Creatively Entrepreneurial

with Carl Nordgren

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First Steps

How to begin with creativity

Carl Nordgren

Creative Populist, Author, Guide

Lessons Learned

Embrace the quality of wondering while you are wandering: be humble, inquire, take a winding path.

Find friends fast and treat them with a servant leadership mindset.

Accept that you will take missteps and give yourself permission to get started anyway.


Lesson: Creatively Entrepreneurial with Carl Nordgren

Step #10 First Steps: How to begin with creativity

So, the first steps for an entrepreneur who wants to start a new company who doesn't yet fully have the idea, who is still working on an idea, who is still trying to contemplate an idea is to begin to practice this ready-fire-aim bias for action. You've got an inclination. You have an interest. We are not operating in a vacuum. We are talking to an individual who has got some idea of some opportunity or some predilection of something that they want to explore. Given that that is so, ready-fire-aim says let's get started and here are some ways to get started.

One is to embrace a quality of wondering while you are wandering. Let's just get started. Let's go wonder while we are wandering. It's a ready-fire-aim approach, but it has a couple of qualities to it that I think are really very useful. One is that it helps me remember that I am humble, that I don't know; I'm wondering about what it is that I can do. It tells me that I am asking lots of questions. Again the wandering says that I am out in the world but that I am out in the world appreciating that it's a circuitous path. Who knows the direction that I am going to take? And it's playful. There is a playfulness to wondering while you are wandering that again reminds me that I need to bring a playful perspective. So, let's wonder while we are wandering.

Let's find friends fast. People who have got compatible interests, complementary interests, who maybe have some interesting vantage point that you don't have. When we're finding friends fast, let's treat them with a servant leadership approach. Let's help them with their discovery process. Again there is this wonderfully human balance that wants to take place, that if I am helping you, you're going to want to help me. Too often when we're working on a new idea we feel like we want to hold it close. We don't want people to know about it. We're afraid that if it gets away from us, somebody else might do this.

That might happen but I think that when one realizes that if you boldly declare to your community that this is something that you are now interested in, you will be delighted at how frequently friends find you. How the universe turns towards you and says if that is something that you are interested in, I am too. So there is another way to find friends fast. It's by declaring your interests. Looking for opportunity.

If we too quickly capture what we are trying to do in a plan, too often, that keeps us from being opportunistic early on and it is a momentum play. You are trying to develop momentum. So, when you can find the ball on the 10 yard line, to use an American-football metaphor, so, there is an early score, an easy score available to you, you certainly want to be looking for that in your early efforts.

A mantra that has been embraced by so many is the idea of failing early, failing often, and let me add to that, failing cheap. And that is a wonderful bias for action. If I know that I am going to be taking missteps, I'll go ahead and get started. I know I am going to be taking missteps. I've given myself permission to take missteps. That gives me permission to get started and that means that I'm getting smart really fast about what it is that I am trying to accomplish.

What you are trying to accomplish as an early entrepreneur is the creation of something that you can invest. So, you are building creative capital. If you're getting the human capital of getting smart really fast and the social capital of finding friends fast, it becomes creative capital when you bring it together that you are now prepared to invest in the early stages of your endeavor.

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