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A few of us in the Creative department had the privilege of attending the inaugural Gas Can Creative Conference at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City in June, hosted by AAF-KC (the American Advertising Federation). This conference was designed to be the creative ‘fuel’ to light the fires of inspiration for creative professionals in the KC area. It featured a diverse group of 12 inspiring speakers covering a range of creative topics, as well as some interactive workshops.

Creativity is hard behind the computer. We need to communicate from the inside out. I’m sure the majority of us have seen Simon Senek’s TED Talk on The Golden Circle: Why, How, What. What’s your purpose? What’s your cause? Why should anyone care? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? Senek said, “People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.” The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe. At GlynnDevins, we believe in seniors and giving our clients the platform on which to reach them. We have to keep coming up with innovative and creative ways to do this. We all get in creative ruts from time to time, and this conference helped me learn a few tools that can help if these ruts ever come back. I’ve summarized them into my top five listed below.

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Find your gift. Realizing your gift is half the battle. Knowing what to do with it is the other half. Self-identify with your gift, not your title. Knowing your gift is the key to knowing what to do with it. Our gifts aren’t meant to help us get stuff. They’re meant to be given away.

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Quit comparing yourself to others. Thinking this way will lower your bar. Don’t collect the portfolio of things we wish we were. It’s not valuable information. Thinking is the same as doing. It’s easy to move from comparison to competition. You’ll never be the best version of yourself trying to be the better-than version of someone else.

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Have you ever Googled yourself? Try it. Do you like what you see? Being creative isn’t enough. You have to do more and tell people about it. You aren’t the sum of who you work for and your job description. You are what the Internet says you are. It’s not credentials that matter; It’s who you are and what you’ve done. Good ideas alone aren’t enough. Resolve to “own” your name on the Internet. Create legitimate profiles and use them. Suck it up and get out there.

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Give, because it’s good for you. People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it. Donate to organizations that you believe in, and are passionate about. People will follow. Businesses that wrap good into their commerce will solve problems faster.

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Stop wasting time and put away phones and distractions. Have you heard of the software WriteRoom? It offers a full-screen writing environment without any pop-ups or alerts. WriteRoom lets you focus on writing without all the nonsense that can get in the way.

THE TAKEAWAY

Come to find out, our definition of creativity is wrong. It’s not a mystical force some are blessed with. Those who think they aren’t creative are mistaken. Creativity and artistry aren’t one and the same; creativity is problem-solving with relevance and novelty. Creativity doesn’t end with your day job. We all have to have the discipline to be creative every day. We tend to look at creativity as something we either have or don’t. That’s not the case. Everyone is creative. Whether they choose to tap into that is up to them.

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