Category: Creativity

Articles on business and creativity.

Good Enough Donut Shop
CreativityPassive IncomePhilosophy

Make Garbage

“The safest way of not being very miserable is not to expect to be very happy.”

Arthur Shopenhauer – German philosopher

We’re all familiar with beginner’s luck.

You play Backgammon for the first time and beat the pants off your opponent – even though you have no clue what you’re doing.

You play Street Fighter II for the first time and demolish your brother despite the fact he’s been working on his special moves for weeks.

You paint your first landscape in a Oil Painting 101 and it’s a masterpiece. Then you paint like a six year old for the rest of the semester.

The Secret Behind Beginner’s Luck

What’s going on here? How can we excel at a skilled activity on our first attempt and then fail right after?

I choose to believe it has something to do with Arthur Shopenhauer’s quote.

When we make a first attempt at something we often expect to fail. Or at least are relatively indifferent to the outcome.

When you play that first game of Backgammon you don’t understand it, you could care less if you win, and you probably expect to lose.

You’re probably starting to imagine how liberating that can be.

Whether you’re starting a business, a 100 day challenge, or writing a novel – one of the most empowering ways to approach the task is to assume you’re about to make garbage.

Of course, when you make garbage the pressure is off.

Tell your friend you’re finally writing an album of original acoustic folk ballads and it’s going to be serious garbage.

You’re free to write, experiment, fail, push boundaries, sing horribly, and not play in steady time.

The funny thing is you’ll probably create something pretty good.

At the least, it will be better than the garbage you thought you were going to make.

Retro counterfeit diamond
CreativitySelf-Help

Counterfeit Diamond

This diamond isn’t real.

I mean. Yeah, it’s an illustration.

But it’s also not a real illustration.

I got lazy and made a Frankenstein diamond.

Let me explain, I interviewed my friend Dina Rodriguez (AKA Letter Shoppe) for an episode of Passive Income for Designers. She made a really solid point about getting good at stuff. Read More

Creativity

How to Use Frameworks to Solve Creative Problems

When I was a teenager, I wanted to be a songwriter/guitarist.

I spent hours in my room with my four-track writing music.

Many times it was a mystical experience to hear the instruments combine to create beautiful soundscapes.

But sometimes it was a frustrating struggle.

If the inspiration wasn’t there, I would have battles with my Martin acoustic, notepad, and four track.

The bummer part is it didn’t have to be so hard. We often attribute creativity with picking ideas out of the ether. But there are step-by-step formulas we can follow to generate fresh ideas, novel connections, and new insights. Read More