How do you evolve while still staying true to your core values?

As business artists, we are blessed and cursed with a generative mind – the ability to come up with lots of ideas. But this comes with a specific problem: which idea is the right one for us to pursue, and when?

Sunni Brown, named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, nailed the problem this way: “Discerning which opportunities to pursue has been a bogeyman in my creative work for years. I just couldn’t settle on the criteria for choosing.”

In the world of business, it’s highly likely that you will have faced the challenges of communicating with people from different backgrounds and fields of expertise. Numerous big brands – from Lincoln Motor Company to Starbucks – have gotten off-track as they’ve grown. Part of what helped them get back on-track and open to new possibilities was returning to their founding values.

How do you pick the right ideas and make sure that you’re evolving in a way that aligns with your core values?

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Turning Criticism Into Action

In working with so many creatives and entrepreneurs over the years, I’ve found that typically humans react to rejection in one of two ways.

  1. The Stiff Upper Lip: We put our heads down and try to carry on as if nothing happened, making sure not to demonstrate even a trace of emotion.
  2. We let it all hang out: Tears, rants and all.

Sound familiar?

While these are understandable responses to the initial sting of rejection, neither work as a sustained coping mechanism. The brutal truth of the world of business and entrepreneurship is that criticism is inevitable. Sustaining a fear of failure – in whatever guise it presents itself – can lead to you doing nothing at all.

Success, no matter what certain parts of the internet might want to tell you, isn’t about a sudden flash of victory. Instead it takes time, effort, and dedication to master your field – all of which involves being vulnerable to rejection, and open to the potential inherent in failure.
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Best in Brand & Innovation for March

Photo by Kaique Rocha on Pexels

Every month we bring you the best articles we find in brand, innovation, and creativity.

March’s digest applies theory and philosophy to creativity and branding. And while one author pushes companies to embrace the third industrial revolution, another uses timeless principles for brands to put into action. We read about productivity as a science and creativity as an art. Read on.

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Why Prototyping is More Important than Perfection

Why Prototyping Is More Valuable Than Perfection

We all know the excitement of planning. It allows you to create the perfect set of circumstances for the realization of your idea. And that idea – whether your book, a product, or change in career direction – could, without hyperbole, change the world. The planning stage is exciting and ripe with possibility. 

As a professional, you need to cultivate excellence as an important habit.

Yet big ideas also come with big fears. The fear of failure. The fear you might not make it. The fear of humiliation. Before you can even get started, you’ve convinced yourself that it will never work and hedged yourself off at that pass.

If this is you, you’re not alone.

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How Do you Fail Well? – Life Is An Experiment (Video)

In her latest book InGenius, Tina Seelig of Stanford University says failure is really just “collecting data.” Creative, innovative people and small business owners must put themselves “out there” and risk failing.

Imagine building your flexible, agile, and evolving brand or business in an environment where you are encouraged to test stuff out and fail, a Lab of sorts.

Life is an experiment. So is growing a brand.

What will you test out today with this one wildly astonishing life?

Want to learn more about how you can test out more with your brand in a new series of experiences we are hosting this year? Sign up here to get more information and first access.

 

 

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How To Handle the Creative Art of Fear

Photo by Leio McLaren on Unsplash

Launching a new business, or a new venture can keep us up all night in fear. So can writing a book. Or shifting creative media as a professional. When it comes to heading into the unknown, fear of what’s ahead can override all joyful anticipation.

There are always going to be certain points in your life to experience fears and doubts – in fact, it’s completely natural that at some point or another, everyone is going to face moments of professional self-doubt or uncertainty.

In some ways, this can be a positive experience. We know that not all stressors are bad stressors and, with the right handling, can be used to motivate and inspire. Yet when fear and doubt are given the freedom to override any other way of thinking, we stop being able to think clearly and find it impossible to progress on our projects.

So what do you do if you find yourself in a place of paralysis, where fear and the doubt have stopped your business creativity or development flow?

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Antidote to Perfectionism – Experiment Like A Scientist (Video)

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I have a drive to perfect and yet I’m careful now not to let that drive turn into perfectionism (mostly).

Perfectionism is a serious condition. It can stall otherwise talented, hard-working people like you from advancing your best ideas, having the kind of impact you ache for, engaging your ideal clients or community, and earning the return you deserve.

So, what is the antidote to perfectionism?

Testing it out, experimenting, prototyping. 

Life is an experiment. So is growing a brand.

What will you test out today with this one wildly astonishing life?

Want to learn more about how you can test out more with your brand in a new series of experiences we are hosting this year? Sign up here to get more information and first access.

 

 

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How to have Conversations that Drive Successful Collaborations

Conversation at its root – con-vers – is “a state of turning with” somebody else in talk rather than turning against them. It’s the difference between really attuning to other people and following the course of conversation or trying to force a talk into an argument or posture of defense.

What if you could finesse the art of conversation to advance your best ideas forward?

It can be easy to think that, as professionals and entrepreneurs, you are single-handedly responsible for every aspect of your project or venture. In many cases that’s true – as business owners, professionals, designers, and business artists, solitude is a necessity to allow you to focus on your goals and solve complex problems.

Conversation, on the other hand, can incite moments of discovery and wonder that can advance your project forward.

How do you best use the power of conversation to engage in meaningful, fruitful collaboration? (more…)

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How To Say No To Your Bad Habits

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As an accomplished professional, what distracting mental clutter is holding you back from advancing your best work?

Maybe you’ve carved your own niche as a professional, business owner, or creative worker. Time is shaped according to what works best for you, rather than having to twist yourself to somebody else’s schedule. Your business is making money, and you’re getting through your to-do list.

Yet it doesn’t feel quite right.

While you’re crafting your business model and establishing yourself as a business artist, there’s still a lack of fulfillment. There might even be a nagging feeling that you’re not quite on the right path. You’re busy, but it also feels like you’re not really getting anything done.

Perhaps you keep having great ideas, but the ideas never get further than the first draft. You know that your business goals are clear and that whatever your project is could conceivably change the future for the better. Yet there’s always another great idea, another way that you can make a difference, and before you know it, you have more ideas than you have time.

Or maybe you’re working so hard, but it doesn’t feel like your team around you are. The little things are starting to build up to feeling active resentment to those around you, and as a result, your personal and professional relationships are suffering. You don’t feel like you have time to stop and take stock of what’s going on around you because if you do, you can’t trust those around you to pick up the slack.

If any of these feel familiar, then you may find that there are some unchecked cognitive patterns that are holding you back from doing your best work.

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