What’s Holding Your Business Back and a Simple Fix You Can Implement Right Now

Everyone is born creative and given a box of crayons.

Then, around the age of 7 your crayons are taken away and replaced with books filled with algebraic nonsense, premature teachings, one sided history and lackluster leadership. Great training for when you grow up. <-Sarcasm :-)

Make no mistake, running a business is the expression of your desire to be creative. Being hit by the creative bug  is your pre-algebraic kid screaming “give me my crayons back”.

Here is what your algebraic inner-voice sounds like:

  • If I built it, will they come?
  • If I write a screenplay, will it sell?
  • If I write a book, will it get published?
  • If I develop new software, will it find enough clients to make me….Bill Gates?
  • If I write an article, will anyone comment?
  • If I start a business that I actually care about and enjoy doing; will the business fail?

This is your adult voice speaking. You’ve listened to it so far and where did it get you?

What’s worse, this voice is not even yours. It’s the voice of your teachers, parents, bosses, religious figures, and all manner of other seldom well intentioned and always misguided malarkey.

Your pre-algebraic voice is telling you to do it and enjoy the process. Listen to this voice. If you don’t it will die and take the best part of you with it.

They are only crayons. You didn’t fear them when you were a kid, why fear them now. ~ Hugh MacLeod

How do you know you’re on the right path?

If you hear a voice saying:

  • This is totally stupid
  • This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever done
  • This is utterly moronic
  • This is a complete waste of time.

I’m going to do it anyway.

If you hear that voice, you’re on the right path. Congratulations.

Part of the ongoing series based on a brilliantly delivered book Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity (Amazon Affiliate Link) by Hugh MacLeod.

How will express yourself right now?

Other posts in this series:

To Fail, Expect to be Discovered

Devil Gets His Due Either Way So Choose Wisely

Ignore Everybody

Good Ideas Have a Lonely Childhood



Dino Dogan

Global Force for Badassery | Founder of Triberr | Refugee from Bosnia | Writer for Technorati | Speaker | Lousy Martial Artist | Pretty good singer/songwriter | Hi :-)

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  • http://twitter.com/Canis_bonus Canis bonus

    This is hot off the heels of my cousin letting slip that my father finds my academic forays in the world of dog behaviour (‘dog psychology’, as he calls it with a sneer) as a ‘complete waste of my brain’. Funny that, it’s only made me more determined.

    These are the kind of posts I need as I have just officially registered my business and I need to stop potting about and actually make money now. When I like nothing more than toying with ideas and just finding out new stuff.

    Thanks for the words of encouragement in a period of my life when the world is pressuring me to be at my most algebraic!

    • http://diyblogger.com/ Dino Dogan

      Congrats on being official. No more potting about indeed :-) The creatives and the dreamers shall inherit the world :-)

      • http://twitter.com/Canis_bonus Canis bonus

        Thanks, Dino!

  • http://twitter.com/Canis_bonus Canis bonus

    Oh, and here’s another thought. To indulge my scientific side: a study (don’t ask me which, can’t remember off the top of my head) showed that one of the characteristic that all successful entrepreneurs had in common was the ability to bounce back from ‘failure’, and to keep going in the face of adversity.

    If everyone thought in terms of “It can’t be done”, we would still be pushing carts with square wheels.

    Conventional world, I have news for you: you need your theorists and dreamers, our trials and errors are building your future!

    • http://diyblogger.com/ Dino Dogan

      The thing about the failure or the fear of failure is simple. Its NOT in our nature to give up and its not in our nature not to try.

      Imagine when you were baby and the first time you tried to walk and it didnt work so you figured “well, that didnt work, I failed, Im a stupid baby, I might as well give up”. No, you didnt think that way..you just kept on going.

      Someone once said that if you want to succeed faster double your rate of failure.

      Looking at it from a psychological perspective we attribute to much importance to our successes AND failures. We think we are some kind of wonderful when we succeed and we think we suck when we dont.

      I have a post coming out in few days that quotes the scripture (hehe) but I’ll reveal the opening line right now cuz its going to make my point for me. Here goes:

      The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.

      Time and chance happens to us all.

      • http://twitter.com/Canis_bonus Canis bonus

        That baby example is so inspiring I am adding it to my list of quotes! http://canisbonus.com/home/about-me/inspiring-quotes/

        • http://diyblogger.com/ Dino Dogan

          (read in your best Oprah voice) AWESOME!!! ..you get a car, you get a car, I get a quote lol

  • http://twitter.com/ElisesReview Elise M

    Hahhhahhhhahha I love how you ended this article. This is me all the way, especially when I started video blogging just before Christmas.

    “Wow, what am I doing? I’m insane for acting like an idioit on camera in front of strangers on the internet. But I love YouTube. I’ll do it anyway.”

    And it’s great how you distinguish between the two voices. I think we need both to succeed, for sure. Also, that crayon quote is awesome!

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Thx Elise…you rock. And Im glad you decided to listen to your non-algebraic voice :-)

  • http://www.guidegoods.blogspot.com Edwin

    Great post Dino. I guess society has shaped us ot question everything we do. In some cases this is good but in others it might not be.

    I like how you say when a voice inside you says no that means you;re doing something good! :)

    http://guidegoods.blogspot.com/

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Thnx Edwin. It makes sense…right? If your algebraic brain is telling you its “wring” but you feel you must do it with every fiber of your being then which voice wins that contest starts to define who you are.

      I hate to indulge in profundity but sometimes its nice to wax poetic :-)

  • Anna

    Very interesting post. When I clicked on the tweet I expected something entirely different and was pleasantly surprised. One of the things I must do as a dog trainer is be very creative in how I deal not only with dogs but also with people. And especially I have to tap into my creative side when I am dealing with the business side of things.

    This might be from figuring out how to leverage my investment (of effort, money, and so on) or how to use my business as a spring board for other things (selling dog toys on my website has been a huge thing for us).

    Wonderful post. Thank you for phrasing it so beautifully.

    Anna

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Thnx Anna, I appreciate it. Business advice tends to skew toward boring and dry, so I try to keep things…ahhh interesting? lol

      thnx agan

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  • http://twitter.com/LesleyORice Lesley Rice

    This post was not what I expected at all. I was expecting something boring.

    But I actually feel inspired. I must be on the right path because that voice is spending a LOT of time talking to me.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Hi Leslie. I really want to thank you for leaving a comment on THIS post. I wrote a stupid throwaway review piece today and its getting all the action. Meanwhile, posts that I spend a lot of time crafting like this one get moderate traffic/comments at best…anyways…

      “Its not what I expected” seam to be the general consensus regarding this post which pleases me :-)

      So thank s again for visiting/commenting and dont hesitate to contact me for parties and dance recitals :-)

      talk soon :-)

  • http://www.ricardobueno.com Ricardo Bueno

    Re: “Your pre-algebraic voice is telling you to do it and enjoy the process. Listen to this voice. If you don’t it will die and take the best part of you with it.”

    Love this line and the Hugh MacLeod quote tie in. Personally, I’ve always been a creative (and always will be). There’s been times when I’ve failed but you just have to pick yourself, learn from your mistake and keep pushing your creative boundaries. When people have told me “you can’t do it”, that’s only fueled my creativity more. The way I see it is, it’s better to have tried and applied your all, then to have wondering “what if.”

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Creativeness, not cleanliness, is next to godliness. The creative brain is becoming more and more important as the complexity of our systems keeps increasing. So its a matter of survival on one hand and on the other, the creative process brings us as close as humans can get to god.

      The creative process we engage in is the same creative process gods engage in when creating heavens and earth…or whichever version a person believes in. Its always some god creating some thing. Creating something is the closest a person can get to god. This is true both literally and figuratively.

      When man and women engage in coitus they are engaging in creating life together. Its all connected baby lol

      OK..Ima stop now before profundity gets too deep..oops, too late lol

      I guess all Im trying to say is dont change. Stay creative and you’ll be ait :-)

  • http://www.skywardblog.net Jason

    Dino, first time here man….awesome! Great post, definitely captured the inner dialogue issue that we all suffer from…and squashes our creativity. Thanks!

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      You’re welcome Jason, Im glad you enjoyed it. Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear?

  • http://www.trafficgenerationcafe.com Ana | Traffic Generation Cafe

    Staying focused is always the best cure.

    Ana Hoffman

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Focus is good @WebTrafficCafe but how do you get focus when your muse is calling your name? Yet, there is no easier way to get focus if you focus on your muse.

  • http://twitter.com/lavenderuses Patricia Millman

    Hi Dino

    Firstly thanks for visiting my blog and staying to post an insightful comment. Much appreciated.

    I think that working in isolation all those thoughts and doubts can come flooding in ! That’s why I am grateful to have connected with some great people in the blogging community.

    When I face bumps along the journey, they are there to cheer me on. Only yesterday I was getting disillusioned with some of the stuff I was reading as I visited sites. Some of the venting and blatant nastiness I found shocking. Also on other sites there are riducuous suggestions for newbies that basically will set them up to fail!

    So I am crossing some blogs off my list to continue visiting. As I find quality posts elsewhere, that’s where I will spend my time. Staying focused on my achievable goals is where it’s at for me. And continuing to learn from those who are walking the walk.

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Thnx Patricia, I really enjoyed your blog. Focus is great and dont forget to have fun along the way :-)

  • http://www.earnmoney-fromhome.com/blog2 bryanwongyh

    Hey Dino,

    I must be on the right track then since I’ve thought of all you’ve said below:

    “If you hear a voice saying:

    This is totally stupid
    This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever done
    This is utterly moronic
    This is a complete waste of time.”

    Oh wait.. thought of quitting too (and many times). But I just went ahead, do my thing as best as I can.

    Nice short rhetoric sounding post but definitely thought provoking :)

    Rock on!

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      thnx Bryan, I checked out your blog too..Im looking fwd to reading some of those posts…very though provoking as well. :-)

  • http://workoutsforhome.com Susan@Home Workouts

    Hey Dino, I was born without a creative bone – I really have to go through a ton of ideas for things before I get one that works, and none of them are creative :-)

    Maybe I should practice with crayons!

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      C’mon Susan, we are ALL born creative. We just forget how to be creative. And yes, I agree, crayons are a wonderful idea :-)

  • http://twitter.com/jaennutter Julie Nutter

    GIVE ME BACK MY MOTHER FUCKING CRAYONS.
    Am I on the right path, here?

    And I empathise with this a lot…but I’m other the other side….trying to accomplish dreams within a well-defined, multi-rule-book, blah effing blah blah blah…. It gets a bit annoying. I like this approach. But it’s not like I’ll ever grow a pair and try it. Or maybe I will. Time will tell.

    Love the point, and that you felt the need to write an article about it. Cool.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      you are most def on the right path lol

  • http://www.itinerantentrepreneur.com/journal/ Robert Dempsey

    All I have to say is damn straight! I read Hugh’s book too and it’s freaking awesome. Ignore the voices, do what you’re going to do, screw all the people that will never understand why you’re doing what you’re doing, and keep doing it.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      What a great read, isnt it? I took all of one afternoon to read it but it has inspired several articles..now thats bang for your buck lol

  • http://www.inspiredwish.com Jeanie

    I’m being pulled in a direction that I feel I have no control over. To quote Darth ‘The force is strong with this one’. I suspect I’m making a fool of myself. If that means I’m on track, heck I’ll be a jester and dance about. To my mother who said do secretarial studies because that will get me a real job (ok she was right) but now I’m stomping my feet and throwing a tanty ‘I want my crayons!’

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Damn straight. Sounds to me like you’re onto something :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/MorganBarnhart Morgan Barnhart

    Hi Dino!

    You hit the nail on the head. Whenever I get nervous or try to delay putting something together, that’s when I know I’m onto something. :)

    Thanks for this!

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      That algebraic voice can be a real asshole, cant he? lol Glad it resonated with you..would be interesting to hear -if we could- a voiceover artist’s inner voice…what does that sound like? lol

  • http://twitter.com/PeevishPenman Carrie Bailey

    You are awesome.