Derek Sivers

Entrepreneur, programmer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

Business is Creative

Do not turn off your creativity when doing business.

Business is as creative as music.

I see so many musicians who are wildly creative when writing, playing, performing, and recording. But as soon as it's time to make some money, they clam up, get stiff, and lose all of their confidence.

They pick up a book that tells them exactly how to make a press kit, exactly how to send a letter, exactly what to say when making a call. They do everything exactly as told.

To understand how silly this is, imagine a business-person who has worked in an office for 20 years that starts doing music at the age of 50. They're scared and new so they try to do everything right. They play the “right” chords, the “safe” lyrics, and everything is boring and stiff. They are making music only like the book told them to do. They take no chances.

That's how musicians look, getting into business. They turn off their creativity and try to do everything “safe”. But that's the worst thing you can do.

Loosen up. Get confident, creative, playful, experimental. Break the rules. Do exactly what you're not supposed to.

Think of how comfortable you are on your instrument. Riffing. Improvising. Playing. Having fun with it.

Now be that comfortable in your approach to business, promotion, marketing. Riff. Improvise. Play. Have fun with it.

Do with your business what you would tell a new, stiff, scared musician to do with their instrument.

Business is Creative