Creativity, Passion, and the Entrepreneurial Spirit
Name any business that has changed the world in the past ten years, and you’ll find a common core. While they might address different customer needs with different products and services, they overlap in the passion their founders brought to bear in their formation, and the energy that still pulses through them today. Whenever we create a graphic recording for folks like Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates, we are struck as much by the personal enthusiasm they bring to their work as we are by their intelligence or business savvy.
At ImageThink, we are true believers in the importance of work that moves you. And we’re passionate about the power of visual thinking to help you find it. In Draw Your Big Idea, ImageThink cofounders Nora Herting and Heather Willems drew on their own experience as entrepreneurs to give readers the visual toolkits they need to map their big ideas from ideation through execution.
Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or simply looking to find new energy in your current position, here are a few visual exercises to unearth what drives you… and the ways it can support a business.
Reconnect With What Moves You
In the day to day hustle, it’s easy to lose sight of what motivates you on a personal level. But finding time to reconnect with what gets you up in the morning, and finding ways to integrate it into your daily tasks, will only make you shine brighter on a professional level. It will invest meaning into your workload in a way that simply aiming to reach a number or quota can’t. And it can keep you from feeling burned out at the end of the day, because you’ll feel enriched by your work rather than drained by it.
While creative endeavors are often painted as separate from business results, we believe that incorporating creative skillsets into your work life can greatly improve both. You might be surprised by the way that your interests can serve in your career.
Inspired to write? Bring your literary skills to the company newsletter or blog.
Graphic design aficionado? Create a visual pipeline for your company’s sales process.
Having trouble finding your core motivators? Oftentimes what motivates us sits between what we love and what challenges us. Use the chart above, from Draw Your Big Idea, to uncover the parts of your day that both inspire and challenge you.
Learn What Energizes You
There’s not a job in the world that doesn’t have its dull moments or its share of tedium. But identifying the tasks that give you energy, and splicing them into your day at strategic moments, can help you take a break while still getting important work done.
Not sure where your energy comes from? To improve the quality of your day, sometimes it’s important to take a quantitative approach. Whether by hand or by excel, list your day out by the hour, with two columns running beside it. In one column, keep tabs on the task you’re completing. In the other, mark your energy level from 1-5 before starting the task, and once it’s completed. You’ll soon get sense of which responsibilities leave you feeling rejuvenated, and which leave you feeling drained. And while you might not be able to get rid of the latter, you’ll at least be able to plan your day strategically to keep your flow going strong.
It’s important to clarify what activities are not aligned with your passion or long term strategy.
Define What Doesn’t
On the note of tasks that leave you feeling less-than-thrilled, it’s important to know which tasks may be best shared with a trusted colleague or delegated altogether. Articulating what drains you can help you figure out solutions that will keep you focused on the things that you like to do, or approach undesirable tasks in a different way that might produce meaningful results.
While it may feel like you’re conceding in what you’re capable of doing, what you’re actually doing is creating room to grow and giving yourself permission to do so in a way that feels rewarding and enriching.
Find The Why
Getting to the “why” or the underlying value is something that may require some time travel. What were some of the things that excited you as a child, when you didn’t the burdensome filters of adulthood that kept you from what energized you? What did you want to do and be at that point in your life?
Try to think about what some of the underlying reasons are behind the answers from your younger self. Did you want to help people? Were you interested in being an entertaining center of the room? Perhaps you wanted to be at the helm of building something that would change the world as we know it.
Take inventory of what the “why” is for different stages of your life- did they change? Is there a running constant? Getting to some of these insights will help you articulate what you can bring to the lives of your customers, colleagues, and the world at large.
Reconnect With Your Passions And Make Your Ideas Concrete
In Draw Your Big Idea, ImageThink cofounders Nora Herting and Heather Willems provide over 100 drawing exercises that help you sharpen your vision and chart your path for the strategy that will lead to growth in your entrepreneurial projects.