Creative Thinking

Creativity and talent are essential elements to what makes us unique.

Every person has the ability to generate creative thoughts and to build new skills and talents.

In my view, it is one of the signature failings of our mass education system and our modern work environment that students and employees are not asked to dedicate time each day strictly to be creative, unleash new ideas or examine their personal and professional goals.

When are the times you are most creative? Is it a particular day? A particular time of day?

Find out when those moments are for you, and make sure you take advantage of them.

At Ecofy (soon to be VOC CoWorking), we believe everyone should set aside time for creative exploration. That is why we have started our co-working space and community, and are working towards different ways to help people make the most of their day to accomplish their goals and be successful.

Here are some things I do everyday as a way to get my creative thinking going, and identify areas for building new talents and skills:

1. Job Searching

I spend about 10 to 20 minutes looking at new jobs. That’s right! Everyday!

It does not mean that I do not love what I do, or love my clients. Far from it.

It is just a chance to see what is out there.

To help make the process simple, I set-up a number of alerts based on job titles, keywords, and companies on websites like, and with various headhunters. This allows me to receive a bunch of opportunities via e-mail, and minimize the time I spend searching.

As I read the emails and do some light searches, I will see a company or two that has a really interesting position they want to fill. Or there will be a really compelling job description for a particular role that distinguishes it from other positions with the same title.

When I find something that interests me professionally, I copy and paste the skills required that I do not have and add them to a list. It is my “Professional Growth List.” During the week, I make an effort to refer to the list to see if there is an opportunity for me to add a new skill.

This is a somewhat creative approach to talent or skill development, because it gets me day-dreaming a bit about work or a type of project that I could do in the future.

If you decide to do this, please keep in mind that talent and skill development does not need to be complicated. You could just boost or improve upon an existing skill-set by adding another dimension. Even the smallest of new skills is still adding to your capabilities.

2. Read About New Companies

I spend 10 to 20 minutes reading about new companies that are disrupting their industries.

If I like the concept of a new company, I add them to a spreadsheet I created about new companies and new business ideas.

I also review them to see if any of these new companies could be potential partners (for my businesses or people I know), or potential customers for me or people I know. Finding a reason to reach out to the new companies you read about is a way to build new energy. Your brain is designed to think (eh, duh, right?), and the more positive thinking you do – the happier your brain is. This happiness and energy extends to the rest of your body, and makes you feel great. And… When you feel great, you are more productive and successful.

As time has gone on, my list has grown into this very cool layout of new business models, the challenges they seek to solve and the technology they are using. This list is helpful as I brainstorm business ideas that I want to pursue, as well as to assist clients with their growth strategies. In short, a list like this helps to provide a lot of perspective on what is being done, as well as what is working and what is not working.

3. Seize The Moment

We can all agree that creativity is an important thing to harness.

Likewise, we can all agree that like many good things in life, creativity does not appear on schedule. You can’t schedule it in between two meetings, or always plan on it being there during commercials or when you are stuck in traffic.

So, while it is important to be creative and think of ways to improve yourself, you also need to accept that there are many moments during your day (and night) when creativity strikes and you’re not prepared to receive it.

To capture the moment so it is not lost and you can recount it later, I recommend that you use what you have around you.

  • Record a voice memo on your phone or use your phone to send yourself a note.
  • Don’t be afraid on how it will look if you ask to borrow a pen or scribble your thoughts down on a napkin. I actually stopped working out at the gym a few times, and asked for a pen and piece of paper. I do this in restaurants too.
  • Keep small notepads and pens around the house (especially the bathroom), and in the car.

What are doing to be creative and talented? When are your most creative times?

Share your thoughts below in the comments section.

Monday Motivation: How To Get Your Mojo Back

Starting on Monday, December 10th, we are going to kick-off a class at Ecofy about getting your mojo back. This course is available in the classroom (discounts for Ecofy members) and online. This 9 week class is a series of courses or lessons in how to find our motivation, or recapture our mojo. Each course will represent some different tactics, with the recognition that there is no pill or formula that will work for everyone or work every time. Courses like this are another way Ecofy is a different type of co-working space. Register at Catoctin College by clicking here:


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