On Tuesday evening I listened to Shawn Phillips, the folk-Rock musician, at a benefit concert for sufferers of the disease cystic fibrosis. The concert was held at the Pavilion Hall Marks Park, Greenside, Johannesburg.
At Christmas day lunch in a seaside restaurant, a pink piece of paper tumbled out from a cracker:
“Why was the chicken at the North Pole?”
The answer: “It was lost.”
A chilly prospect for the chicken but perhaps a familiar sensation for those who lost their way in 2010’s economic blizzard.
At a time when predictions for the New Year overflow in newspapers and magazines as well as on blogs, FaceBook, Twitter and websites, it’s perhaps pertinent to reflect on people who seem to predict their own futures regardless of inner and outer circumstances.
Consider some entrepreneurs I came across shortly before the end of 2010:
? One has started an eatery in a side road with big plans for the future
? Another who deals in maritime collectables can’t wait to trade in the New Year
? Yet another is starting a micro brewery with an excellent tasting product
? One young entrepreneur is kick-starting an online health foods business for athletes
? A microcomputer retail owner is repositioning his business for increased growth
? A guitarist has just released his fourth CD and is growing his following
What do these entrepreneurs have in common? What stokes their fire?
They have all come up with their own ideas to produce business concepts that support their passion. These innovators possess a razor sharp understanding of their product and customer needs. Another thing, they tackle what they are doing with such enthusiasm that they don’t seem to have time to dwell on the economy. They are also hardly likely to be pouring over the list of dire predictions for 2011 or any year for that matter.
This is not to say that predictions are unimportant. They point to possible areas of change. Give warnings. Signpost opportunities.
These entrepreneurs are busy implementing their ideas in 2011. Each one has come out of a hobby or interest, a passion driving them to turn what they love doing into a way to support their lifestyle and incomes. How did they stumble on these ideas? How long did it take them to realise their dreams? What fire kept burning inside them to make a go of what they imagined and eventually realised?
Phil Cousineau in “Stoking the Creative fires: 9 ways to rekindle passion and imagination” challenges, “What will it take to stoke your fire?” He covers stages of the creative journey: inspiration, perspiration and realisation. “Unreal work,” he says, “burns you out, real work renews you.”
What will light your fire this year? What will keep stoking your fire? How long will your fire burn?
One of the best-kept secrets is to find your ideas, your innovation, in a state of relaxation. Forcing ideas in a mad scramble blocks your creative pathways. “An environment of playfulness and humour is highly conducive to creativity,” says Michael Michalko, a leading creativity expert and author of “Cracking Creativity: The secrets of creative genius”.
How do you find your real work? It almost always requires inner work, knowing who you are and what you want. Your search can include keeping a journal for thoughts and ideas, going back into your past when you felt passionate about something and exploring various sources of information such as television, radio, newspapers, magazines, books and blogs to spark ideas. You can also use ideas and techniques on this blog or the websites listed on the right hand column of this page. Innovators need not originate completely new ideas but can SCAMPER (substitute, combine, adapt, magnify, modify, put to other uses, eliminate, rearrange, reverse) existing products, services, concepts and ideas to create new products and services.
The entrepreneurial spirit, whether in the form of the independent businessperson or the innovator working with passion in a company, needs nurturing. It is the source for solutions to today’s challenges and points the way to new possibilities for our environment, living, working, playing.
Entrepreneurs and innovators in whatever field possess the fire to innovate whether searching to start something of their own from scratch or re-imagining and re-inventing what they do at work. Whether they run a family business, “kitchen table” business or a part of a corporation as a manager, entrepreneurs have a passion to produce ideas and turn them into innovative products and services that ultimately help people live better quality lives.
Hotwire your inner circuitry with creative fire in 2011 and forecast your own future.
Copyright 2011 Bell & Cray Business Research™. This material used with special permission from Bell & Cray Business Consulting™. Bell & Cray Business Consulting™ is a division of Bell & Cray™. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be duplicated or re-disseminated without permission.
Copyright 2011 Bell & Cray Business Research™. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be duplicated or re-disseminated without permission.