One of my mentors is an event planner who’s been in the event planning business for more than 20 years in Kenya. Let’s call her Alice*.
During a session one day, I asked her what an entrepreneur should protect at all times. I thought she was going to mention networks, investment, knowledge/wisdom, loyal staff members…etc.
Little did I expect to hear her say, “your creativity.”
Alice went further to explain that it is what has kept her in business for more than 20 years. Despite her being one of the pioneers in the wedding industry in Kenya, she has faced challenging times as people check-in to her organisation in the name of “learning” yet in reality some are often sent by competitors to copy her mode of running business. Boy am I learning it first-hand as others try to do the same with my new startup.
Over the years, Alice watched businesses come up and crash down as they tried to copy her approach. They got what they wanted so why didn’t the businesses thrive?
Well, her answer to this is that copying is attractive but in real sense more tiresome than coming up with your own ideas. When a business faces challenges, it is the leader’s creativity that often plays a part in salvaging the organisation.
In her events business, Alice was able to always come up with new products, services and approaches that the “copy cats” found hard to keep up with because they only depended upon her steps. Her creativity helped to fuel her vision which helped her branch out of Kenya and into other countries while some of the “copy cats” went out of business over the years.
Moral of the story: You are your best asset because you are the only one who understands your vision 100%. So protect your creativity as this is what every successful person holds as a secret weapon. Look at some of the most successful initiatives in the world then do a background check on the leaders who contributed to their success. You’ll realise that it’s their creativity that helped them spot opportunities in places, things and climates where others didn’t see possible for the success of their vision.