by Doug Patton, author of “Conquering the Chaos of Creativity“
Though entrepreneurs are creative and idealistic, it is always a struggle to challenge the status quo regardless of how much innovation backs your enterprise or how much belief and exertion you have funneled into your dreams. When an idea or venture is our brainchild, it becomes even harder to see beyond that which limits us, moving forward; at times, we cling to flawed ideas based on an incomplete understanding of the problem we are solving. This often results in a solution that is the wrong answer.
A well-conceived and organized problem-solving process will create a problem statement that is highly personalized, highly intuitive, and highly impactful. This process is a must for anyone looking to conquer the chaos of creativity inherent in entrepreneurship.
How does one begin to navigate problem-solving as an entrepreneur?
The Creativity Compass.
When you are lost in the woods, so to speak, the creativity compass can be your most valuable tool. In using it, you discard the baggage of what has accumulated in the journey of creativity to discover new territory.
You begin to use this concept by creating an all-encompassing problem statement that can serve as your true north. This is what you must follow without fail, as it gives you both the awareness and the direction to find the solutions needed for impactful change.
In the process of creating a problem statement and using the creativity compass, it is incredibly important that you remain aware and become open to learning problem-solving techniques. It is a misstep to cling to what you have always done, holding fast to mistakes and wasted energy. You must be committed to innovating your own process, calibrating yourself internally as you do so. If you do this, you will find your way.
Breaking Down Problems.
In problem-solving as an entrepreneur, you must use your problem statement to ask every question you can, as this allows you to generate the most passionate, intense problem awareness possible. This constitutes the master plan and foundation of your creative problem-solving platform.
Though this can be a somewhat repetitive process in which you cycle back and forth, constantly re-visiting ideas, it is one that is necessary. You won’t get anywhere without creating problem awareness, as this is what enables you to break your problem down into its most essential pieces.
At the heart of this process is another primary process that I like to call explore and refine, which generates creativity gravity through constant questioning, attracting ideas to your cause in much the same way that planets are formed through the accumulation of particles. Explore and refine is a three-step process in which you make a decision, refine your ideas to a certain level, and then repeat. Your process becomes more and more focused as you repeat the process over and over again.
As everything merges together, taking spiritual and psychological feedback into account, you experience the powerful transformation of many questions that are integrated into the whole of your creative problem-solving construct. This building up is what breaks down your problem.
Get Started Now — And Don’t Be Afraid to Go Back.
The above techniques are good tools for beginning entrepreneurs and advanced creationists alike. Regardless of your state of readiness or the techniques you want to use, I want to impress upon you that you must get started now and keep going.
Sometimes you will become lost and have to go back to the beginning to re-explore things. You may even feel desperate. This can be discouraging, but please remember that creativity itself is a cyclical process. There is nothing wrong with getting lost or needing to go back to the beginning of your process because in this process, you learn what is both helpful and unhelpful, which is vital information.
Circle back as many times as you need to to redefine the problem and solution statement. You will keep getting closer to the solution with each cycle, also becoming more focused in the process.
I also offer you the tool of future vision, with which there are no limits and everything is possible. In order to move past a problem, I encourage you to dream of a wonderful future with amazing possibilities. This is a great way to break down the barriers of society and technology that constrain us.
Society and culture often trick us into being and feeling limited, and I know that this can very easily be true even for an entrepreneur. Do not fall into this trap. A problem is a great opportunity to visualize what is possible. Imagine near, mid-term, and far futures; examine trends with a scrutinizing eye.
When you’re stuck, just look to the idealized aspects of humanity, as this is your guiding light. How can you help the most people by doing the most good? This is a question that can always re-orient you even when you feel impossibly stuck.
At the end of the day, any entrepreneur is a visionary leader who works to conquer the chaos of creativity in his or her own unique way. You must always strive to show up as that fearless leader even when you feel most unsure or vulnerable. You are the orchestrator, energizer, and inspiration of your group responsible for leading it to a solution.
You must believe that the magic of your vision will have the power to be realized. In embarking on the journey of conquering the chaos of creativity to explore, free your mind, and search for your creative truth, any dream can be achieved. Believe it.
Doug Patton is the author of “Conquering the Chaos of Creativity“. As the CEO of Patton Design, Patton is an esteemed industrial designer who was featured on the ABC show American Inventor. He has created over 300 products in 20 international market categories and has received over 150 patents and international design awards.