It’s been a few weeks now since I’ve been back in California following an amazing trip to London. The weird thing for me was that I was over there for a month, but I stepped back into my life and surroundings here back home almost seamlessly and almost immediately. After two days it honestly felt like I hadn’t left at all, and London began to seem like some sort of dream. That really is the best way that I can explain and describe it – because coming back home felt like waking up from an alternate reality into my real existence.
I know, I know, I really have no business trying to be either transcendent or poetic. So I’ll stick to what it is that I do best… which I still haven’t figured out yet. In any event, although I got some work and research done in London, it really was much more of a vacation than I intended it to be, and as I find myself returning to my reality, I also must return to my occupation – which just happens to involve trying to figure out what I need to do on a daily basis.
So I come to the subject of entrepreneurial creativity (just as an aside, I am sitting in a cafe, and from the table 10 feet away from me, I just heard “rough sex” said rather loudly… which just completely made me lose my train of thought.) Ahem… so, creativity. And more specifically, the application of it to a pursuit entirely your own which you hope to lead to material wealth. To me, this seems like one of the ultimate forms of creative expression, because the avenues one may pursue are nearly limitless, and are not constrained by any title or job description, nor are one’s ideas molded or limited by a supervisor’s conception of what should be done.
This is also, alas, one of the great drawbacks. Because in a world or nearly unlimited possibility, where do you go?
This is the issue I have been struggling with. Prior to now, in every occupational facet of my life, I have had structure of one kind or another. Even when I ran my own lab and had complete freedom to work on projects of my choosing, there was a framework set in place to define the ultimate goals of any work I did.
One of the best sources I have discovered for new ideas and entrepreneurial creativity is simpler than you would think: other people. Sometimes we are so close to what we are doing that not only do we not see flaws in our plans, but we can be completely blind to new possibilities and avenues of exploration. Sometimes we may dismiss an idea out of hand, without really analyzing it because it doesn’t fit into the mold of what we have been working with. But another person may be able to see the potential in that idea and their support for it can make all the difference.
Other people also have completely different life experiences and will approach thing from different angles and their perspective is invaluable. What is difficult in this for me is that I attack so many problems in my life completely on my own – not wishing to rely on anyone, but more deeply I think it’s because I don’t wish to burden anyone else with a responsibility I think should be mine and mine alone. When I ran a marathon last year I could have chosen to do something like Team in Training, which is completely focused on motivation through group training and support. Instead, I went the complete opposite route and did almost 100% of my runs alone. So the realization that I can’t do everything alone took me a while to fully process.
But now that I have realized that I can rely on others I think I will be a lot more creative, a lot more productive, and quite a bit happier.