Creativity can be elusive. It’s not something that you can summon at will. When it happens, it strikes like lightning. Yet, like lightning, it can be maddeningly unpredictable. However, because creativity is an essential element of a successful business mindset, it is necessary to understand the creative process and how you, the business owner, can cultivate your own creative juices.

The creative process is largely internal and unconscious. No one ever wakes up and says “Hey! Today I’m going to be creative.” Creativity is all about taking in a lot of influences and letting those influences combine, ferment, and morph in your subconscious. Together, they form a sort of mental potting soil where new and different ideas have a chance to germinate and grow. The more things you learn, read, see, and hear, the more creative soil you are able to produce.

So, as a business owner who wants to be creative, the best thing you can do is get out there in the world and open yourself up to new experiences. Be curious about many different things. Develop hobbies. Challenge yourself. Do the unexpected. The more you push your own personal envelope, the more you are charging your own creative batteries. When those batteries are charged, it is much more likely that inspiration will strike, and who knows where that new idea will take you?