seth godin

Seth Godin explains the problem with creativity

Recently I stumbled upon an old podcast interview between two incredibly talented writers and creative thinkers: Seth Godin and Merlin Mann.

In the interview, Merlin gets Seth (who truly is one of the most inspirational people around today) to discuss creativity and that little thing that holds us back, which Seth refers to as “the lizard braind”.

What stands out in this interview is Seth’s explanation of the problem with creativity. Seth explains that we all are creative, the problem isn’t that we’re not creative. The problem, as Seth somewhat puts it, is that we don’t act on our ideas.

It’s too easy – and safe – to let our creativity slide. To think of an idea and then brush it aside saying things like “that will never work” or ”people will laugh at me.” The problem as Seth describes it (and as I see it as well) is that we don’t actively use our creativity.

These days the risk is so minimal that anyone can afford to do remarkable things. The worst thing that could happen is nobody notices!

So today, don’t sit around idly waiting or pushing aside your creative ideas. Get out there and show the world what you’ve got. You have so little to lose!

Don’t forget to listen to the full interview too, as there’s tons of wonderful insights inside.

Seth Godin and what it takes to be creative

Famous author and blogger, Seth Godin, is a creative genius.

But Seth is not a creative genius because he is more creative than you or I. Seth is a genius because he knows what it takes to really be creative. He has said in the past that creativity comes from boundaries and knowing where the edge of an idea lies.

Recently Seth wrote a blog post about what it means to be creative, and his description may surprise you.

Again linking back to his original thoughts on creativity and boundaries, Seth writes: “For me, creativity is the stuff you do at the edges. But the edges are different for everyone, and the edges change over time.”

How true is that? What you think is routine, something you do everyday (whether it’s in your work, or not), other’s may find creative inspiration from. The boundaries of our lives, the edge of everything we do, are creative in some way or another. It’s just a matter of finding the edges of everything you do in order to find your creativity.

In order to find the edges of what you do – and to be truly creative – you could simply ask other’s around you for their thoughts.

Ask the people you work with what you do that makes you creative? Ask other’s if there is something you do that always blows them away or makes them say –I wish I could do that!–

Read Seth’s full post here, then find your edges (and if you don’t think you are creative, stretch what you do a little to be creative)!

Seth Godin explains real creativity

When it comes to creative marketing, there is one man who stands out from the rest; he has written countless bestselling books, talked in front of the world’s fastest growing business (Google), and has even presented at one of the world’s greatest thinking conferences (TED). Of course I’m talking about Seth Godin.

On his world-famous, top-ranking blog, Seth Godin talks about business marketing, insider tips, and other creative insights into the world of advertising, but Seth also once posted about “real creativity”, what it is, and where it comes from. Here’s what Seth had to say about real creativity:

…Real business creativity comes from boundaries.

Inventing something cool that can’t be implemented isn’t creative. It’s mostly a waste. I think that inventing the unimplementable [sic] is a fine hobby, but it’s also a bit of a crutch. Yes, of course we need big visions and big ideas, but not at the expense of the stuff you can actually pull off. …If you’ve decided you want to create a breakthrough in your area of expertise (say …coding), then either be prepared to launch and run it when you’re done, or have a clear licensing strategy in mind, one where you’re not the first person in history to pull it off.

If you’ve decided to invent a great idea for a book, better be ready to write it too, and either find a publisher or publish it yourself. There’s no market for book ideas.

If you want to do creative ads, it helps to have clients willing to run them.

These constraints are the best part of being creative, as far as I’m concerned. I couldn’t imagine writing Superman comics. The rules are too vague. There are too many choices. In non-profits and organizations and even in politics, the rules are pretty obvious (sometimes they’re too obvious). So the real creativity comes in navigating those rules in a way that creates a breakthrough. …See the rules. Keep most of them. Break one or two. But break them, don’t bend them.

Real creativity comes into play when you accept that there are boundaries, you move around them (or completely break a few of them), and you find ways to implement your ideas. Any idea that sits in your thoughts or on a piece of paper is not as valuable as an idea that is implemented.