The Creative Brief is a blog series designed to showcase the unique creative style of our partners, employees, and colleagues.
I teach and facilitate solopreneurs to move from thought to action, especially in areas where we know we want a certain result in our business and lives, and we just can’t seem to make it happen. I work with the owner so that it happens and flows naturally. It often shows up in the solopreneur wanting more revenue, more time away from work, and to work “on the business” vs. “in the business.”
- What does the term “creativity” mean to you?
To me, creativity means thinking outside the box. It means thinking if something will work or is a good idea, and if “society” does not support it, to do it anyway. It means going against the social norm, not for the sake of disruption, but for the sake of freedom and innovation. Creative people and thinkers are brave, and I want them to share their thoughts and creations with the world. When people are creative, they see the world differently, which has huge value to all of us.
- What inspired you to transition from English teacher to lawyer to business coach and speaker?
I sometimes get these ideas that pop into my head. Whether it is from Divine Inspiration, The Universe, or my subconscious, I do not know. And when I get these ideas, I hear a little bell that goes “Ding!” inside my head. When I hear that bell, I somehow know without any doubt that it is the right decision for me. So, I heard this bell at each stage in my career that you mentioned. I then can go after that idea and forge it into reality.
I had no idea I would end up doing what I am doing today – a business coach facilitating MasterClasses and helping groups of business owners create their dreams. I just knew I wanted to help businesses more. I wanted to help owners differently than simply being their attorney. It was just something I knew to do. I then started to pursue this rough idea of “helping my business clients more, but not as an attorney.” It was the pursuit of it that led me to the end result. The path led me to meet various people and lead me to read books that would guide, mentor, and show me a path that eventually led to what I am doing right now.
I have often thought about how exactly I have been able to create the new vision or idea I have into reality. If I can figure out exactly how it was done, like a recipe, I can share it, and others can create the career or business (and life) they want. I don’t quite have the answer…yet. Although, I do have a few ideas that I am testing out.
- We don’t necessarily think of law as a traditional “creative industry”. When you first started your career as a lawyer, how did you express creative energy, emotions, or thoughts in your job?
This is a great question. I would say there are often a bunch of misconceptions about lawyering that is dry, boring, static, logical, and thus not creative. Lawyering in and of itself is actually quite creative. It involves problem-solving. It involves strategy and tactics. It involves creating the “right” strategy that could be deployed to create the “right” path for the client. Therefore, lawyering becomes an exercise in creativity by thinking about that path, how it could be created, then creating it, and then adjusting it when deployed out in society. Writing persuasively and speaking persuasively also take creativity. I often say lawyers are trained to see and organize the very fabric of people and culture. They are trained to see “The Matrix” of society, meaning the very building blocks of society at a fundamental level. These are all creative endeavors.
- Brenda has participated in your business coaching sessions and experienced how uplifting you are individually and in a group. How has creativity come through unexpectedly in your coaching and speaking career?
It occurs in a moment-to-moment creation by remaining present and trying remove myself as the “teacher.” The creativity exists by allowing the participants to see what there is to see in the way that they are meant to see it, and in that moment. I know that may sound like a bit of “woo woo,” and still, I have found it to be true. Removing my judgment, beliefs, and preconceived ideas and instead allowing the participants to come to their realizations in their own time is the act of creativity. It is actually quite a joy to behold.
- How do you overcome creative blocks or challenges in your work or personal life?
I have so many of those challenges as well. I rely on several tools. Here is my list: Meditation practice; The Work (A set of journal exercises developed by Byron Katie); learning from mentors; learning from authors; being part of a community; regular physical exercise; listening to podcasters who “think outside the box”; hiring my own coaches; and talking to my wife on these subjects
- What would you tell someone who doesn’t think they are creative or have enough opportunities to be creative?
I would say we are all creative in our own way. Creativity exists and is ever present, like the blue sky, and there is only something in the way that is blocking that creativity – for now. I would have that person journal or “think on” what comes very naturally to them? What comes very easy to them? What hobbies do they like to pursue? What tasks or actions are fun for them? I would then suggest doing and pursuing those things and avoiding thoughts of comparison to others or “what others may think” about their creativity.
As far as lack of opportunity or time to be creative. I often think of this: Oprah, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Miley Cyrus; all have the same amount of hours that exist in a day. I have the same amount of hours that Oprah has. What am I going to choose to do with them? It all comes down to choice and our thoughts. When I say, “I don’t have time to be creative,” that is really just a thought that then ends up as a default choice. It is not true. I have the time. I have just not dedicated the time to a purpose. So, I then ask myself, how do I create my life and environment so I can dedicate the time to be creative? Then I do it, despite any thoughts that may try to detract me from doing it.
Are you a business owner interested in setting goals for your business and life? Learn more about Raef’s Masterclass here: https://raefgranger.com/masterclass