Can you do it alone?

At a networking event yesterday I was faced with the question ‘Can I do it alone? Do I want to do it alone?’

This question came from a respected source. This guy is successful. I call him an entrepreneurial ‘surfer’ as he rides on each new wave of whatever is looking to be big. He’s a true entrepreneur, slightly detached from any of his businesses, with the ability to spot an opportunity and use his business skills to pick it up and run with it regardless of previous knowledge.

I find the business world full of fascinating, inspiring, creative people with such a flair and passion for life and success.

But back to the question “Can I” and “Do I want to do it alone?” I’ve always assumed that I would do it alone. I’m one of those people who built a business based on passion+expertise. I was passionate about creative thinking and trained myself up so I could deliver the type of services needed.   It was natural for me to dive in on my own. I was also surrounded by other people who were doing it alone- so why not?

But you know- now the question’s been posed I’m thinking- wouldn’t it be great to share my ideas and enthusiasm with someone who would get equally excited? My own ‘Sparkler’ ( I mention Sparklers in my book). Picture6 Or how about someone who had more of a ‘commercial brain’ and could see the potential of my ideas and just help me put them out into the world in the right form at the right price. That would be most welcome.

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I’m a bit of an ideas person. This is both an asset and a liability. I make some of them happen but leave some of them on the shelf. Which ones remain on the shelf is not down to any robust business evaluation process, but just down to what’s going on generally at the time and how people might first react to the idea. If people are not as positive I would like, I withdraw and shelve it. The ‘sensitive creator’ in me gets hurt which is so not good business sense!

I think sometimes we have to open up about our limitations this is certainly one of mine. There is stuff I would love to do living only in my notebooks and my imagination.

The other thing to consider is the effort any idea needs to take to market and the impact of that on your everyday ‘proven’ work. New ideas need a lot of love and nurturing. They need time to get used to being out in the open, to acclimatise, to adapt to the new environment.  I have many gorgeous bulbs waiting to be planted and flower. I don’t know which ones people will like but I love them all equally.

Can I do it alone? Honestly the answer has to be no. I’m good at seeing opportunities, creating solutions and delivering but the bits in between I could do some help with. I would love someone to hop on board and say “Yes let’s do that one now as there’s a definite market need and then we’ll launch that one as it’s a natural fit…” I’d also like someone to say “Not sure about that one- let’s leave that on the shelf for now”.

How this might work I don’t know- but maybe I can leave the how to someone else too! I like to believe in a bit of magic, so if you’re out there and you get what I do, I’m here waiting for your call.

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Einstein: the scientist and the artist

Today I’m researching for a talk next week, on ‘Creativity in Business’. I could do something I’ve already done- but I prefer to put together something new. So I’m researching the creative icon that is Albert Einstein. I’m writing this blog mid-research- as I have had a jump out of your chair  “Yes!” moment. Do you have those?

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Albert Einstein is famously known for the quote “Imagination is more important than knowledge” but there is so much more to his thinking on creativity. As well as a scientist Einstein was an accomplished musician he played the piano and violin. This recording of Einstein playing Mozart has only recently been discovered.

Music played a significant role in his life. If he was stuck, he might play his piano and when finished, he’d often say “Now I’ve got!”. The playing of the piano not only allowed him to take his mind off ‘the problem’ but also stimulated his creativity in a wider sense. There is now evidence to suggest playing  music can increase your ‘intelligence’ and brain elasticity- which is a big part of creative thinking.

What was most interesting in all of this was also finding out that Einstein didn’t think in words- but in ‘images, feelings and musical architectures’.

“”I very rarely think in words at all. A thought comes, and I may try to express it in wordsafterwards” 

Just for a moment consider how our working practices, problem solving and decision-making are all based around words- either written or spoken.

Einstein is also big on intuition and inner knowing.

“All great achievements of science must start from intuitive knowledge. I believe in intuition and inspiration…At times I feel I am right while not knowing the reason”

Whilst I’m sure no business would object to an image of Albert on their wall- would they also welcome the use of ‘intuition and inner knowing’ as part of their regular business practice? Einstein is not only an icon for creativity but also for intuition in ‘the board room’.

The final nugget from my reading today Id like to share with you is this: ‘personal creativity enables professional innovation’. Wow!

So why did this research cause a Yes! moment?

I’m working on my own big idea at the moment, which is partly based on past experience, but largely based on intuition and inner knowing.  Firstly Einstein has just given me permission for this to be more than okay- thank you.

Secondly, and more significantly the subject of my big idea is relates to thinking through images. I’ve always had a strong feeling that people can have better ideas, express themselves more, be more creative and innovative if they just ditched words for a while and learned to access their own visual langauge.

There’s so much richness in the ‘right brain’ and I’m going to create a space for people to explore it, at a deeper level, in a buisness context. Can you imagine the potential? Today was one of those dots on my journey as I bring this idea into the world.

 

Read more about Einstein’s thinking here

 

 

Amazed by people’s creativity

Last week was a busy week. Through it I learned so much- about people, about my own practice as a trainer/facilitator but the most remarkable,  amazing thing I witnessed was people’s natural ability and desire to be creative. It reaffirmed to me why I do my work and has encouraged me to develop a sharper focus in this area. Let me tell you more…

One session last week was based on the ideas in my book- Who says you’re not creative?  It was a new session with brand new exercises. One of these activities involved ‘big paint and big paper’. In my book I talk about ‘big pens for big ideas’ and this was a visual variation on that theme. I’ve been wanting to try this out in my workshops for a while but the opportunity had not arisen- until now.

Working in small groups, people were given big paint and big paper and freedom to create and explore in whichever way felt good for them. (They were given the option of creating around a theme- but they opted to go ‘freestyle’).

I equipped people with sponges and rulers to spread the paint but instead many of them dived straight in with their hands. They did hand-prints, hand-spreading, hand-glunking- (yes I just made that word up) it was fascinating and exhilarating to see. No one cared about the mess- they just got on with it and enjoyed it. Further into the session one group started picking up the paint and flicking it across the paper. How free is that?!

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I wanted the exercise to be creative and liberating and thought people might be slightly anxious or nervous. I was wrong. People more than welcomed the chance to play. ‘I haven’t painted since I was at school’ said one person.

There were different degrees of messiness but everyone engaged and made their own sense- or no sense – of the process. ‘This arrow is about direction and these shapes are about the different things I could do.’ Is that an abstract artist speaking? 

I should tell you they didn’t do this from ‘cold’. This exercise came after a morning of film making- but even so the intensity of creative energy that flowed still surprised me.

There were other more serious parts to the session including a question around blocks to creativity- this too was amazing. Some of the issues that came up were not to be found in text books on creativity so were a ‘real insight’ into how people felt. Some of the illustrations that accompanied the words were also fascinating.    

So what did I learn? I had a hunch that people wanted to play, be free, get messy, explore….for no apparent reason. I had a hunch that the painting exercise would be liberating- freeing in some way- and I think it was.  I also learned that people are far more ‘up for it’ than I had imagined. The desire to break out and break free- and be creative- is strong. I am so happy that this is the case!

I have a great belief in creativity- if that’s the right way of putting it. I believe it can be freeing, enjoyable, connective, stress-relieving, engaging, an alternative form of expression….so that session or rather the response from those fabulous people, reaffirmed my belief and has encouraged me to continue to create and design more inventive, playful workshops.

Thus far I have taught creative thinking tools but had a sneaky feeling there was something missing- I’ve now found that missing piece. My insight: in order to be free thinking – you have to first set yourself free. To be creative, I believe, you have to engage in the creative process.

If you need some new thinking and you want to work creatively- drop me a line. You and your people have so much potential- isn’t it time you tapped into it?

After the party

A party to celebrate "Who says you're not creative?"

Last week I threw a book party!

Over the last 18 months I have been working on a book “Who says you’re not creative?”

I finally published and celebrated this milestone in my life on Monday July 22nd- which also happened to be my birthday. (I usually ‘take stock’ on my birthday so this seemed like a good day to launch!)

I was overwhelmed by the support in the room- around 30 people came after work on a hot sweltering Monday evening. I showed my book to the world: business pals, close personal friends, my husband and son. My presentation went well, I felt relaxed rather than nervous and I had lots of positive feedback. A little light drinking was also had- including a matching blue cocktail which the Manager of the bar kindly supplied- what a party!

A week after the party

So after all the fun and celebrating what happens now? Now that people will begin to read my work? Am I nervous? Maybe slightly. Writing a book is an interesting process on many levels. During it’s creation you question your credibility for writing a book. You also think of particular people, maybe work collegaues or family members, that will read it. What will they think of it?? Will their opinion of you change for the worse?

For me to have published I had to confront these questions and be able to deal with them. On a concsious level I feel ok about everything. My job, for me, was to put the book into the world. I needed to see if I could do it, I needed to discover for myself what I thought about this fascination subject that is the basis of all my work.

I recently re read Susan Jeffers book Embracing Uncertainty and she said something that struck a chord. She gave the example of Drew Barrymore ‘letting go’ of her movies once they were released. She almost kissed them good bye and disconnected herself from what people might think of it- as this was beyond her control. Jeffers calls this the ‘scissors of the mind’ exercise. “As long as you are tied [to an expectation] you are not free”

An audio I recently listened to also provided a perspective on this situation I now find myself post party.   ‘You are not the opinion of others..in fact you are not even the opinion of yourself’. This took me a while to understand but once you get it- it’s great one to have as part of your belief system.

So it’s gone- I’ve done my bit to create it. Some people may not like it- others may love it. But if there’s one thing in there that inspires someone to change and create something positive for themselves – I think that’s pretty good. Also- as long as I like it- I’m ok with the opinions come my way.

Post party feedback

So far I’ve had a couple of tweets back. Saying ‘love your book’ which is great. A friend of mine Deborah Burdette also mentioned me on her blog today.

“I had a major clear out of my office this morning. I’m in need of some fresh ideas and the thought was that if I clear my desk for new things I’ll clear my mind for new things too.
I’m reading ‘Who says you’re not creative’ by my friend Prith Biant and will be doing some of the exercises she recommends to get some INSPIRATION!”

I’m meeting her on Friday so I’ll be able to chat more then.

Do I have post party blues? No not at all. Now is just the beginning of more that I want to create around the book. I have a vision board full of ideas! More new workshops, an audio version, note cards with quotes from the book, may be even a full colour version of the book. This is just the beginning- the party in my head has only just started!

The launch party photos

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Wow the launch – what a fabulous evening in beautiful Cardiff Bay! Thank you to all the lovely people who came to share the moment with me.

Steve Williams: At @prithb‘s book launch. Great to see so many here. Let’s start #daydreaming again!   Aimee Bateman: Great evening at @prithb new book launch party. Lovely to see @GreenGrassWales & @moneywales also. Victoria Dere: Great book launch @prithb. Looking forward to reading Who Says You’re Not Creative. Lee Sharma: Congrats to @prithb – great turnout at the new book launch in the Bay. Love the personal message in my copy #GoPrith Clive Thomas: Enjoyed @prithb ‘s book launch tonight – fabulous book “Who says you’re not creative” #buyitnow! Gareth Jones: Fantastic evening celebrating @prithb‘s book launch w/ @CoffeeAppleUK @meirionm @ZokitCardiff @GreenGrassWales and more. Very enjoyable. Neil Lloyd:  Looking forward to reading @prithb ‘s new book

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“I’m going to take this book on holiday with me along with Celestine prophecy which I haven’t read for ages. Will come back renewed!”

“Wow you were so inspiring. I have to give a talk later this week and now I feel much better about doing it. I’m going to read this book tomorrow morning first thing!”

“I’d like to buy 3 books please. One each for son and daughter and one for my business colleague who is my Sparkler!”

“I felt very inspired when I got home and can’t wait to read the book. It will probably live on my desk in work xx”

10 people also signed up to explore their creativity through for my new ‘Break Out Break Free’ workshop which is based on the book. Can’t wait to put that together later this month.

Please do post your comments about the book on here as the website is still under development.

The book is now available on amazon. http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1489574026

P.S Thank you so much to the gorgeous people at Salt who provided complimentary snacks and the co-ordinating blue cocktail! It all added to the magic of the evening.