How The Habit of Creative Thinking Can Make You Wealthy
If you ever contemplated invention or product creation as a vehicle for wealth creation then you are going to want to pay close attention to this article. Creative thinking may very well be the answer to your money problems. Have you ever heard the saying “You don’t have a money problem, you have an idea problem.” There is plenty of money in the world. It is up to you to use your creative mind to put together a product or a business and slice off your own piece of market share. One way to do this is through inventing.
Much of the writing I do is centered on new products, new companies, and the people behind those companies who have found creative ways to make a lot of money. New products almost always involve the process of invention or innovation and most of the time these ideas come from the creative mind of the entrepreneur behind the product.
When we think of developing a new product or starting a new company we very often associate the creativity of the founder or inventor, with the ultimate success of that business. It is very easy then for us to associate creativity with brain power or high IQ. Who doesn’t think that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is not a creative genius. Right? But can anyone be creative?
Do You Need Super Natural Creative Powers to be an Inventor?
The problem comes when we start thinking that everyone else possesses super natural creative powers and we are stuck with every day normal brains. The fact is we all have the ability to think and study and contemplate, and we all have our own creative powers.
I recently came across an article at Entrepreneur.com by Martin Zwilling titled “10 Myths about Creativity You Need to Stop Believing Now.” I have included a shortened version of the article here, but for the full version visit the Entrepreneur.com website.
Mr. Zwilling starts off by saying that the first step to being creative is to not limit our thinking. In order to do that, we need to stop believing these long standing myths about creative-thinking.
(I took the liberty of re-wording and shortening some of the definitions to better fit this article.)
Here are your ten creative myths
1. Eureka myth: This myth says that new ideas come from a sudden and brilliant flash of insight, almost out of nowhere. In reality, the insight comes after much thought and study of a problem.
2. Breed myth: The myth that really creative people are born that way or are just very smart. Evidence shows just the opposite; that those who work the hardest on a problem are the ones most likely to find a creative solution.
3. Originality myth: The myth that you have to come up with a 100% new and novel idea. In reality, most new inventions are combinations of existing older ideas.
4. Expert myth: The myth that you cannot outsmart or out-innovate the big companies who hire experts. We have seen time and time again where someone on the outside of an industry can be more creative than the experts who are paid to study the problem and come up with new creative solutions.
5. Incentive myth: This myth is similar to the expert myth. The myth holds that by giving someone a large incentive, or paying them well will cause them to work harder and be more creative. However, there is no evidence that incentives drive up creativity, and sometimes they do more harm than good.
6. Lone creator myth: This is the myth where we tend to believe that a single person is behind a great invention or breakthrough, when in reality it is often a team of people, or the person is basing his or her work off of earlier work done by someone else. Success is rarely a one person game.
7. Brainstorming myth: This myth says that if you put a bunch of smart people in a room and have them brainstorm and bounce ideas off of each other, that great innovations are realized. There is little evidence to show that group brainstorming produces huge breakthroughs.
8. Cohesive myth: This myth says that if a team of people have fun together and like each other they will probably produce greater results. Many companies now understand that conflict is a better motivator for creative thought.
9. Constraints myth: This myth says that it is hard to be creative when you have too many constraints on you such as lack of resources. But research shows that constraints foster more creativity rather than less.
10. Mousetrap myth: This myth is the belief that all you have to do is to invent a better mousetrap. Customers will immediately seek you out and you are suddenly rich. In reality, creating your new product is just the beginning and the real work comes in the marketing. You have to find customers and get them to exchange their money for your product before the riches start rolling in.
A Final Thought on Creativity
Most of us have heard the quote about genius and inspiration by Thomas Edison. But here is the quote with some context as it was originally attributed to Edison:
“None of my inventions came by accident. I see a worthwhile need to be met and I make trial after trial until it comes. What it boils down to is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration.”
Doesn’t Thomas Edison’s explanation of how he innovated and solved problems fall completely in line with the 10 creative myths? Edison himself tells us that creativity and invention is mostly hard work. If you want to know how to create wealth, stop believing the myths and start modeling yourself after Thomas Edison. You have a super computer give to you at birth, and you are in full control of how hard that computer works toward your success.
More Inventing Tips
Whether it is invention, innovation, creative product development, building a company or taking your product to market it all involves hard work, and there are rarely any shortcuts. Even with the invention and wealth creation stories I present here, much of the really hard work gets glossed over.
Another valid point is this; that it is often easier for a person on the outside of a particular industry to turn that industry upside down with innovative thought and ideas, because they are not thinking inside the same “box” as the experts in that industry. An absolute perfect example of this is Todd Greene and his HeadBlade razor company. Today Todd enjoys a millionaire lifestyle and drives a $100,000 HeadBlade Lotus because he did what no one inside the entire razor industry could do. He invented a radical new razor to shave one’s head.