I’m in love with a new restaurant, and I haven’t eaten there yet. The Zinburger has a great online menu which includes their signature item: burger with zinfandel braised onions and manchego cheese. Red zinfandel and manchego are two of my favorites. And who thought to add them to an otherwise ordinary burger?
Zinburger did it, and in doing so took a common idea (the burger) and created something unique.
With millions of burger stops in the US, few of us think about the inspiration needed to create a successful new burger enterprise. Many of us would love to experience the thrill of that inspiration.
Seth Godin, author of Tribes and a dozen other books, recently created a publishing company backed by Amazon. He is trying a new out-of-the-box idea, launching the ebook, audio book and hard copy at the same time. Publishing has been done before, but here Seth created new twists.
Creativity is within all of us, but fear stops us from taking the next step forward. What if we fail? Seth Godin says, “I’m going to keep failing my way up.” If we hesitate to create; if we let fear stop us, we won’t succeed.
Overcoming this fear and hesitation is the key to a successful life, no matter what you do.
So, how can you add a creative kick to your career?
1. When did you last say, “I wish…”? I wish this could be done more quickly. I wish this was more interesting. I wish this didn’t cost so much. Any of these wishes could be the catalyst to a dynamic new idea.
2. What do you love about your career? Do you hear others saying the same thing? Pay attention to passion and desire, even if your career focuses on designing new pens or managing legal cases. Someone designed the first squishy section near the tip of the pen, so that everyone could hold their pen more comfortably. What passion creates something new for you?
3. Do you see a gap in a process? Offer to fill the gap. I once ran a small college, as part of a larger company. My primary purpose was to get it up and running, and control the budget. However, I noticed a lack of advertising. I offered to write some ads to kick start enrollment. My ads had a direct effect on inquiries, and I got the opportunity to do something creative.
Look for ways to fill the gap.
4. Let your mind wander, and take notes. The best inspiration comes out of connecting random thoughts. Keep notepads in your car, office, and bedroom. Take brief notes when something strikes and create something more structured later.
5. Where does the fear pop up? If you aren’t about to be hit by a truck, then fear is probably the only roadblock to your creative success. Recognize it, move it aside then push forward.
While there are many kick starts to creativity, they aren’t as effective without some down-to-earth advice: get plenty of sleep, exercise and healthy food. These help your brain to focus and think clearly.
What will you do today to add a creative kick to your efforts? I have some ideas of my own, and am adding a twist to an established trend. Time will tell if I’m right or not. And no, it isn’t burgers.