The Creative Connection: How Creative Play Can Impact Your Business

Creativity“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy that is translated through you; and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique.”– Martha Graham

I love this quote from Martha Graham. I think sometimes we forget that we are unique; that there is only one of us in all the universe. Our unique gifts and talents are often creatively channeled through our work in the world. Yet we struggle to remember this divine truth: each of us is magical and miraculous!

I want to share how connecting to your innate creativity can not only remind you of what makes you unique but can powerfully impact your business success. According to an IBM survey of more than 1,500 CEOs from 60 countries and 33 industries worldwide, more than rigor, discipline, integrity or even vision, successfully navigating an increasingly complex world will require creativity.

I agree with the findings of the IBM study that creativity is essential to business success in today’s marketplace. People often ask me, “how can I be more creative in my business?” In order to be more creative, you have to believe you are creative. 

As a child, I loved to draw. Nothing made me happier than a brand new box of crayons, the box of 64 with the sharpener on the back. I would open the box and smell the waxy smell. In that box was a world of dreams and possibilities… until that dream got shattered by a parent, teacher or peer proclaiming, “that doesn’t look like a horse.”

I sold my first piece of art in high school, making a custom stained glass window for a local Italian restaurant. I published my first poem in my twenties, got a dissertation from Stanford in Spanish poetry and have published 3 nonfiction books. I am creative, even though I never got good grades in art classes and got C’s on my poems in high school.

What does this type of creativity have to do with business success? Everything. If I had let my grades or feedback from parents, peers and teachers stop me, I would never have shared another word or piece of art in public.

You see, I kept making art, I kept writing and I started sharing my work with others. Then I started incorporating more artful activities into my business coaching. After a couple of years of working one on one with clients, I realized that I was attracting others who were creative like me – creative in their mindset, their way of thinking and their learning style.

We are all creative, we all still have that inner child within who believes in the dreams she can create from a box of crayons. Don’t believe me? Let’s do a quick creative activity right now to connect to that inner child.

Take out a piece of paper and a pen or some markers or colored pencils. Let’s do a quick sketch series showing how you feel about your business. This is one of my favorite ways to help people connect to their business vision and to the impact they want to create using non-verbal intuitive clues.

This is not about being an artist with a capital A – this is about creative play. Use any scrap of paper, a napkin and a ball point pen. No fancy supplies are necessary although they can make it even more fun.

Step 1. Draw a quick sketch of how you felt about your business one year ago.

Step 2. Draw a quick sketch of how you feel about your business today.

Step 3. Draw a quick sketch of how you want to feel about your business one year from now.

Looking at your sketch of where you want to be one year from now, what do you see? What inspires you? What makes you nervous? Can you see a clear path from where you have been to where you are going?

Staying connected to the vision of what you want to create is a powerful and important part of business success and yet, it’s so easy to get caught up in the daily busyness and task-oriented nature of our work that we forget to focus on what we want most.

Tapping into your creativity with sketching, doodling, journaling or guided visualization will keep you connected to your goals. You don’t have to think your way to business success; you can play your way to business success. In fact, the more playfully you approach building your business, the happier you will be and the easier it will feel.

Scared of marketing? Use mindmaps to plan your content. Don’t like budgets? Use gel pens and sparkly markers to do your numbers. Does making sales calls have you shaking in your boots? Try shaking off the nerves to your favorite dance music.

Your creativity may not manifest through art. Perhaps you love to make music, sing in the shower, create awesome handouts or design retreats for your clients. Perhaps you are a creative problem solver who adores technology.

The way you see the world is creative and it’s your biggest asset. Why? Because your creativity is what attracts people to you, it’s what sets you apart. And the more willing you are to share your magical, miraculous creative self with the world, the more your business will grow.

What’s Your Creative Business Archetype: Mentor, Maverick, Maker?

The Creative Business Archetype quiz will help you determine if you are building the RIGHT type of business. This is not the usual personality quiz but instead centers on the type of work you love to do, your core values and how you prefer to connect with people. Knowing which business model is best for your creative archetype will help you to build a profitable business model doing meaningful work that you love!

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Minette Riordan About Minette Riordan

Dr. Minette Riordan has been called a modern Renaissance woman. She is a lover of art, poetry and mythology and a complete geek who digs discussing business strategy. One of her core values is continuous improvement; she is a seeker, wanderer and adventurer who loves dragons and coffee. Most days you can find her supporting her creative clients to build profitable businesses. And on other days you can find her in her art studio covered in paint. To follow her creative journey visit