativity can fizzle out. Finding inspiration seems to become more difficult when you turn a hobby into a job. This creates the ultimate catch twenty-two! You need creativity and innovation to be successful, but the pressure to be creative may in turn hinder your creativity. So what should you do?

Is finding #creative inspiration more difficult when you turn a hobby into a job? #SmallBiz Click To Tweet

Here are some tips for business owners, entrepreneurs, and anyone that feels they need to jumpstart their professional creativity and innovation.

Learn something new, for fun!

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Learning new trades comes with the job for a small business owner. Chances are you don’t have the means to hire someone for each niche within your business. The burden falls on you to learn everything you can about new things like social media, photography, marketing or even SEO. However, it’s important that you also give yourself the chance to learn something new for the sole purpose of enjoyment. Try taking a cooking class, learn how to paint, or try a new photo editing software. There are countless new skills to learn and it’s important to make time for you to grow as a person. It’s never too late to find a new hobby! If this interests you, Skillshare is a great place to start.

Start a journal

To some, this may sound corny, but it works. Writing in a journal allows you to take the time to release all of the thoughts and worries you have that are building up in your head. The process of writing and actively thinking about your day and what you accomplished, what you need to do, and what your goals are tends to be therapeutic as well as a great organizational tool. Being a small business owner can be overwhelming. It takes someone that is great at multitasking, but even the best ‘multitasker’ can get overwhelmed with all of the thoughts trapped in their head. Starting a journal is a great outlet and it frees up cognitive space that will allow you to tap into your creativity and innovation.

Travel

Even if it’s just a weekend getaway to the next town over, don’t get stuck in your self made bubble! Seeing how other people do things may spark something creative in you. It is easy to make excuses, to say you’re too busy or when you finally have a day off that you’re too tired and you just want to relax. It’s important to feed your soul! Traveling and exploring have that affect on many people. You never know where your next source of inspiration may be. I can almost guarantee that it’s out there! From a small town to a big city there is inspiration everywhere, and it usually comes in the most unlikely forms. Creativity and innovation don’t just happen on a daily basis, they are things that must be tapped into and inspired. You must be looking for it to find it.

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Go outside of your niche

This one goes hand-in-hand with travel, but is worth the emphasis. If you’re only looking for inspiration within your particular industry you will likely start to look like a copy of every other option out there to the consumer. It is important to tap into your creative side by going outside of your comfort zone. For some people this could mean going to a park or looking in a magazine. Others find inspiration at a favorite restaurant or hole-in-the-wall café. Need a jumpstart? Check out Guy Fieri’s site for his hit show “Diner’s Drive-Ins’, Dives”. You have to find what works for you, explore your options and don’t stop looking until you find it!

Only looking for #inspiration within your industry can lead to every #business looking the same! Click To Tweet

Be social

This one may be the most obvious. Getting out and talking to people is important for every aspect of a small business. It allows business owners to form relationships within their community and industry. It can also spark creativity and innovation. It is easy to get stuck in our own way of thinking about our business and its specific problems. Sometimes the simplest conversation can enlighten you in a way you may never have realized on your own. It is important to talk to people inside and outside of your particular industry. If you cannot physically get out and talk to people as much as you would like, social media is a great supplement!

Take the time to do what makes your soul happy. #Inspiration #Creativity #SmallBusiness Click To Tweet

Creativity and innovation are important for every business owner or entrepreneur, but they are not always two characteristics that are easy to stumble upon. It may take some work to find your next source of inspiration. It also may take you just finding something you enjoy and spending a couple hours a week not thinking about your business.

Our suggestions all require time. For many small business owners time is a commodity that is not easily given up, especially for something as abstract as personal growth. But these things are all important, not only for inspiring creativity and innovation, but also for your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Get started with at least one of these today and let us know how it helps.

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Mobile Apps for Charity (MAFC) helps small businesses increase their community visibility, goodwill and positive media exposure. We create native mobile applications for select nonprofit and charitable organizations. We provide these at no cost to the organization. Small businesses sponsor the apps. Sponsors receive marketing (mobile, social and print). They also receive access to exclusive marketing tools. We help them generate leads by using a socially responsible marketing strategy. Participating small business sponsors earn a generation of new clients.

For more information, please visit our Small Business Marketing page. For a free marketing consultation with one of our principals, please visit this page.

About Our Guest Author!

Halley Barnes is a graduate student at Rutgers University in the field of Communication. She recently graduated from Rutgers University with a bachelor’s degree in Communication with a specialization in Public Relations and a dual minor in Digital Communication, Media, and Information and Psychology. She spent four years as a member of the division one Rutgers Women’s Lacrosse team where she served as the captain of the team her senior year. She was also named a member of the Big East All Academic team her freshman and sophomore years, and a member of the Big Ten All Academic team her junior and senior year. As an undergraduate student she made Dean’s List all eight semesters and was the keynote speaker at the 2015 Rutgers Alumni Leadership Conference. She was also inducted into various honor societies including Chi Alpha Sigma, National Society of Leadership and Success, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Halley loves traveling, trying new food, going hiking and kayaking, and spending time with her family.

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