Ever think you aren’t creative?
Or maybe that creativity and business don’t mix?
Creativity seems mysterious, until you start using it in your life.
It’s not something you have or don’t have.
Everyone has creativity within them.
And everyone can come up with creative business ideas that work. I don’t see myself as particularly creative.
I simply do what I do, and results follow.
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What is a Creative Business Idea?
When we think about a creative business idea, we tend to picture something innovative, groundbreaking, and genius.
We think Mozart, Einstein, Steve Jobs, or Richard Branson.
But what is a creative business idea if not something that helps someone else? Something that provides value in the world.
Creativity is the act of looking at things from a different perspective. It’s about asking questions and experimenting.
As Peter Sims says in his book Little Bets:
Most successful entrepreneurs don’t begin with brilliant ideas–they discover them.
A creative idea doesn’t have to be groundbreaking. It can be a tiny step in one direction.
On top of that, I don’t have to know where my creativity comes from.
All I have to know is how to harness it to grow my business.
How I Come Up With Creative Business Ideas
So how do I come up with ideas for my courses, books, membership, and my clients?
How can I keep writing and producing new content after all this time?
Instead of me telling you what you should do, let me share three examples from my life.
Example #1: Wake Up Cloud
The idea for Wake Up Cloud, this blog, bubbled up to the surface because I wanted to do what I truly loved.
I wanted to share what I had learned in life, and how I was making a location independent income. And I wanted to do it through words.
I’ve been interested in writing ever since I was 7, and my mind lends itself to the written word, so it was natural for me to try that avenue first.
I didn’t know what this would look like. All I knew was that it felt magnetic. Alive.
I began looking for what I could do. I eventually stumbled on blogging.
I joined a training course. I began taking action, and with each month I discovered more about what worked and what didn’t. The idea gradually revealed itself to me.
I simply had something within me that I wanted to express.
I had felt something for years, but I had held myself back by believing in my fears.
However, when I was ready to take action, the next step was obvious: To start a blog.
So, Wake Up Cloud began as a craving to express my heart. As I took action, it evolved.
Example #2: Do What You Love
My book, Do What You Love, was born out of the emails I get on a daily basis.
I began helping people find and follow their passion in 2009.
Since then, I’ve noticed that we all struggle with the same questions, fears, and worries.
I’d already written two books on the topic (Find Your Passion and Follow Your Heart).
But I hadn’t covered the obstacles we face on this path, hence Do What You Love was born.
I had the demand (emails), the drive (it felt exciting), and the know-how.
You see, creativity for me isn’t something magical. It’s incredibly practical.
I notice what feels alive to me, and where I can help, and I take the next step.
I try not to worry too much about getting the idea perfect before I start, because I have enough experience to know that I don’t have to know everything.
Example #3: Lifestyle Liberation Academy
Let’s take one more example.
I started a membership site in 2013 (closed in 2022).
It’s a membership community that contains on-going training and support for people who want to do what they love.
Before the membership site, I had courses, training, and books. But I noticed a problem: People had information, but they didn’t always apply it. They were getting stuck somewhere.
I couldn’t give everyone 1-on-1 support, but I wanted to do something.
I wanted to create a solution that was both affordable and that worked.
The answer didn’t come right away. It came months later. I gave up on the idea for a bit, but I kept wondering what I could do.
Eventually, I began bumping into membership sites. I began seeing how other people were using membership sites with success.
I began seeing possibilities.
So the site began by me wondering: How can I help?
After letting this question simmer, the answers came.
Video on Discovering Your Creativity
Here’s a video with a different perspective on creativity.
For me, coming up with creative business ideas comes down to focusing on how I can be of service.
But it’s not just about me helping you.
I listen to myself, and I listen to you.
Creativity happens naturally when you become curious about how you can help, and the problems you can solve.
Ask questions. Wonder. Explore. Experiment. And then let go.
A big part of harnessing my own creativity has been to realize that I am creative, then allowing things to unfold naturally.
All the best,
Ready to Do What You Love?
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Marcio CS says
One more time, awesome words. Thanks, Henri.
Paul Carter says
I especially like “Creativity happens naturally when you become curious about how you can help, and the problems you can solve.”
My biggest problem right now is a client who doesn’t seem to want to create his ideal client avatar (profile). Not sure how to help him overcome his resistance. I’m meeting with him this Friday. I’ll listen, and see what comes up. Hopefully, creativity will kick in for both of us.
Tough to say without me actually being there having the conversation. I’d probably get down to why he doesn’t want to create it, but I’d also look at if he truly has to, or if he can move forward anyway. These things don’t have to be perfect, and they tend to uncover themselves over time.
Keep rocking, Paul!
Becca Campbell says
I wonder if you can move away from using the words “ideal client” and look at what a good friend looks like for your client, or someone he admires/respects? Maybe he needs something more personalized?
Henri, great article. Your work has inspired me to move into action, even when it’s scary.
Rod Gomes says
Great to see you’re still laying amazing content upon us!
“I simply had something within me that I wanted to express.
I had felt something for years, but I had held myself back by believing in my fears.”
Gotta love this! I see myself in these words.
Only now I’m starting to REALLY get over my fears.
Back when we did a little coaching session I knew I had it in me, but I was afraid to be myself… Afraid I didn’t have anything of value to offer.
I’m so grateful for everything that I’ve learned from you.
Hey Rod, and thanks!
It often takes time to take action despite your fears, but you can’t really waste time, because you’re always learning.
I think I spent 2-3 years hemming and hawing. It’s a part of the process 🙂
Aye Chan Aung says
Thought-provoking article! Thanks. 🙂 I especially enjoy “Creativity seems mysterious, until you start using it in your life. It’s not something you have or don’t have. Everyone has creativity within them.”
The way I see it, creativity comes from planning just a bit, taking action on what you want, and letting go of the results. Rather, take those results and see where you can go from there.
Ideas come out of no where but without action, nothing happens.
Great post, Henri. I think a lot of people wait till they have the perfect idea before they start taking action. Your examples demonstrate that we indeed need to start taking small actions much before that perfect idea comes along. I notice this again and again when I speak with entrepreneurs on my show. Thanks for articulating it so nicely here!
Its odd because i,ve come back to you teachings and saw this post just as i had received word about a job. I was going to give myself another year of applying my ideas online. Its tricky to know what is best to do sometimes
I find creativity has a ‘snowball’ like effect.
I started off by just doing the simple task of writing a page of ideas and thoughts every morning over breakfast.
From that came the basis of my site which I know work at every day.
It’s like I started exercising a creativity muscle that gets stronger the more I use it!
Hopefully I too can turn it into a successful business in the future.
Thanks, Henri. Your post made me think of Mark Zuckerberg, who didn’t set out to create the Facebook phenomena we know today. He just wanted to help students to be able to interact with each other on the web.
Zuckerberg called an early version of his program Facemash and the whole project was just for fun at the beginning.