Common entrepreneurial pitfalls include:
- Trying to do everything on your own
- Difficulty developing strategies or deciding where to focus your energy
- Neglecting to invest in yourself
- Falling in love with a venture and pursuing it without proper development.
The key to avoiding these traps is understanding how you approach a challenge. The latest creativity research finds we all use our creativity in different ways, but follow a common problem-solving process. Once you understand the creative process, you can intentionally apply it, boosting your creativity and efficiency while strengthening your initiatives.
These simple strategies for using the creative process can help keep you on track toward breakthrough success.
- Stop and think before you start. Self-awareness is a fundamental trait of successful leaders and teams. Thinking about how you get things done and reflecting on the ways your team may work together will help you be clear about direction and limit the amount of fires you have to put out along the way.
- Embrace diversity. Knowing how to leverage diversity is a powerful skill. Recognising where you (and your team) are strong, and where you aren’t, is critical. If you know you are not adept at one part of the creative process, seek others who are. Challenge yourself to be open to the perspectives of others.
- Beware of love at first sight. If you find yourself enamoured with a particular direction or idea, great, but watch out. You may be onto something, or you may not be exploring things carefully enough. Take the time you need to be sure the direction you are heading in fits the need, the idea you have is well thought-out and you’re prepared to manage the change effectively.
- Take one step at a time. Skipping stages can lead to serious problems – like focusing on the wrong issue, or implementing a half-baked solution. Notice where you are in the process and where you need to go next – be deliberate.
- Know when to move on. When we enjoy a part of the process, we tend to linger in that stage. People who apply the process effectively know when their preferences are getting the best of them and are able to shift direction. So don’t obsess over endless possibilities or clarifying details. Be sure that you’ve done a thorough job, you are still on target, and then move on.