What makes a great entrepreneur? Some people may argue it is their drive, their determination to keep going and to make it work. Some people may say it is their passion for their idea and project and some would say it is their creativity.
Being creative is not just how unique your ideas are but how you develop and come up with them. It may be that you are fantastic at looking through a different lens on a situation and you can think away around obstacles that may stump others.
Mark Zuckerberg is an entrepreneur but he didn’t invent something completely new, social media was already around on platforms such as Myspace and Bebo. He was creative in how his new idea would be different, how it would appeal to his audience and how he was going to make it grow. He learnt from the mistakes of competitors to end up with one of the most powerful social media platforms to date.
Walt Disney began his path into cartoons when gaining a job at Kansas City Star newspaper drawing comics but was later fired for lack of creativity (Maggie L. Jones, 2009) He then moved onto creating short silent animations then taking the leap into sound cartoons where he made the famous “Steam Boat Willie” which was the defining moment in this career. Wanting to build on his success he pitched the idea of making ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarves’ which would be the first full feature colour animation. Despite his peers advising against the idea and running out of money during production the alongside his team he managed to finish it and it was an instant success. In fact is was the most successful film of the year and with the profits Disney built a new campus in Burbank where he then produced iconic films such as Bambi, Pinocchio and Fantasia. (The Small Business Fairy, 2016)
Both these entrepreneurs had challenges faced in front of them from day one whether it was competitors or people telling them they are not good enough, but they both carried on anyway. They used their creative minds and tools to build successful businesses despite the obvious hurdles they chose to ignore them and become dreamers.
Disney have many famous creative tools one being“The Dreamer, The Realist and the Critic”. This technique bridges the gap between imagination and reality. The tool splits the process into three groups, they are sectioned off into ‘the dreamer’, ‘the realist’ and ‘the critic’. The process starts at The Dreamers. They think of ideas as if there was no limitations, no rules, no cost. The idea will then be passed on The Realist, here the idea is molded into something that could possibly work, making sure it is realistically possible. The last stage in the Critic; here the idea will be given the go ahead or not. They will decide if the idea is actually feasible with time, money, construction constraints etc. I tested this idea loosely in class using only a rubber band, a paper clip and a curtain hook. Using my “dreamer” mind I had to come up with as many ideas with one of these products if their was no limitations. I found it hard but fun to not have to stress about if the idea is even possible. Only after you have pages of ideas do you then take it to the next stage where you come to terms with which ones are actually usable. Although I loved this idea there were others which I felt worked for me better.
Such as brainstorming; what is brainstorming?.“Brainstorming combines a relaxed, informal approach to problem solving with lateral thinking. It encourages people to come up with thoughts and ideas that can, at first, seem a bit crazy.” (The Mind Tools, 2016)
Probably the most widely used creative tool of all ages and is my personal favorite creative tool.
When brainstorming you are literally putting the first ideas and thoughts that come to mind onto paper or a document without consideration to cost or possibility. Then after you can hone down your ideas and come to a conclusion on whether or not your ideas are feasible. This also helps you build on your idea to possibilities you never have thought of because of the quick shotgun thinking.
In fact Theeron Skyees who is a Director, Creative Development for the Walt Disney Imagineering team talks about tips and techniques for brainstorming in a YouTube video recorded at the Ragan’s 6th Annual Social Media for PR and Corporate Communications Conference at the Walt Disney World Resort. He goes onto say: “It’s important to take a moment to forget about budget, forget about your constraints and dream about the type of problem you’re trying to solve. The other really important thing is the type of people you have in the room, you’ve got to have a really diverse audience.” (Ignite Technologies, Inc., 2013)
There are many different creative tools you can use to help you bring your idea to life but you have to find the right one for you. Do you like to put yourself under time constraints in order to think faster? Or are you like me and enjoy drawing and mapping out your thoughts? Try a few and see which works best for you.
- Mind Tools. 2016. Brainstorming. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.mindtools.com/brainstm.html. [Accessed 25 October 2016].
- YouTube. 2013. Brainstorming Tricks from Disney Imagineering. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAE9CXjaBmo. [Accessed 25 October 2016].
- The Small Business Fairy. 2016. Walt Disney – The Inspirational Entrepreneur Series. [ONLINE] Available at: http://thesmallbusinessfairy.com/walt-disney-the-inspirational-entrepreneur-series/. [Accessed 25 October 2016].
- Planet Motivation. 2016. Walt Disney. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.planetmotivation.com/walt-disney.html. [Accessed 25 October 2016].
- Brainy Quotes. 2016. Thomas A. Edison Quotes. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/thomasaed132683.html. [Accessed 25 October 2016].