It’s a real blessing to work in a creative field. I can’t think of many jobs that challenge both the left brain and right brain quite like mine. But one thing I’ve found is that many marketers don’t embrace the creative part of the business, instead relying on agencies to tell them what’s “creative” or “relevant,” mainly because it’s outside of their comfort zone, or don’t feel comfortable with the rationale for a creative business solution, and hand that thinking off to an “expert,” to trust what they are told, no questions asked.
My advice to those folks: Stay curious.
Curiosity an invaluable tool that deepens the well of knowledge that can be tapped to solve business problems and keeps you connected to different cultures and generations. This doesn’t have to be something on the “to do” list, but just taking something you love in every day life and taking it a set farther. It also helps you attack problems from new directions and see opportunity in new places.
If you like classical music, look for a hip-hop instrumental playlist on Spotify. You might find out you love Wu-Tang or Gang Starr and not even know it.
If you like film, find a Criterion Edition of your favorite movie and listen to the director’s commentary. You’ll find a new appreciation of the art of crafting great video.
If you like to travel, find a history of the next city you visit. You’ll see how so many different factors created the small details you’ll see in each neighborhood. The effects of politics, human geography and the elements on architecture and urban planning will suddenly reveal themselves, and you might find history in something as simple as a garden wall.
If you love the outdoors, try a new hobby. You might find that the perspective or discipline required in a new activity can catalyze a new way of working or simply help you work off stress.
We live in a time where so much is convenient and we think we have too much on our plate. But bringing some intellectually curiosity to our lives can help us grow professionally and work beyond our comfort zone and maybe just give us the confidence to do the best work of our lives.