I recently returned from my first vacation in 3 years. Not an uncommon situation for a start up founder.
I did a digital detox, changed my routine and worked hard at relaxing. I came back full of energy and ready to execute.
Since I got back, I have made great progress on my big projects.
But when it comes to blogging, I have to admit that it’s been a struggle.
I could not get inspired. I did not feel creative. Day after day I would wait for an idea to strike and…nothing happened.
I was convinced I had an incurable case of writer’s block.
My Aha Moment
I started googling “how writers get inspired.” This is when I realized that entrepreneurs can learn a lot from creatives.
Entrepreneurs get “stuck” all the time. Knowing where to start on a new initiative can leave us perplexed. Our plans can be blocked by unanticipated obstacles that seem insurmountable. Or we can run out of steam mid-way through a project.
Creatives experience these same challenges. Not surprisingly they have some useful insights to share.
Insights from Successful Creatives
Don’t use Inspiration as an Excuse
King revealed the secrets to his success in a memoir called On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.” Here is his take on inspiration:
Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
Jack London was the highest paid American author of his time and one of the first fiction writers to achieve global celebrity.
Jack London rejected the idea of waiting to be inspired.
You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
Don’t be Afraid of Failure
Brian Koppelman is a movie producer and screenwriter who achieved success with movies such as Oceans Thirteen, Solitary Man and The Rounders.
Koppelman believes that people are blocked from reaching their goals because they are scared that what they do won’t be good enough. You need to leave that fear behind and accept that…
Being creative involves massive failure all the time.”
Don’t Exercise Self Judgement
Steven Pressfield wrote “Do the Work” a book designed to coach you through a project and help you overcome resistance points along the way. Every entrepreneur should read it.
Pressfield says that self judgement is a problem. We all have that “You Suck” voice in our heads. It makes us doubt our work. We have to learn to ignore it.
If we want to bring our vision to life we have to…
Get something done no matter how flawed or imperfect.
Gulager was a contestant on Project Greenlight, Season 3. Project Greenlight is a reality tv series where first time Screenwriters compete for the chance to have a script made into a feature film and first time Directors compete for the chance to direct it. The show is hosted and produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.
If you have not seen Project Greenlight, I highly recommend it. It is addictive viewing for entrepreneurs. The making of a feature film is exactly like a start up!
Gulager, a quirky guy who was down on his luck, was chosen to direct the winning script, a horror movie called Feast. At several points during the filming and editing of the movie he has a crisis of confidence and is convinced he can not do this. Even Ben and Matt confess their doubts.
Against the odds, Gulager succeeds and the Feast movie becomes a cult favorite among horror fans.
Gulager overcomes his fears and goes on to direct two Feast sequels as well as two unrelated horror films. He becomes a successful Director of horror films.
What I Learned
Next time you are stuck,
- Take Action
- Lose your Fear
- Silence the “You Suck” voice.
You never know what you are capable of achieving.
Photo Credit: Nicholas Noyes