Object Dar't

July 28, 2010

Be Creative in Business!

I recently had the good fortune to stumble across an article "Creativity in Business" by retired Stanford Professor, Michael Ray. Since I regularly blog on creativity, this was a refreshing spin.

Generally, the world tends to define creativity as relating to arts or crafts but Professor Ray pro ports exactly what I have been saying (or vice versa since he's been on the scene a lot longer than I) all along. Every single person IS creative, and imagine my shock when I discovered that his mantra is, "You can live your life as a work of art". HELLO?!?! My blog is Object Dar't, a pun for my last name playing off the french term, object d'art which means "work of art". And my objective for my blog was specifically to touch upon ways that people can begin to see their lives as works of art and themselves as artists!

There's a wonderful quote by George Bernard Shaw that sums up my point, "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." There simply is no YOU to find. You are here to develop all the way from infancy forward and that doesn't stop simply because you hit some magical "adult" number. And while you develop through your life, you learn about who you are and you make progress toward being who you want to be. You are NOT here to eek out an existence working at some lifeless job that gives you a headache just thinking about and living pay check to pay check. Professor Ray's point was to do what you LOVE. This is the secret to be able to wake up in the morning HAPPY! Greeting each day with excitement is the litmus test for whether you are in fact living.

Creative Workgroup in a Meeting
photo by dunleavymatt

Another important point Professor Ray made in his article, was that there ARE people who are creative in business and that makes for their success. Cruise Fast Company's "100 Most Creative People in Business" list and it won't take you long before you understand that these people have a passion for what they do and it comes from a belief they have that they are not willing to compromise. In other words, they will take the risk for what they believe and don't care about the opinion of others. Their success (even monetary!) is simply a byproduct.

Of course that point is equally true in ANYTHING, not just business. So even if you aren't an entreprenuer or a company V.P., it doesn't matter.

I recall my college days when I was a waitress. My parents said the word "waitress" with a sneer. And I admit at first I wasn't proud of what I did. But it paid my bills while I put myself through school. Until one day I realized that I wasn't enjoying it. That's when something life changing happened. I "connected" with one of my customers. For a brief period of perhaps 30 minutes, I connected with a complete stranger in way that I both learned some new things and passed on some things I knew. It was an amazing exchange and the customer left me a $20 tip. In that moment, I GOT that my job as a waitress actually had a much higher purpose. I started to ask myself, "What if God put me here for a reason?"

I began to be willing to change my point of view which ultimately wound up changing my life. I began to see each customer who sat in my section as being my responsibility. If they came in unhappy (which you can't believe how many did!), then it was my mission to see that they left happy and laughing. All it would take was a joke or two and genuine concern for their well-being while they were in my care. Sometimes, my job was to hear what a customer was saying to me. God would speak to me through them sometimes so I made sure to listen. Oddly enough, my tips began to double and triple. I didn't set out for that to happen but it was just a natural byproduct. I gave double and triple of myself without expectation and the universe saw fit to compensate me further in what I was doing.

And when my parents would sneer that I was just a waitress, I would respond back, "Yes, but I'm the best waitress you've ever met and I make more money now than you do at the job you've worked for 13 years." In short, I was creative both in and about my job and that was what made me proud. It also defined in my own mind who I am as a human being and where I fit on this planet.

Whatever you are doing for work, try to change your point of view of that work. It isn't about whether your boss or coworkers are recognizing or appreciating you. Be brave enough to fall in love with what you do and allow yourself to become creative with it. Try to find the ways in which your unique talents can enhance either your job or work place. Then give double or triple of yourself. You'll find some astounding results on the other side of it.