Recently I did a LIVE recording of the podcast in our Facebook group to answer questions.
Someone asked, “How do I get into a creative mindset?”
Now, before you think I’m going to go all “woo woo” on you and talk about the mindset I think this is a really interesting question that needs to be considered.
As an entrepreneur and agency owner, you need to create things.
In order to create those things, you need more than just time.
You need the energy to create.
Most agency owners are constantly serving their clients that they never have time to spend (or the energy) to create for their own business.
As a business owner, CREATION is super important because on the other side of creation you’ll get things like…
Better results for YOU
Better results for your CLIENTS
More out of your team
So, in this episode, I break down how you can get into a creative mindset so you can transform from…
Passive Consumer to Active Producer.
Consumers spend money.
Producers create money.
Entrepreneurs = PRODUCERS
So if you’ve been feeling like you’re burnt out…
Or are lacking that drive, motivation creativity needed to grow…
We’re going to cover what I’ve been working on in my life that helped with not only my business but my personal life as well.
Transcript / MP3
Greg Hickman here and in this episode I want to talk about how to get into a creative mindset.
In our free private Facebook group called the scalable service provider, (which you should be in by the way), one of our members, Michael asked how do you get into a creative mindset, and I actually did a Facebook live covering this topic and things that I do.
This is a topic that is very near and dear to my heart and also very relevant from a timing perspective of things I’ve been going on in my life and my business.
So I’m super pumped to share some of these tips with you.
So let’s hop on over to the Facebook live that I did in that group and let’s listen along how to get into a creative mindset.
Let’s do it.
For three years, my agency built funnels and automation systems for the biggest names in marketing today. Since then, I’ve transformed that agency into a hyper profitable training and consulting business. While everyone is out there talking about scale like it’s some sort of destination, we’ll be asking the real question, how do you transform your business into a more scalable model using the knowledge, skills, and expertise that you already have? This podcast is here to give you the answer and join me in following along as I learn, apply and share the strategies I’m using to build my multimillion-dollar business. My name is Greg Hickman and welcome to Scalable.
what’s going on guys. So in this episode, I want to talk about how to get into a creative mindset. Uh, some of you that are in our free Facebook group called the scalable service provider might have seen, I asked the group what questions do you have for me if you want me to record a live episode? So this is it, my friends, this is the first live podcast episode being recorded here. And Michael asked, how do I get into a creative mindset? And the reason why I wanted to cover this topic first is actually a couple of reasons. One, um, over the last 120 days or so, I’m kind of more on the, the early part of that experience. Um, I went through a little bit of burnout and, uh, I felt like I didn’t have my creativity. And so this question actually really hit home because there are a lot of things that I did to kind of get my creativity back, uh, so to speak.
And so when I saw that, uh, I instantaneously, I just jumped to a piece of paper and I wrote down a handful of high level things that I want to talk about that I’ve done to really get, uh, my creative mindset back and as entrepreneurs, people that are building businesses. Um, once one of my mentors, Dan Martell, uh, made this comment once that said, uh, he said something like, CEOs spend 75% of their time thinking. And you know, at the time I had been spending like 0% of my time thinking, um, maybe like 1%. And so, um, I needed to figure out how do I, how do I spend more time thinking? Right? I was caught up in a lot of the weeds. This is a huge reason why I am in love with systems and automation and helping entrepreneurs tap into and harness them because it frees them up from a lot of the doing in their business and positions them to bring in other people to help with the doing, remove them from certain areas where they’re the bottleneck and allocate that time to thinking and creation.
Because if we’re not creating as the owner of our business as we are, if we’re not creating as entrepreneurs, like we’re gonna have a difficult time, I think connecting with our audience, um, which is going to turn into lead generation, which is going to turn into sales and being able to build rapport, open the doors to new opportunities like speaking and things like that. And also just staying on top of, of innovation. And so when Michael asked this, it definitely hit home. So first I kind of want a high level, I’m going to be jumping a little bit back and forth between, you know, camera and iPad. So if you end up listening up, if you end up listening on iTunes or Spotify or something like that and you want to hop into the video on youtube, by all means do. So. I think everything that I talked through will be perfectly, um, you know, you’ll be perfectly fine to just listen if you didn’t have video.
So you know, this, this notion of, of creative mindset, right? Um, I think first the question is, you know, which I asked Michael, but I haven’t heard back yet, is like, you know, elaborate on this, you know, why do you feel like you don’t have a creative mindset and what are you doing right now too to try to fix that? Right? So when I think of creative mindset, obviously I instantaneously just go to creation. Like right now I’m in creation and I will show you guys, like one of my tips is all around how do you manage your time? And I actually have time. I use time blocking, which is something that, um, you know, you’ve probably not new to many of you as entrepreneurs, but I block my time in a specific way that is like literally called creation time. Uh, and I manage a lot of my time in that way, creation time versus managed time.
So, um, here’s the deal for me, I was like, let’s look at why the not creating might be a problem. Right? Um, you know, for me I felt like I lost my voice. So, you know, I was consuming a lot of information, but I wasn’t necessarily creating anything. And thus I felt like I just sounded like other people and my thoughts just didn’t feel like were my own. Right. And so maybe that’s you where you haven’t been creating, because every time you’ve tried you just feel like you’re regurgitating something else. Now obviously modeling and taking in good information and then spinning it into your own viewpoint is, is totally fine. But sometimes when a, I think you get stuck in this, this kind of lull, so to speak of, you know, not feeling creative, you probably just feel robotic. And that you’re creating for creation sake and you end up in your own mind sounding like someone else. And, and that’s kind of what I felt like. I felt like I lost my voice. So that could be a problem as to, you know, if you don’t have a creative mindset right now, I think another problem is that, um, as I dropped my pen,
you stall, right? So actually to clarify that your growth stalls. So kind of nearing the end of a, what year are we in 2019 nearing the end of 2018 I kind of went through this, this Lowell and um, because of that, our growth like really, really slowed down. Um, and for me, like I think the lack of creation actually started then, but the growth stalling kind of hit me about 90 days later. And so this is kind of a, a high level lesson that you’ve all probably heard before, but like, you know, your results today are the byproduct of your actions 90 plus days ago.
So I kinda got into this law and because of that, my creation slowed down and in many cases stopped, right? Every time I would go to create, I just didn’t feel like myself. Um, so thing like obviously this podcast is new, this podcast didn’t exist. I had ideas for what I wanted to do, but I wasn’t creating anything. And so, you know, low and behold that caught up with me and you know, the beginning of 2019 was a little bit slower than we had anticipated, right? Because of this lag of the actions that I had, you know, in this case not been pursuing. Right. So maybe you’re in a position where, um, you’re starting to feel the stalling of your business or maybe stalling in other areas because that are impacted from creativity. And that actually is a result of stuff that you were probably doing 90 to 120 plus days ago.
So when you first, when you first start trying to figure out, well, what happened, which I think you should do, is if you feel like you don’t have a creative mindset or it went away, you should be backtracking and looking at your life. And like what, where was I, you know, 90, 90 ish days ago? What were the things that I was doing? Were any, anything significant in my life happening? Um, because that might start to point you to specific areas that you need to focus on. Right? Um, so not having a creative mindset, you know, I felt like I lost my voice, the growth stalls. Um, I got disconnected from my audience, I felt like a and prospects. And so when you’re disconnected from your audience and your prospects, that will kind of play out in a situation where you’re probably not your market, your marketing doesn’t land as well.
Your sales conversations don’t go as well. Right. And it kind of goes back to, you know, grow, stalling, et cetera. But you know, let’s look at then the possibility, right? So the possibility if you have the creative mindset is you kind of become, you produce yourself, you know, produce into leadership so to speak. Like I’m producing so much content right now. It’s crazy. I’m producing content for our clients. I’m producing content for the podcast, I’m producing content and training for my team because we’re growing over there. Uh, all of these things like it allows me to become a better leader because I’m constantly creating stuff that is helping us grow, right? And so, um, we accelerate XO or rate, um, you know, and build momentum.
Uh, you know, as you start having a creative mindset, um, I’d like to think you’d increase obviously what you’re producing, you know, increased production. And when I think of production, I look at a handful of different things and um, you know, one of the other questions was where do you start to systemize in your business? And you know, t this kind of covers that a little bit. When I think of production. Like there are certain areas within my business that I produce, right? This is not just like production, like filming and content production is things like marketing,
right? Like this video right now could be considered, uh, you know, marketing. We have advertising, you know, what are we doing there? We have sales. Okay, we have fulfillment.
Like, what are we creating to help our clients, uh, you know, get better results. Um, you know, we have, I’ll just kinda say team, like think like HR slash ops. Um, you know, put finance in there. I’ll just put ops, you know, ops, that’s like things like finance and legal. Like, hey, sometimes we got to create stuff that helps the legal team or our financial advisors, you know, to help us make better decisions. So like, these are all areas in which you can be producing,
right? So depending on what you’re trying to create, right? Like, I need to have a creative mindset and room for creation, AK production. And these are areas in which I’m producing in my business. Now, a, you know, for these four, um, you know, we focus on things like automation systems. Um, yeah,
sequencing, like what’s, what are we doing in the right order, right? Uh, people that are filling the gap within certain areas, right? So I’m producing automation systems and things that apply to marketing, advertising, sales, fulfillment. These are the core functions of a business, right? So those are the commonly the areas that I want to be producing in. And by having a creative mindset, having the bandwidth and capacity to create is allows me to do that. And I think ultimately when you have a creative mindset, um, you know, you accelerate, but like you will, I believe become the best version of yourself. And I think you’re going to have a new connection with your market.
Like I’m feeling, you know, I’ve recorded a lot of episodes at this point. Um, you know, this is going to probably be episode like 29 and we’ve only released, I think episode nine released today. Um, like I am producing a lot of content for this show and like it’s just coming naturally. I mean, this question came in and boom, I’m like, I’m in production mode right now. So let me share some principles that I can not spell today. By the way, guys, writing and talking is a skill that I did not realize. I didn’t have until I started doing this. A. So bear with me. So here are a couple of principles. Um, first for me, I had to eliminate the noise right now some of you might be watching this and listening to this at some point and realize that this is noise for you and obviously that sucks for me, but like I want to do what’s in your best interest.
So like if you listen to this show and I would say eliminate noise in that, like it starts to make you feel bad about yourself or feel negative, um, and maybe you jump into comparison mode for some reason. Like I would call that noise and you’d want to delete that. Right? So I have found that there were certain people that our fault I was following, um, even some that I really respect that made me feel not good. And so I stopped following them. Uh, I installed, um, you know, Facebook news feed eradicator. Uh, so I don’t really see anything in my feed. Um, I took Facebook off my phone every once in a while, I’ll put it back on, depending upon, uh, you know, the timeframe. I usually do it to do videos into our client group if I’m on the go, but deleted Facebook on my phone.
I went from, I think I was following some around like 2000 some odd people on Instagram. I think I followed less than 200 now. Um, and all of the accounts and things that I’m follow are things that inspire me, uh, and kind of get my creative juices flowing versus going into that mode of I’m comparing myself, you know, to somebody else. Right. And you know what, a lot of people want to avoid this topic. I think it’s a real problem and it was a problem for me. And you know what? Even if it was someone that I really like and respect, if I saw it and I went into compare mode and like, oh, like I’m not as good as them, um, I’m less than or whatever. Like I just hit it. Right. I just got it out of my view. So you might need to find like, you might find that your lack of creation is because you’re, you now are comparing yourself to something that, um, you shouldn’t be comparing yourself to and vice versa. And now because of that, you’re, you’re in a creation low. So first one, eliminate the noise. So, um, for me, um, you know, delete Facebook app on the phone. Um, Facebook newsfeed, eradicator a was another one. Um, you know, lower people that I was following on Instagram. I left a lot of Facebook groups. Please don’t leave our group. Um, hopefully we’re not that to you. If I am, I, I’m sorry, but I know it also has nothing to do with me. Um, you know, I lowered my Instagram following account. Now the second principle is really one of the most important one, make time for creation. So in my calendar you’ll see that I have, um, creation blocks and manage blocks and I’ll quickly show you that right now it’s like, here’s a look at my calendar for this week, right? Like, like almond content outline record. Like this is a creation block. You’ll see the ivy and have stuff listed like creation sales meetings. Okay. This is actually, you know, for me sales is creation. Like I’m creating revenue. Um, I have a creation block here, which is my Wednesdays are my sales calls creation, no meetings.
This is where I’m working on any ancillary create creative stuff. Um, I had a creation block yesterday which was for some sales. Um, so I have these blocks recurring on my calendar each and every week. Right now as I’m do my Sunday planning, I’ll come into the creation block and I’ll define what the creation is going to be for. And so I assign that block to something that I’m going to create this time that I’m in right now. As you can see right here, I’m wrapping up a creation block and I’ve made this creation block, a recurring creation block where I’m always working on my podcast and creating content. And this will become obviously as you’re listening to this as what does a podcast, so like you got to make time for creation, right? Ooh, that’s some email copy that we are working on. So we’ve got to make time for the creation.
So where on your calendar are you guys creating? Um, you know, I’m trying to do at least, uh, you know, 10 hours a week of creation if I can. Um, and for me that’s really like not including sales calls. Um, so finding that time, uh, is really important. You know, one of you says almost all of my time is on managing. Yeah, that’s not good. How often do you optimize your time blocks? So, um, we plan our business on 90 day sprints and based on what the goals are, I really kind of, I revamp my own routine every pretty much every 90 days. Um, cause you know, seasons change, schools in schools out, you know, as my son gets older, um, I’m either running earlier in the morning or later in the day cause it’s warmer. So like my routine is changing pretty much every 90 days. Thus my calendar needs to change.
But the notion of I always have creation blocks, I always have managed blocks always remains to be true. And it’s just where are those on my calendar at the time. So we have like a default calendar that like I put into an excel spreadsheet, I map it out, we call in our business, we call it the optimize work week, and it’s a methodology that, um, all of our clients go through. And our team, we do it every 90 days. We adjust our calendar for, you know, all of the important things, right? So, uh, first we start with, you know, self care and you know, stuff like family. Like I blocked all of that stuff. First the vacations I want to go on, when am I running, when am I taking care of myself? Um, you know, that’s like the first thing, you know, then we go into things like, you know, creation.
Then I go into things like, you know, manage time and manage time for me are things like, um, doing tasks that other people need from me within the team. Um, then we have meeting time. I make a certain amount of time for meetings, you know, potential partnership opportunities, interviews, blah, blah, blah. Um, you know, I have buffer time. You know, within my self care I have, you know, study time. Um, I’m doing some sort of reading or studying every single day. And so like I go in this order and I block out time and then every, every Sunday I plan out my week and I plan out my week using a system called bullet journal. Um, it’s, there’s a book on it, but like I basically list out, you know, for, for my week. Um, I can quickly show you like for my week I list out like all of my activities and then I start assigning them two days. Uh, so I know like what days I’m working on something. And typically I don’t have more than three things that I’m working on in any given day. Uh, I usually, I’ll like tire out after that. So do, do less stuff, but do more of the right stuff. So make time for creation. Number three is I say a, I’ll say create the power needed for creation.
So look, you might not have enough energy to create, and that’s a problem, right? And this is why, you know, the, the, let me go back to this. So create the power needed for creation. Um, and you know, that’s why I focus a lot on self care and family stuff. Um, many of you may know. Um, I started following, uh, I adopted a, a habit system called core four. Um, it is, uh, originally created by Garrett j Garrett j white of wake up warrior. And it’s a part of my routine. And basically I wake up somewhere between five and five 30 every single day and I go into my core four. My core four focuses on, I’m not, I’ll do a whole video on this at some point, but my body, my being, my balance and my business. Now my business is last. And so my body, I’m sweating.
I’m giving myself the [inaudible], the appropriate fuel, a green smoothie, I’m meditating, I’m journaling, I’m making deposits, my relationship with my wife, sharing love, appreciation and gratitude. I’m doing the same with my son. I’m either reading to him or I sing to him in our car, ride to a daycare. And then my business, I’m learning something new every single day, whether it’s from listening to a podcast or reading a book. Um, and those are basically for me based on what I’m trying to learn at that time because what I think happens a lot, and I was guilty of back to eliminate the noise. I was, um, learning a lot of stuff that was just in case.
So there’s a lot of you that might be doing like just in case learning, like some point I’m gonna need this. So like let me learn it right now. Uh, I’ve been focused on just in time learning. Okay. So like, oh, I want to learn more about leadership because we’re going to be going about hiring or I want to learn about hiring. Like I’m going to go find the books, talk to people about hiring. Like my consumption will be based on the thing that I need to be focused on. And the thing that I need to be focused on typically is aligned with our 90 day goals. Okay. So for me, every morning I’ve before you know, 9:00 AM I’ve done more for myself and my mind than most people have done in a week. Right? And so like I’ve meditated, my mind is clear. I’ve journaled, I’ve gotten all of that stuff out of my brain of express gratitude have made contributions into my relationship with my, my wife and my son.
Um, I’ve learned something new. I’m feeding my brain with something about business that’s going to help me grow. And then the last piece about businesses declaring it is sharing it. So that’s why you see me post on Facebook or in this group with comments. Um, make videos like this. I share training with my team that I’m creating to share what it is that I’m learning. So the best way to get better at, um, and kind of solidifying what’s in your mind is to teach it to somebody else. So every single day I am learning something new, which might take five minutes. It doesn’t need to be reading a hundred pages of a book. Like the second I get a nugget and a book, I’m going to think how that applies to me and my team and or you guys and I will share that, right? So I get better at teaching, I get better at communicating because I’m constantly doing it.
So this starts to build, you know, this is a habit system. The core four is a habit system and many of you, there’s a video coming out soon on the podcast and actually at the time of this episode you can go back and listen to it. It’s called the four systems of a CEO because everyone you know, talks about, you know, the business, you know, it’s just like sales, marketing, delivery, et cetera. But like all of it starts with you. And you need to have habits, systems, you need to have planning systems. We have creation systems and we have accountability systems, right? So like these are all systems that you need to start installing as an owner to be able to create, right? Like the reason I have this block is because I have an that I’m able to create three, five videos in this block every single Tuesday is because I’ve done my core four already. I’ve already exercise, I’ve already done all those things I just talked about. Um, I’ve made the time for creation as a part of my planning system, cause my time blocking and I know what I need to create because I’ve planned what I need to create, right? So I get to show up and just boom, I create, right? So you need to create, you need to generate the power required to create. Um, so that kind of leads into number four, which was no what you need to create, right?
I’m not just creating content for content sake, right? This, I actually went in and said, hey, can I answer someone’s question I wanted to serve? Right? So let me answer someone’s question. Michael asked a question about how to get into a creative mindset and this is now why this video and podcast exists, right? This episode. So like know what you want to create. We operate on 90 day sprints. This is what we teach our clients and we focus on anywhere from three to five projects, which boils down to I need to create certain things every single month, 30 days, and then hey, this week, these are my weekly commitments. Like my weekly commitments this week were to record two episodes and at least edit two episodes. Cause right now I’m editing, we’re going to be bringing on an editor here soon. So like I know I’m creating with purpose and intention.
I’m not just creating for creation’s sake. Okay. Um, and the last principle I’ll say is, um, kind of expanding on this, this is more of a freestyle. One is adopt accountability systems, right? And look, there’s only two kinds. There’s internal an external accountability systems. Internal is you doing the time blocking you saying, Hey, I’m going to show up and do this, right? External ob saying, uh, Hey, I’m going to go hire a coach and put myself into a community of people that create all the time and that are all kind of moving at the pace that I’d like to be moving and I’m going to have them help me be accountable to what I said I’m going to create. Well, that’s an external accountability system. A coach, a mentor, um, you know, having, you know, po posting that publicly on Facebook and say, hey guys, like, hold me accountable if I don’t do this by then there’s free versions, there’s paid versions.
I’ve always chosen the paid versions because that’s what gets me moving. Like I have money on the line. I’ve invested into a group of people that want to produce at a high level. That’s why our clients come and work with us because they’re around other bigger other producers, people producing big things that are sharing their goals and they don’t want to be the one that’s not creating when everybody else is creating, right. There’s a competitive element to it. That’s an external accountability system. So, um, this is what I think you need to be doing in order to get into a creative mindset. Right? And actually I’ll do a bonus one, um, which is almost counter to some of the stuff we just talked about, but as, um, the sixth one will be, I’ll say good input, right? Like what’s the good input? What are the inputs that are coming into your brain that allow you to create, right?
Like I am learning something new every day as a part of my, my core four. So I’m filling my brain with good stuff that is aligned with my business. So when I go to create, I’m filled with good stuff, right? You’re only like your, your output is only going to be as good as good as your input. Just like if you’re trying to get healthy, if you eat a lot of crap, it’s going to be tough to get healthy, right? Like what you put in is what you get out. So like I want to put in good stuff. I want to put in just in time learning around stuff that is relevant to me and where I want to go as it relates to my 90 day goals so that I can create, right? I’m consuming for consumption sake, I think is stupid. And creating for creation’s sake is stupid.
That’s what creates noise. If you have an intent and a purpose around what you’re creating, you’re gonna be speaking to someone like hopefully, like right now I’m speaking to you guys. Like I’m looking at you guys and I’m having a conversation about how to have a creative mindset and that’s how it’s done, right? Those five principles. Um, to recap real quick, eliminate the noise, make time for creation. Uh, we use the thing called optimize workweek. It’s a tool that we use. Create power that’s needed for creation. No, what you need to create. Get an accountability system so that you’re held accountable for that creation and make sure that your bringing in good input because the quality of your input is what’s going to determine
the quality of your output. Right? So quality.
That’s it guys. That’s how to get into a creative mindset in my opinion. I hope you guys enjoyed this episode.
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