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6 tips to generate ideas when you’re in a creative rut

By LaunchX

December 30, 2021

6 tips to generate ideas when you’re in a creative rut

Entrepreneurs know that creativity can come in bursts and waves. It’s completely natural to have ups and downs in your work. A creative rut, however, is something different. Creative ruts extend beyond the usual ups and downs and tend to last much longer than a typical dip in your creativity.

Feeling like you don’t know how to get out of a creative rut only makes it worse. That’s why we interviewed some of the LaunchX alumni who are experienced entrepreneurs. Here are 6 go-to tactics that can get the creative juices flowing again.

#1: Walk away and take a night off

Sometimes you just need a breath of fresh air. Walk away from the creative problem and get inspiration from other sources. Andre says, “take a night off or hang out with friends….do something that’s the exact opposite of running the business, and then that tends to be when the solution comes.”

#2: Outsource to free yourself up to your creative niche 

As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to wear many hats. We often find ourselves working in areas that are not our creative niche. If you’re in the position to, offload some aspects of the creative work or other items on your plate to other team members or external contractors.  This will free you up to work on the areas within your creative niche.

#3: Get started by writing a lot of ideas down

Jonana relates creativity to a river, saying “If you’re in a creative rut, find a river that you can start flowing through. And then the many estuaries will eventually lead you to a nice endpoint.” Creativity often has a snowball effect, if you start to write down lots of ideas, one thing will lead you to another. Then through that creative process, you will eventually find the answer you were looking for.

#4:Have a network of other entrepreneurs to generate ideas

At LaunchX, we have a strong emphasis on community. This is because we know that having a strong network of like minded people can benefit you in so many ways. Andre graduated from LaunchX years ago, and still has strong connections with alumni and has since then expanded his network. He says “I’ve got a group of friends that are all building businesses. So, whenever I’m stuck in a real rut, being able to call them and talk things through really helps out.”

#5: Don’t force solutions – listen to the market

Decisions should be based on testing with customers and data. So when you are solving a problem in your business and it seems like you need to force ideas or you just continue to get stuck over and over again, then it might be time to adjust. Look at the data and see what it is suggesting. Then with that information you can make a change and pivot accordingly.

#6: Don’t beat yourself up

As entrepreneurs, it is easy to be hard on yourself. Don’t beat yourself up. Being an entrepreneur isn’t a small task. Know your limits, be kind to yourself, and make sure to appreciate all the hard work you’ve accomplished so far. You will eventually find a solution to your problem. Joana says “everything has a snowball effect. You’re not just going to arrive at the end course. You’ve got to go through sort of that creative destruction.”

Keep in mind creativity needs room to grow. Give yourself time for thoughts, ideas and inspiration to bloom. Remove some of the mental clutter, and you’ll be surprised at what is lying just under the surface. Have you ever been in a creative rut? How did you beat it? Let us know your additional suggestions in the comments below.

 

Watch the Alumni Interview Series “How to get out of a creative rut” here.

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