this article first appeared on Entrepreneur.com
Generating the quality content needed to be heard above the roar requires getting it right, every day. It has long been said in the online business space that “content is king,” But you don’t want your message to be just another king, do you? You want it to be recognized above all other kings and remembered for the amazing impact it makes in people’s lives. In order to attain this level of success and separate your message and yourself from the herd, you need to understand that creativity is your greatest asset.
Creativity is loosely defined as the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, and patterns to create meaningful new ideas. This is the special sauce that allows you to elevate your message and provide something original and distinctive.
Industry is shaped by those that think outside of the proverbial box and embrace their creativity. Apple consistently uses creativity to elevate product offerings and drive insane market demand. Keurig used creativity and innovation to imagine an entirely new way of consuming the unofficial beverage of entrepreneurs everywhere.
We were all creative when we were kids. How else do you explain wearing purple pants, drawing on walls, and putting syrup on tacos? It’s incredibly important for you to not only rediscover your creativity but to nurture it and help it reach its full potential. The good news is creativity can be fostered and enhanced like any skill. The bad news is, how you approach your daily life may actually be stifling this hidden gem.
Here are four creativity killers that need to be vanquished from your budding online kingdom.
Unfortunately, emerging entrepreneurs and side hustlers everywhere are having their creativity suppressed by their day jobs. Plodding to your office, at the same time, following the same path only to settle into the same chair in the same drab cubicle reeks of familiarity and conformity.
If you find yourself constrained to a desk all day long, try to at least find times where you can break the monotony and generate a spark of creativity. Go on a walk for lunch. Talk to your co-workers about non-work related passions. Telework from a public location one day a week. Do whatever you can to break up the everyday ritual and your creativity will see a natural boost.
If you look around enough at those in your particular industry you will quickly discover that many of them are doing the same exact thing. You see the same website components, the same product offerings, and the same marketing methods. Blindly following others is one of the greatest creativity killers out there. Sure, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but it is also the quickest way to be boring.
Embrace what makes you tick and don’t be afraid to let the world see you for who you are. Approach problems completely different than others in your industry. Apply attributes from other industries to your own to add a bit of flavor to your message. Your creativity is enhanced by going your own route and being different.
We live in a hyper-connected world. Everyone is busy and working nonstop to achieve their goals. I get it. But, your mind needs the opportunity to dance from time to time.
Start spending a portion of your day completely unplugged from the grid. Even if it is just for a fleeting moment in your car while waiting for your kids. Let your eyes close, take a deep breath, and just spend a moment lost in thought. Your creativity will thank you for the undivided attention and will reward you tenfold.
Too many entrepreneurs move forward with blinders on. Too often it is a constant push of their message and one-way selling of their products and services. Take the time to listen more and you might be surprised by the surge in your creativity.
You’ll learn new perspectives, understand problems at a deeper level, and gain a true appreciation for the wonder of the world spinning around you. Look for opportunities to learn and soak up knowledge and experience from others. Expanding your mind by simply listening more allows you to pull information and inspiration when your creativity needs it the most.
At the end of the day, you need to somehow separate yourself and your message from the thousands of other entrepreneurs in your space. In order to do this, you need to first recognize the moments in your life that are holding you back and then quickly shift to get your creative juices flowing again.
Over time, what you’ll discover is you now have the ability to harness a newfound power and bring the most engaging and unique value to your audience. This elevated delivery of content, in an original and interesting format, will ultimately be your crowning achievement. King me.