Creativity: The Lost Commodity

Creativity is vital for any idea worker. But it’s easy to let creativity die.

We get stuck reading the same things, thinking the same things, doing the same things in the same ways we’ve always done them.

Doesn’t matter where you live. A guy in New York can watch the same TV programming in San Francisco. A guy in Fargo, North Dakota can eat the same exact fast food as a guy in Houston, Texas.

Franchise businesses have painted the commercial landscape with a uniform color.

And take a look at the suburbs these days. It’s not much different. Nearly every house blends in in a sea of sameness.

It’s no wonder we have such a hard time being creative.

Copying Instead of Innovating

Here’s another problem:

Creativity often leads to valuable breakthroughs — then idea pirates copy those breakthroughs within days, weeks, or months. This can be very discouraging for the pioneer of ideas.

Not only that, when copying is rampant, it discourages creativity and only encourages more copying. Next thing you know, you’ve got copies of copies of copies.

A flaw in the first copy gets amplified in every successive generation. It’s devolution. For some reason, this process seems to happen faster than normal on the Internet.

Pioneers vs. Pirates

As an entrepreneur, business owner, or service provider, you have a choice. You can be a pioneer or you can be a pirate.

And although Hollywood has romanticized the idea of being a pirate (thank you Johnny Depp!), I believe the better choice is to be a pioneer.

Yes, I know: The pioneer is the guy with the arrows in his back. But making creative mistakes is not lethal. Just because one new idea fails doesn’t mean the next one will fail too.

Creativity takes work. It takes effort. It takes time.

How to Be Creative

Creativity (and its byproduct, originality) can only flourish when you are reading, thinking, and acting differently than you and other people normally do.

Creative action leads to creative thought.

This why it helps to get out of your routine every now and then.

Drive a different way. Do things in reverse. Read books outside of what you’d normally read.

Investigate a new hobby. Go somewhere you’ve never gone. Do something you’ve never done.

By breaking your routine and doing things that may even be uncomfortable for you, you’ll cause your brain to think in new ways. You’ll have new thoughts.

And perhaps you can incorporate some of those new thoughts and ideas into your own business. Perhaps you’ll have a breakthrough.

-Ryan M. Healy

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Ryan Healy

Ryan Healy is a freelance copywriter, list manager, and the author of Speed Writing for Nonfiction Writers. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Agora Financial, Lombardi Publishing, and Contrarian Profits. He writes a popular blog about copywriting, advertising, and business growth, has been featured in publications like Feed Front magazine, and has been published on sites like,, and

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