Who Is A Creative?

Scroll down ↓

Who Is A Creative?

Ask a writer, painter, copywriter, designer or musician if they’re a “creative” and you’ll get a resounding yes.

But what about an entrepreneur? Or a banker, doctor, lawyer or accountant? What about the business affairs or account managers in a creative agency, are they creatives? How about a tradesperson, like a plumber, carpenter, electrician or roofer?

Do these folks self-identify as creatives?

Should they?

Does it depend on who they are and how they do their work?

I’m fascinated by how we label ourselves and others when it comes to creativity, and what impact that labeling has on the work we’re willing to do and risks we’re willing to take.

Would love your thoughts on this:

1. What do you do?

2. Do you self-identify as an entrepreneur?

3. Do you self-identify as a creative?

4. Are there certain roles or jobs that are just plain non-creative?

5. Or is it more about the individual and what they bring to these roles and jobs?

Feel free to copy and past the above and share your insights and answers in the comments…


You Don't Need a Bribe To Join This Tribe

Plain and simple. Did you enjoy what you just read? Cool, then get more in your inbox every week. And join this amazing tribe of makers and doers. You know you wanna...

70 responses

70 Responses to “Who Is A Creative?”

  1. Sarah says:

    I am a graphic designer and spend my free time being creative, screen printing, sewing, painting ex… People call me creative on a daily basis. My husband is a research scientist and I consider him to be more creative then me. He has to challenge medical science and find new ways of challenging our understanding of how the body works. That’s creative.

  2. Being a creative comes down to the evaluation we place on our work we’ve done at the end of the day. I have two jobs: a “real” one and writing. (The latter, obviously, is what I’m working to make the “real” one.) It’s very easy to call the latter creative, as I push thoughts through my fingers and into webspace — they can very literally be seen.

    In my other job, or most jobs, we typically have a stigma that our work isn’t creative if we’re not producing “art.” In fact, though, isn’t the very act of making something out of nothing (legal brief, healing diagnosis, etc.) creation? It’s merely a matter of perspective, whether we bring an energy to the project fueled by our interest for it, by a soulful quest to see something expressed through our effort.

    We are inherently creative. It’s a primal urge. One of the most fun things humans do involves two people trying to create something.

    • Sal says:

      @Jason,

      Since you write (considered by most to be a creative), do you feel you often bring more creativity to your daily job than your peers (who are not considered by most to be creatives)?

      • My job allows some creativity (I oversee the printing department at a big box office supply store), though I think the impulse to write and educate — which has been an ignored constant throughout my life — always leaves me seeking opportunities for more expression.

        The nature of retail, particularly in this section of the market, lends itself more to routine and restriction. Thanks to the position I have, I am afforded a marginal creative outlet through copy/design work for some customers.

  3. Julie Daley says:

    Jonathan,

    It’s funny. I facilitate a creativity course, Creativity in Business, mostly for left-brain types and very bright students, and when we begin the 10=week course, almost everyone believes they aren’t creative, yet they’re there in the class.

    I’ve come to see that we know we are creative, deep down inside, but we’ve mostly been taught to believe creativity equates with art of some sort.

    When students first experience, or re-experience, a creative moment in their life, and begin to uncover the unique steps to their own creative process, what comes up are joy, self-confidence, and a big compassionate heart…because they are all born from the same root…our essential nature. Our very nature is creative.

    I love that you are asking this question…it’s so important.

    Julie

  4. nora says:

    I’m a web/graphic designer & writer so it goes without saying that I identify as a creative. But my husband is an application developer and he’s definitely a creative. Anything that requires problem-solving and thinking outside of predetermined paths is a creative, in my opinion. A research scientist is a creative. A master chef is a creative. And so on.

    • Anita says:

      I completely agree: anyone who uses problem-solving and thinking outside of predetermined paths is a creative. Look around your office, you don’t have to think hard to evaluate each person as to whether they can do that. The ones who can are creative.

  5. I am also fascinated by labeling/categorizing, and how that impacts our perceptions. Creative is just one of the many categories we have in our heads. Our brain needs to categorize things so we can handle them, otherwise we’d be overwhelmed with information. Yet by categorizing something we limit the possibilities we can attach to it.

    I believe the key is to challenge our assumptions, judgments, and categorizations. Never let them become permanent fixtures.

    It’s harder than it sounds, as it’s counterintuitive to how our brain likes to handle information. By making that effort we can dig into things we would otherwise skim over. It’s like Malcolm Gladwell stating he believes we should be interested by everything – the more we’re willing to dig deeper into any idea, the more we’ll get out of everything around us.

  6. Sal says:

    I think everyone exercises creativity at some point in their job, but not everyone identifies as a creative. In the instance of a plumber, sure, they probably have to get creative from time-to-time in order to fix a difficult problem, but the majority of their time is spent doing routine fixes, hence, they don’t often see themselves as a creative.

    My question is, if you have someone who is a creative person, but goes into a profession that is not creative-centric, do they often bring more creativity to the job they perform or do they suppress it and then have a massive dump of creativity once they get off?

    What do you think?

    • Karen says:

      @Sal, I think both, actually. People who are more creative probably bring a higher sense of creativity to the job, but if it’s not a creative-centric job, they are probably stifled a bit. My experience is that people who are not able to fully explore their creative sides in their work/career roles often seek outlets in non-working hours. So I would say that both is true, in my experience.

      • Sal says:

        @Karen,

        I completely agree. I know when I was in my 9-5 sitting in front of a computer doing the same 10 tasks over and over again, I dreamed of being creative. So much so I practically volunteered myself to be the tech team for our local branch. This means I got to help beta test new software, troubleshoot system errors and all sorts of fun stuff…all because I was bored out of my mind doing the same thing.

        I think I would have found an actual after-work outlet, but being a father of 3 and wanted to spend every last minute with my family, I didn’t have much time to find extracurricular creative activities. :)

    • Mark Freddy Farrell says:

      I know a Flooring Guy who in his job would nail punch then putty and fill 100s of nail holes. He invented a slideing spring loaded nail punch he is now selling. But why with all the Flooring people has this not been thought of before? Maybe it has, but no one decided to take the idea further. Is this the key, why do some, but not others take it to the next step,…and hopefully beyond.
      Creative, I think everyone, once tapped into, has an idea on on improving or inventing new products and processes. I am all for round Table think Tanks and problem solving,I think this brings out the creative in everyone.

      Cheers,

      Mark Freddy Farrell.

      • Sal says:

        @Mark,

        That is awesome! I think many of us get trapped in the thought process. I know I have to stop myself all the time and convince myself to stop over-analyzing everything and just do what I need to do. There are so many things we don’t know and one of those things could be that someone else has already come up with the idea we have.

        We don’t want to waste our time trying to make something happen only to realize there is 10 other people out there who have already perfected the single task we are just starting out with. (At least that is where I often get stuck)

        I then have to ask myself if I don’t see it in the market place, then there MUST still be room for it.

        Sometimes it is the creativity that is born from necessity that just so happens to be the most needed.

  7. Jackie says:

    In short, I’m a “slash” person, or a doer-of-miscellaneous things, but here are my answers in more detail:

    1. What do you do? Technical writing, personal finance blogging, web content administration, marketing, photography, painting, iPhone apps.

    2. Do you self-identify as an entrepreneur? Yes, absolutely.

    3. Do you self-identify as a creative? Sure, although I think everyone is creative.

    4. Are there certain roles or jobs that are just plain non-creative? Only if you make them that way ;)

    5. Or is it more about the individual and what they bring to these roles and jobs? Absolutely, it’s all about the individual.

    • nora says:

      I would say there ARE certain jobs that are inherently non-creative & in fact discourage veering from a strict protocol – working at an assembly line, for instance. Or doing the regulatory paperwork (FDA requirements) at a pharmaceutical company.

  8. Tomaca says:

    Everyone is creative. Creativity does not mean making something, designing something such as we would expect an “artist” to make. A mother is creative when she finds ways to help her children learn and grow through various experiences, people find creative ways to live within their financial means, a dentist is creative when he fills a cavity and makes sure that your bite is correct and comfortable, etc.

    Creativity is not limited to certain “types” of people. At any given point, many of us are required to be creative to accommodate a situation, undergo a life change, or even find a way to fix something that is broken.

    Though not everyone chooses to use their talents and gifts, we are all creators and thus all creative.

    • I can accept the idea that “everyone is creative.” The trouble comes in trying to find vocabulary, then for the people from whom we remove the old label “creatives.”

      Yoko Ono had an interesting take: she says the artist changes the value of things, in a way that merely making stuff does not.

      One person mentioned personal training. I used to be a personal trainer. Yes, I was creative in my teaching approaches and my work out prescriptions. I do not consider that the same thing as I do when I take even a dry idea within a business and crystallize a meaning within a piece of writing or design.

      I adamantly believe the latter deserves its own word.

  9. Susan says:

    I blog about creativity and my philosophy is creativity is a point-of-view no matter who you are or what you do. Therefor everyone is really creative. That point-of-view might lead you into writing, or earning 1 million frequent flyer miles in 2 years (which I’m trying to do), or learn to live off of 25k in NYC, or see how businesses use creative strategies to democratize themselves and make their services or art affordable.

    Creativity is how we approach life, not necessarily something we do.

  10. Funny – I have been having similar thoughts, and been writing about creativity lately too.

    I believe creativity is endless. Art, science, music, medicine, writing, movies, transportation, entrepreneurship, technology….they all offer creative opportunities. I believe every single person on the planet is creative, and I believe that it is as important to our souls as air is to our bodies.

    Jennifer

  11. I think that we are all creative, in one way or another. To remove creativity you would need to remove a significant portion of one’s brain. To me it’s more a matter of when you exercise those creative neurons and synapes.

    1. What do you do? I work, play, create, enjoy through consulting, strategizing, writing, mothering, and being a wife. I believe I bring a wealth of creativity to my consulting, strategy, and coaching practice. I recognize that things I do are not the same as who I am.

    2. Do you self-identify as an entrepreneur? Yes.

    3. Do you self-identify as a creative? Yes.

    4. Are there certain roles or jobs that are just plain non-creative? There are roles and jobs that are less creative. In fact some that do not want creativity, where adding creativity can cause problems. The example that came to mind is a factory worker. If the person is sewing the sleeves of a shirt on, they do need to sew them on consistently. They might employ creativity to solve a problem, such as a machine breaking down but for creating the product sold to the end customer…I think I’d prefer they were consistent. Just imagine if they sewed lines as they felt like it. No gaurantee that your shirt would fit!

    5. Or is it more about the individual and what they bring to these roles and jobs? I believe that there are ways to bring creativity. For some it may be more about the mindset, view, the environment they create. Maybe they customize the look of their sewing machine to keep them inspired and/or focused. Maybe they enjoy pictures on the walls or great music while they work. Either way, I’d still like those lines sewn per spec.

    I’m sensing a chapter to your book here… Or at least a potential chapter to a book.

  12. Eva-Maria says:

    Creativity is everyone’s own view of the world and – as we all are unique individuals, everybody will see something different looking at the same thing. Zooming in – and Zooming out of a situation (like using a lens on a camera) priorities and dimensions change – allowing for a new view of everything and new connections of things.
    In my one life, I am a producer and filmmaker so people usually think – wow – how creative that is. I myself feel more creative when financing projects to have them come to fruition. I am required to find ways that have not been walked on before. My second life is my life as a coach and trainer – here I get to create trainings, which have never been done. My third life, I run a fair sized winery (family heritage) – every year the wine tasted different and as I believe in not interfering with nature too much – the wine is allowed to develop an identity of its own and I have to come up with ideas to facilitate the taste
    to answer your last 2 questions: I always strongly believed there is no such thing as a non creative job or environment – but yes there is and there are and I am greatly appreciative to the people on assembly lines, army, etc. It doesn’t necessarily mean, the people doing these jobs are not creative in their head or in their free time.
    thank you for the questions Jonathan!

  13. Ritika Bajaj says:

    I think a creative individual is one who uses the liberty to add his own dimension to a task. He could be just about anyone who is willing to go a step further and give a bit of himself to the job at hand.

  14. Pat Bobillo says:

    Ask this writer/illustrator is he’s a “creative” and you’ll get a resounding “no,” because creative isn’t a noun.

    God, how I loathe business-speak.

  15. seanrox says:

    Creativity and Animation is energy in motion. Any task allowed nuance is a creative endeavor.

    As Tomaca state above, “A mother is creative when she finds ways to help her children learn and grow through various experiences…”

    We are all born unique creators with both mundane and creative tasks before us.

    peace-
    seanrox

  16. Marie davis says:

    Great topic Johnathan! Yes for me on all accounts. Being creative has little to do with a job title, but rather the way a person looks at the world around them and what one does with that information.

  17. Sole sUrchin says:

    Seems to me we need to be careful of stereotyping here. It’s nice to coin a non-mainstream phrase ‘creative’ and then use it to distinguish ourselves from those working within the establishment. It’s difficult not to fall into the trap of labelling everyone else as non-’creative’ or at least give out the impression that the non-’creatives’ are a lesser breed. Just because I earn the major portion of my income from my corporate job doesn’t mean that I’m not also ‘creative’. Sometimes, in the corporate world, one actually has to be more ‘creative’ in order to flee the mundane in-the-box mindset and market the concept of doing things differently, not for the sake of being different, but because doing things in old ways makes absolutely no sense in the current world.

  18. Hey Jonathan, I definitely self-identify as an entrepreneur, and as creative.

    That being said, I don’t think there are jobs or roles that are just plain non-creative – I think it’s all about what the people bring to the table, and what kind of energy they invest in their work. Creativity isn’t an action, it’s an attitude – much like curiosity. :)

  19. I’ve actually been spending the last 2 weeks planning out and creating content for my new blog, which is all about this subject.

    There are creative people in every field. They are usually the outliers in their field.

    You can be in business law and be creative with how you do your work, and you’ll stand out. Likewise, you can be a musician that’s not creative, and you’ll sit in obscurity.

    Totally relevant post. Thanks!

  20. Another lover of labels here.

    1. What do you do?
    I write, edit and translate.

    2. Do you self-identify as an entrepreneur?
    Yes, but mostly because others have labeled me as such. It’s not the number one label I’d apply to myself.

    3. Do you self-identify as a creative?
    Well… By now I do. I used to think creativity was mostly a visual thing, e.g. for painters and sculptors, mostly. And since I can barely draw a stick figure, I figured creativity was not for me. But as the years go by, I’m starting to think more and more that there are many ways of being creative. As a translator, you definitely need to be creative: have the same text translated by 10 people and you will get 10 different versions. There is no ‘one way’ to get it right. Writing, of course, is also a highly creative process. I just never thought I had it in me before.

    4. Are there certain roles or jobs that are just plain non-creative?
    There are even tasks within creative jobs that are non-creative, such as bookkeeping. Unless you count making pretty headlines for your invoices as being creative.

    5. Or is it more about the individual and what they bring to these roles and jobs?
    Partly, yes. But with a job like window cleaner, there’s only so much you can do.

  21. Brittni says:

    1. What do you do? I am the founder and curator for papernstitch.com, a handmade exhibition site. And I’m a writer.
    2. Do you self-identify as an entrepreneur? Yes
    3. Do you self-identify as a creative? Yes
    4. Are there certain roles or jobs that are just plain non-creative? Maybe. It depends.
    5. Or is it more about the individual and what they bring to these roles and jobs? Absolutely, I think it’s all about the individual. Almost any job can be considered creative. It all depends on how the “worker” approaches the job. Even problem-solving is a creative act.

  22. Leah says:

    If creativity is about problem solving, then there’s a lot of opportunity to be creative no matter what your job is.

    The trouble is, experimenting and making mistakes is a big part of discovering how to solve problems. In other words, making mistakes is a big part of being creative.

    Unfortunately, many of us are taught at an early age that we should avoid mistakes at all cost.

    Solution? Set aside time for experimentation. Experiment on the little, low risk things. Once you’ve “perfected” your solution at that level, bump it up a notch. That way, you’re also building evidence that could be helpful in convincing a boss, for example, to try the idea in a bigger way.

  23. sukhi says:

    Totally depends on who you are and how you do the work.

    Definitely am an entrepreneur and I love challenges.

    By education I’m a chiropractor. Yet the work I do as a healer and speaker is not what one would normally perceive as chiropractic. In fact, the word chiropractic has “negative” brand equity so I never use it. Instead I describe what I do, what people can expect and they can see/experience the value and innovation.

    This has made all the difference. By stepping out of the box this has lead to an amazing career as a speaker and seminar leader over the past few years too. Today it’s all that and being a soon to be published author.

    I definitely see myself as an innovator which is really being a creative. My bottom line has been “How do I add more value to increase peeps health, wealth and happiness”. THe quality of questions had yielded the quality of results.

    I believe that all jobs are creative, because it is who we are being while performing the tasks of “job”. SO it is the person holding the paint brush that determines the quality of the picture created.

    I believe we’re all unique and when we pour our hearts into what we do, that uniqueness will shine. THe end result is innovation and creativity.

    Great ?’s Jon!

  24. Cathy says:

    I am all about creativity. It makes me sad when I hear anyone say they are not creative. They are. They just don’t acknowledge it.

    I creatively organizing papers for inspired living and peace of mind. My company is an adventure in entrepreneurship, organizing papers and taking control of my life by owning my thoughts, actions and responsibilities.

    so yes and yes to 2 and 3.

    I don’t believe anything we do to be non-creative. Anything.

    An individual can bring their creative approach to anything they do, including their thoughts.

    Creativity is key to happiness.

  25. Karen says:

    1. What do you do?
    – I am a coach, HR Generalist and customer service at a farmer’s market (Yup, 3 jobs!)
    2. Do you self-identify as an entrepreneur?
    - I do now, when I first started coaching it wasn’t a term I was comfortable with, but the more I do, learn and grow, the more I find myself enjoying this label and feeling more like it’s reflective of me.
    3. Do you self-identify as a creative?
    - I do think of myself as creative. It used to be that I didn’t think I was creative in my job(s) but the more I do them, the more I realize I definitely have to be creative to get the jobs done!
    4. Are there certain roles or jobs that are just plain non-creative?
    - No, I think there are people who don’t view them or their jobs as creative but as long as there are people doing jobs there is a level of creativity to the job.
    5. Or is it more about the individual and what they bring to these roles and jobs?
    - Yup, I do think this! :)

  26. Lynn says:

    1. What do you do? I’m a realtor.
    2. Do you self-identify as an entrepreneur? Yes
    3. Do you self-identify as a creative? Sometimes
    4. Are there certain roles or jobs that are just plain non-creative? I would expect that assembly line manufacturing could stifle creativity.
    5. Or is it more about the individual and what they bring to these roles and jobs? In most cases, yes.

    Creativity is the path to knowing ourselves better.

  27. Laura says:

    I am an accountant for a project management company and technically my job/role for the company is very traditional; however, I am an accountant by day and a musician by night and more often than not I can’t or refuse to turn off my predominate creative side while at work. I think in order to stay sane and to stay fresh I need to be tapping into my creative nature in order to be on the cutting edge of what I do. I’m constantly seeking out new ways to accomplish the day to day menial & mundane tasks. Not only does this inspire me but it makes me an even greater asset to my employer.

  28. Creative is as creative does.

  29. Matt Bepler says:

    There are some good comments on this post, nice topic. I am creative. I am not “a creative” (someone else mentioned creative not being a noun). I have applied at ad agencies where the title was “creative”. Years ago I thought that would be a cool title. I don’t need a title to know that I am creative. If I could only have a one word description on my resume (after basic contact info), it would be “creative”.

    Are there certain jobs that are non-creative? Well.. in your job, do you do nothing, make nothing, touch nothing, say nothing? Otherwise… I don’t think so. I had a boss for years who use to say (often) “I don’t have a creative bone in my body”. That just rubbed me the wrong way. Really?! I agree with the comments of many others above… We are humans are inherently creative. It’s how we’re wired / designed / yeah… created to be.

  30. Jonathan,

    1. What do you do? I own 2 businesses – I sell commercial playgrounds to developers, etc., been doing it for 15 years and the other is I am creator/founder of MakeGirlfriends.com – a social networking website for women with an inspirational flair.

    2. Do you self-identify as an entrepreneur? Absolutely I AM

    3. Do you self-identify as a creative? ABSOLUTELY I AM

    4. Are there certain roles or jobs that are just plain non-creative? Every job can be creative – it’s all in perspective…why not make every job creative so you can have fun creating while you are doing it?

    5. Or is it more about the individual and what they bring to these roles and jobs? I feel as if it’s the individual and what they bring to these roles and jobs – also if you think about it, society labels certain jobs as non creative – I think it’s total bull crap…every job can be creative…
    Thanks for the reminder of being creative,
    Nancy – I AM CREATIVE!

  31. Great idea stirrer-upper, Jonathan!
    The simple answer: I believe we are all creative, though to what extend and degree we tap into and implement our creative capacities depends wholly on the individual.
    So, yes, plumbers and accountants and welders can be creative if they are so inclined. In fact, there is nothing that says that a machinist can’t out-creative a film director or an action painter!

    Thanks for inciting another energized discussion.

    Peter

  32. I remember reading Richard Florida’s The Rise of the Creative Class and being surprised and those he included in that class – lawyers and businesspeople among them.

    Now it’s less an issue for me. There are so many ways to express creativity, it’s naturally a boundary-defying category.

    I write, coach writers, teach writers, develop curricula, play in an illustrated journal, live a low-impact life, dance, practice yoga….There’s almost nothing I do that’s not creative.

    Sure, I am an entrepreneur. I’ve been in business for myself for over a dozen years, initiating new products and services all the time.

    Yes, I am creative, and I express it daily.

    I do think much of life is based on our own perceptions and beliefs and how we act upon them. So even if I were a factory or line worker, I may be able to infuse it, or even my own mindspace, with creativity. I think it would be more about how I relate to others that would be where my creativity would shine.

    Thanks for asking the questions.

    I imagine rote factory jobs are not creative.

  33. I believe creativity is a human given, and we are all seeking to fulfill the need. Life Entrepreneurs create a life by design. They paint a beautiful landscape, live a great romance, and call it a life story.

    • I agree Michelle, creativity is a human given. I actually think it’s a human advantage. THE advantage when you consider evaluation. As a species our only evolutionary advantage is our ability to stand on two legs and pick-up an object and throw it. Oh and one more thing….Create!

      Throwing stones have not keep us around for some 2.5 million years. Our imagination and has. Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Professorial Fellow in History and Geography at Queen Mary, University of London, and a member of the Faculty of Modern History at Oxford University suggests it is our curiosity (read creativity) that has kept us alive and kicking.

      Having the ability to wonder is a uniquely human condition. By being curious we were able to consider what the lion was up to and invent unique way to protect our young from becoming kitty kibble.

      If you have a creation myth you prefer….I like to say “On the 8th day humans create.”

      Everything… everything we do is glued to creativity. Any thought that moves a muscle in your body is creative. If you think about ordering a pizza and in 30 minutes your pulling pulling a pepper off a cheese slice, you created. You had a though, a wonder, a desire and you created a result!

  34. Todd Schnick says:

    i tell all my clients they are creatives. some smile, and it clarifies their thinking. others, look at me as if i am smoking crack…

    but we all create. that’s our job. understanding that changes how you approach your work…

  35. Zoe says:

    1. I’m a business owner, blogger, designer, games developer, marketer, cosmetic formulator and writer of health book.

    2. Definitely an entrepreneur – since I left school.

    3. Design and arts were my first skills. I originally wanted to be an artist but was told that artists are poor so I decided that I’ll use my skills on business and see where it takes me.

    4. My partner – a lawyer – not exactly a creative field in the traditional sense. Yeah they can be creative with words but contracts are so stiff and dry that I can’t see them as creative. He is creative as a person, but his job robs him of creativity I think.

    5. I don’t think it’s due to the individual and more to do with the rold. How on earth do you be creative in a data entry role? Or McDonalds where all the food making is set into a system.

  36. Dr. Chris says:

    I’m a doctor and an entrepreneur. You’re damn right I’m creative (that’s partially why I follow this blog). You have to be creative to be able to fix an individual’s chronic pain. And you have to be creative to learn how to teach different individuals who respond to different motivations.

    Any profession can result in creating if only the individual let’s their imagination go with it.

  37. What a great topic! Lately I have putting together creative workshops and the most common response is “I am not creative”. I agree we are all inherently creative and it is as essential to life as breathing. It seems to be more a lack of awareness or the gift is buried dismissed as not important or just forgotten. When encouraged and given a place and space to explore creativity the revelation is life changing.

  38. Cory says:

    Oh Damn Dr Chris…I was hoping I’d be the first doctor to post ;P But I am all in with ya! I’m a primary care doctor practicing both Pediatrics and Internal Medicine
    (medicine from cradle to grave, as long as you are not pregnant…nothing against the pregnant…I just can’t DO everything!). I own my own practice and always have precisely BECAUSE it is the way I maintain and nurture my Creative. I decide how long it takes to handle an issue. I, like Chris, love finding the way, the words, the analogies that get through to people, and help them get through to me, so we can find the right solution for them…not the one an “industry” says they should have based on their “demographic”.

    I am an entrepreneur precisely because it allows me to stay true to a strong internal compass… that force, that calling, that brings me into the exam room with as much curiosity and passion as any “artist” would have approaching their favorite medium.

    If I could let someone else do my paperwork…it would be even more like art…but even the tedious recording of that most complex of human interactions has its artistry…subtle and annoying as it is…its how I get “published”; its how I make my art pay the bills!

    Hell, yes, I’m an entrepreneur, artist, and doctor! And, Hell, yes, I love reading this blog…Thank you, Jonathan!

  39. Rob says:

    I am a creative by the clothes I wear (my kids say so).
    It takes work to do what we love to do and create. The bills come first. But, creativity comes in so many forms each and everyday. I may not always be able to write to my hearts content, but I can enjoy the moment given me now and be creative within it. That, my family, and dark chocolate is what keeps me sane.

    Live it LOUD!

  40. Mark Freddy Farrell says:

    Creative, is it about improving a current situation, product, process, look, the list goes on. So is it about improving what is current? This must mean no matter what is out there at the moment, there is allways room for the New. That leaves the Door open for everyone to become creative. I encourage it in all walks of life and work.
    Bring it on,…”BE CREATIVE”.

    Mark Freddy Farrell.

  41. 1. What do you do?
    I’m a professional Nag, I support people as they go from concept to completion on important projects.

    2. Do you self-identify as an entrepreneur?
    I’ve created a thriving business but the word entrepreneur is somehow not one I use much.

    3. Do you self-identify as a creative?
    Yes.

    4. Are there certain roles or jobs that are just plain non-creative?
    No. Just roles or jobs that are not suited for someone.

    5. Or is it more about the individual and what they bring to these roles and jobs?
    Right, exactly.

  42. Jonathan Fields says:

    Love the conversation, as always, gang!

    Let me bring another interesting challenge to it…

    For those who answered question number 5 – “Or is it more about the individual and what they bring to these roles and jobs?” – with a yes, a follow up question: how?

    How could a line-worker at a factory in Detroit bring creativity and innovation to what they do?

    How might a teller at a bank bring creativity and innovation to change both the dynamic of the job and the nature of their output?

    How might sorter at a recycling plant bring creativity and innovation to their daily work to make it matter more and inspire them to experience the work differently?

    It’s easy to answer yes in theory, now take it to the next level…

  43. Great challenge, Jonathan.

    I’d say one way these kinds of people can show their creativity is through the way they interact with the customer and/or their fellow employees.

    For example, the teller could have different creative ways they greet guests, or just be fun and have personality as they interact with the customers.

  44. Marta says:

    You hit the ‘hot topic’ today! I’m a joy coach and a grad student completing my M.S. in Creative Studies.I am an entrepreneur and a creative. I believe everyone brings creativity (their unique energy) to every situation. I believe all of life is what you bring to it. Creativity is a survival skill. It’s the ability to imagine possibilities and make them real. We can use our creativity or not use it. The potential is there. And there are many ways to teach and enhance creativity. My blog is all about activating creative potential with joy, play and passion. Have fun with it!

  45. Marta says:

    Part two of the challenge: factory workers, bank tellers, and recycling workers have tons of ways of bringing creativity to their work – everyone can share ideas for cost efficiency, inspire others with their smiles, jokes or encouragement, they can dress creatively, decorate their work area with expressions which calm them, make suggestions how to streamline operations or same money. Line workers are rich sources of creativity and innovation -when they are asked. This is a big mistake many managers make. Creativity needs a supportive environment and appreciation. Set that up and stand back – creativity will flow in many wonderful ways.

  46. Marelisa says:

    I’m an attorney, and I don’t draw or write poetry, but I’ve always thought of myself as being incredibly creative. For several years I represented the management of a government agency, and I was often accused of being too creative by the unions. :-) I have a blog with 4000 subscribers, which I created from nothing, and for which I’m the sole writer. In addition, I earn income from products that I create. Whatever you do, creativity comes into play. I once read a quote by Warren Buffet in which he stated that he’s not a businessman, he’s an artist. I, too, consider myself an artist.

  47. Mark Freddy Farrell says:

    Its all about Self worth and Growth. Give the individual a chance to be part of the Team by Value adding. “How do you think we can improve the way we do things, goes a long way.
    Some people may have never been asked this open question.
    But it can be quite empowering for a individual, and can only be a win win for everyone, in all types of work,..and play, and Family, and Community, the list goes on.
    Involvement through positive proactive communication, can make the most mundane come alive.

    Cheer,

    Mark Freddy Farrell.

  48. Anyone can be creative or a creative. However, the real question is talent? Self-proclamation of creativity is great. But talent is up to the market, the client, the judges, the public. That being said, I believe we are taking too narrow an approach to creativity. We often label people by function and then attempt to confine them to that space. I believe as we see more diverse, media savvy and digitally-centric Gen Y’ers get out of college and into the work force, that will change. We’ll find broader definitions of creativity and also move beyond the labeling.

  49. edward, i agree that anyone can be creative or a creative. in a work session last thursday, a brand new project manager floated by far the most innovative and thought-provoking perspective to an interactive, multi-touch, deep-zoom experience a group of us (including senior tech and “creative” leaders) have been struggling with for a month. as such, isn’t it about time we give up the ghost on the word “creative”? like phil desuenberry’s “insight” on the term insight — “one good insight is worth a thousand ideas”. i’d suggest that the more casual we are with the terms we use, like creative or insight, the more we de-value what we really mean to say or do.

  50. Call us copywriters “creative” if you must. I’d prefer to be described as a salesman with a pen, pad and laptop.

  51. All my life, I thought I wasn’t creative cos I “failed” drawing class at age 12. I wrote, I drew, but because it wasn’t “validated” in school, I grew up thinking I hadn’t a creative bone in a body. Creativity meant – painting, creating music, decorating, something artsy.

    Today I consider creativity as something that exists within us all. From arranging flowers to writing, to cooking, to dancing – creativity!!

    Now to answer your Q’s:

    1. What do you do?

    I coach solopreneurs and freedom seekers to live their lives THEIR way, I write blog posts and eBooks, I talk about social media, relationship building and personal development and I do it all from one home at yourlifeyourway.net.

    2. Do you self-identify as an entrepreneur?

    I didn’t at first, then I identified as a coach. Later on I learned I was an entrepreneur but it didn’t sit right. Since I’m a one woman army (with support), I identify as a Solopreneur.

    3. Do you self-identify as a creative?

    Yes :) This feels so good to acknowledge these days :) Yes I am creative, and A creative being!

    4. Are there certain roles or jobs that are just plain non-creative?

    No. You can bring creativity into anything. A janitor could clean with flourish and take pride in shiny floors. Then, creativity isn’t something external but a MINDSET we bring to what we do. And the pride we take in creating something.

    5. Or is it more about the individual and what they bring to these roles and jobs?

    It’s about a mindset. One could be a bricklayer or one could be a cathedral maker. Same job, different eyes.

    Thanks for the questions, was fun answering them :)

  52. It appears to me that all jobs can be considered creative, unless for some reason you are not allowed to.

    I blog and do landscaping for a living. Obviously they both involve right-brain creative thinking as well as left-brain analytical thinking.

    Some people are more creative then others for sure, but we all have the ability to create. As a matter of fact we are creating all the time.

    On a sidenote, boy does your blog get a lot of comments.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Justin, love the blogging/landscaping mix.

      And, yes, the conversation in our community here regularly blows me away.

  53. 1. What do you do?

    I am an internet marketer and working for a company, web developer and blogging.

    2. Do you self-identify as an entrepreneur?

    Yeah, but I think I am not good at it I usually work in a group where I don’t have to the public dealing and mu job is just to make the job done. I don’t from where the job comes and where it will go.

    3. Do you self-identify as a creative?

    I have a blog on spirituality, which is for the sole purpose of spreading my thoughts and ideas, when I write something for that blog I feel like a creative person actually only than I feel like a creative person.

    4. Are there certain roles or jobs that are just plain non-creative?

    Creativity is something like doing the things in the same way in which you want them to be done so every job can be a creative one.

    5. Or is it more about the individual and what they bring to these roles and jobs?

    Yeah, every individual who thinks he is creative should be able to introduce creativity in any job.

  54. Would love your thoughts on this:

    1. What do you do?
    Psychologist and researcher (academic & business research); recent convert to blogging; in process of starting business using tupperware party model to offer 1-hour workshops to parents and couples that involves little bit of theory and rest = practicing a skill.

    2. Do you self-identify as an entrepreneur?
    In some business class at university remember a entrep is someone who creates also jobs for others. Maybe I am coz I employ students and stay-at-home moms on casual basis to help with admin and other stuff when running training courses. Yes, I am a starter – entrep! Yay!

    3. Do you self-identify as a creative?
    Very much so. Family = artistic, musical especially brother. Realised in my 20s that I’m creative in that I can create new solutions from existing ways of doing things. I can think on my feet – that is very creative, especially when you lecture 400 1st year students. Urg. Find many people who define creativity as being able to draw more than a stick-man…which every1 can do btw.

    Being creative is connecting with your authentic, spontaneous child. Everyone has one.

    4. Are there certain roles or jobs that are just plain non-creative?

    5. Or is

  55. John Harvey says:

    1. What do you do?

    I am private personal trainer and Crossfit athlete. I started my career as a certified personal trainer at Equinox Fitness Clubs in Chicago, IL. The work was fulfilling, but the pay was terrible and the hours too sporadic to support any sort of social or family life. But more importantly, I consider myself a fitness professional, and as a fitness professional it is my job to create effective and fun training programs that give people the tools to live a healthy, strong, and pain-free life. Working at a franchise gym inhibited my creative abilities. So with the support of my family and a little extra push from reading “Career Renegade”, I started my own private training business.

    2. Do you self-identify as an entrepreneur?

    Yes, especially after leaving the corporate gym atmosphere and becoming self-employed.

    3. Do you self-identify as a creative?
    Yes, anyone can get in shape by running on the treadmill and doing pushups, but that lack of creativity will quickly bore a client, leading them to quit exercising. I get great joy from creating new ways to help a client achieve their goals; incorporating martial arts, yoga, weight lifting, game-style exercise, and outdoor training!

    4. Are there certain roles or jobs that are just plain non-creative?

    5. Or is it more about the individual and what they bring to these roles and jobs?

    Yes. Some jobs are definitely dull. But with a fresh, creative outlook there may be opportunity for advancement to present itself.