The creative entrepreneur

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Life is neither good nor bad – thinking makes it so. Some look at things and ask “Why?” Others look at things that never were and ask “why not?” These two statements amplify the power of the mind to create. The author postulates with striking examples.

One of the most creative people of our times, Walt Disney got his inspiration from the mice that troubled him as he struggled to make an existence for himself in his early days. What most people would have considered to be pests, Walt creatively visualized the form of Mickey and Mini Mouse. Sir Isaac Newton had an apple fall on his head. He could have cursed the apple, but instead, he pondered over why the apple fell. He rationalized that there must be a force pulling the apple downwards. Till then the concept of gravity was unheard of.


The natural, biological evolutionary process is too slow to keep up with the technological and modern day advances. Thus we need to energize our mental faculties to keep up with the demands of the moment. We need our minds to creatively evolve faster. This is what successful people utilize to take them ahead. We will retrogress if we do not know how to handle the change. But for those who know how to leverage the change, the sky is the limit for possible achievement.


The new age entrepreneurs like Kiran Mazumdar Shaw (Biocon), and Jerry Rao (Mphasis) have proved to the world that one can blast onto the corporate scene and make waves. They have proved beyond a shadow of doubt that they have creative talent that they have used to the maximum. In fact this is the impetus that the wannabe entrepreneur in all of us has been waiting for. We know what the Premjis and the Narayan Murthys have done for the IT world. At that time many of us were probably thinking – that must have been luck and timing combined. But India continues to be on the world entrepreneurial map, making inroads into the Forbes billionaire list. Good news for the spirit of innovation and achievement.


Every entrepreneur needs to go for ‘solutions’ where others see ‘problems’. It is in solving other’s problems that we are able to find a niche for ourselves. If we are more creative, we think of better solutions. This will surely take us ahead of the competition. Tom Peters in his masterpiece The Circle of Innovation states, “If the other guy’s getting better, then you’d better be getting better faster than that other guy’s getting better…or you’re getting worse.”


For those of you who doubt what role played by innovation and creativity in today’s world, look around you and see the rate at which products and services are getting obsolete and are being replaced by newer technologies, more innovative and ingenuous practices. Our world is changing rapidly and the only way to stay ahead is to innovate. If you are have a great idea, monopolize the market for a short while, then before competition joins the fray, be the first to leave. Let the others fight for the scraps.


I love the title of the bestseller on change called – It’s not the big that eat the small – it’s the fast that eat the slow. Today’s world needs one to innovate and do so quickly. To hesitate is to lose the First out of the Blocks advantage. Can you think outside the box as suggested by Edward de Bono the father of Lateral Thinking? Can you capitalize on an idea whose time is come? If you can, then you have what it takes to fuel the entrepreneurial spirit through your business. If not, you will be doomed to be a part of the herd. It is better to run ahead of the pack, where there is no competition. Why struggle with the others when you can have it all to yourself for a while? Innovation creates the space that entrepreneurs need to grow and evolve. Do you have what it takes?


We all surely do, and it is time for us to display what the ancient Indians did in Harappa, Mohenjedaro, Halebid or Belur. We need to bring out the creative streak in us and apply this to business. We have it in our genes. Isn’t it time that we brought it to the fore? Let us show the world we mean business. Let the creative genius shine through, and let us add to the Indian GDP. It’s now or never…


“ Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing” said Helen Keller. Do you agree?


Ian Faria is a corporate trainer, motivational speaker and consultant in organizational behaviour and development.


Issue BG39 Jun04