The Idea Landslide of The Creative Entrepreneur

22-Jan-2014

As creatives, ideas are our bread and butter. The thought of running out of them makes our blood run cold. But let’s be honest. If you’re a creative entrepreneur (or aspiring to-be) then most likely you’re have no lack of ideas. In fact you probably have a landslide of them. Every hobby, project, and even friendships become an opportunity for a creative money-making endeavor. You see potential in everything to be the next thing that will not only satisfy and fulfill your creative soul but also perhaps pay the bills too. All “The Ideas” are swirling in your head – from a new blog series, to that collaborative workspace, to the hand-lettering skills you’d like to develop, to all the writing you want to do. Your creativity often isn’t limited to your job title and you’re interested in lots of different things – from design to food, health, and travel. It’s all so dreamy until you realize that it’s all so much and there just simply isn’t enough time in the day to tackle it all. Your creative dreams and aspirations just leave you feeling dejected, scattered, unmotivated or even paralyzed under the weight of all those “could be’s.”

Kathleen here. I know this creative I’m describing above so well because that’s me. And I’m guessing it might be you too. You have this grand vision of how things could be but it’s hard to know what to tackle first, which idea will actually pay off, and which one will actually make you happy. And then what about all the things you won’t have time for when you’re spending your evenings learning modern calligraphy or textile art? Then you’ve got the fear of missing out by picking the wrong thing. 

Having lots of ideas is a double-edged sword. On one side it’s what makes you the admirable creative you are. But on the other side it can leave you feeling scattered and overwhelmed. So today I want to share two exercises that will get all these ideas on paper and out of your head. These brainstorming exercises will help you find the overlaps, common threads, and new connections between all the aspects of you so you can feel a little more confident and a little less crazy. 

1. Mind Map It 
The best way to get all “The Ideas” out of your head is to get them on paper. I recommend an old school mind map. Draw a circle in the middle of a piece of paper. Write your name in the middle of the circle. Now draw lines and circles from there that in one or two words describe all the things you’re interested in. After you’re done getting it all on paper zoom out a little. Observe all these aspects of you and all the brilliant ideas you have. Maybe star the ones that seem especially appealing or get you extra excited. But more importantly, recognize that all these ideas stem from you – you are the common denominator. So as seemingly unconnected as some of these ideas may have been, they aren’t nearly as separate as you may have thought. 



2. Find the Overlap 
We once had a client who loved graphic design and branding but was also a dedicated yoga teacher. She didn’t know where to devote her attention – to a career in design where she had confidence and experience? Or should she dedicate her focus to teaching yoga? The two felt like completely separate paths and our client was stuck at a fork in the road – trying to decide which road to take. While we usually encourage our clients to narrow in on their expertise we think that there are ways to weave all the aspects of you together in a way that makes you a happier creative with more interesting and layered point-of-view. So, we invited her to find the overlap between yoga and design – and no better way than with a good ol’ venn diagram. 

Try this: draw two circles on a piece of paper with an overlap in the middle between the two. Now take two seemingly opposite ideas, desires, interests, or passions – like yoga and design – and put one in each circle. Make a list of adjectives in each of those circles to describe each concept. Then dive in to the overlap. How could you bring a little more yoga philosophy into your design approach? Or how could you use design concepts to enhance your yoga practice? Connect dots and forge new paths – that is true creativity. 



For our yogi designer client the answer was to guide her design clients through the creative process with the same approach that she guided her students through a yoga class – recognizing that her guidance could make or break the experience in both. 
Okay, so now you’ve got mind maps and diagrams. Now what? I recommend one of two things: 

1. Do something. Take one of the ideas and start tackling it. Right now. Step-by-little-step. Stop procrastinating and making excuses. Tell at least one other person about your vision or idea. Blog about it. The idea is to start making it real. You know what you need to do to get it done. 

OR 

2. Do nothing. Sometimes getting the ideas on paper is good enough. Just live your life and see what naturally rises to the top. (Spoiler alert: I’m kind of tricking you here. A lot of the ideas you wrote down will organically start to manifest themselves, and quicker than you think. That’s what happens when you commit to a vision by simply writing it down.)

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Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

The Braid Method Branding ECourse is for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to support themselves financially with their business, create a blog or consistent online presence, and finally turn the work they’re already doing into a digital product, package, or offering for dream customers. This branding ecourse comes with 7 learning modules in a 300+ page digital download, a workbook with 20+ branding exercises and scripts, a quarterly masterclass, and an exclusive Facebook group so you can connect with us and other students.

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