When I was a kid, I loved to come up with business ideas. In 4th grade, I started a staple necklace business. Yes, I made necklaces out of staples and sold them. I would sit in class with my mini stapler, collecting staples to link together into necklaces. I thought it was a great way to take an idea I had, and make a business out of it without needing much to start. Plus, what could go wrong?
When you take what you know how to do and find a creative outlet, it’s easy to hide it from others. It is also easy to think that what you are working on is nothing but a silly little project, and that sharing with others will lead to ridicule and strange looks.
Don’t be afraid to stand out a little.
Sharing your creativity, and expressing it in ways that only you can is the only way to get better and to live a life filled with creativity.
If you are at work and notice a different way of doing something, speak up. Better yet, give it a try. Put forth the extra effort and come up with a way to demonstrate your creative idea to your managers in a way they will appreciate. Even if they decide not to move forward with it, you will have shown initiative, and you’ll also have developed confidence in your ability to accomplish your goals. And confidence can go a long way.
Starting a new hobby? Don’t be afraid to share that with others. One of my closest friends recently started watercolor painting. As little tokens, she sent out post cards with individualized paintings to some of her friends. It was an awesome gesture and she was able to get feedback from us about her work.
Sharing your creative endeavors and letting people know what you are working on is a great way to get support. Your friends will be there to give you both encouragement and constructive feedback. This will be invaluable in helping you to improve and grow in your passions. It will also help in building a network. The more you show others what you’re capable of, the more they will think of you for opportunities that may fit your skill set and ambitions.
My necklace business was short-lived, however. A friend jokingly pulled on the necklace I had made for myself, causing it to get slightly stuck in my neck, and I had to go to the nurse for her to pull it out. It was just a small pinch, but that was enough for my teacher to ban all staple necklaces.
Of course, I decided that was the perfect time to move on to paper clip necklaces.
Since then, I’ve moved on to numerous business ideas, with each building on what I have learned from the last. Had I held them to myself, I would probably still think that crushed sharp pieces of metal draped around one of the most delicate parts of the human anatomy was a good idea. Instead, I’ve moved on, tried a dozen different ideas, and made great new friends along the way.