How To Be Creative 01: Surround Yourself With Good Company

We’re all about promoting creativity. It’s what we do and why we launched this series. Creativity is totally within your reach, but like anything, sometimes you need a little nudge. Inertia’s a bitch like that.

Photo: Clay Banks

Being creative is about listening, observing, sharing, and remixing ideas. And just like how we’re the average of the five people we spend the most time with, we’re only as creative as the company we keep. By surrounding yourself with other inspiring, positive, and creative people you’ll benefit big time. Notice I didn’t say people like you. You’ll often get more out of spending time with people of different ages, backgrounds, genders, occupations, and socioeconomic means.

Being creative doesn’t mean you need to figure out time travel, start the next tech unicorn, or go viral. Most of the time, being creative is simply taking an idea one step further or applying something that already exists in a new way.

Coworking is one way to surround yourself with a diverse group of people. It’s blown up on a worldwide scale, but you don’t really even have to be that organized or throw down hundreds of dollars a month on a desk. Who do you know in your life that has a really cool job or interesting side project? Strike up a conversation, take them to coffee or lunch, and get them talking about their passions. You’ll be surprised how much hearing the excitement in their voice will lift you up. And if you don’t have someone like that in your connections right now, reach out to them on LinkedIn or Instagram. Show them your honest curiosity. Many people would be happy to share a few minutes of their time chatting with you (even via phone or video chat) if you’re sincere about it.

From experience, if you do cowork, be careful not to fall into the trap of getting so caught up in your own day-to-day. Don’t treat it as like shared office space with strangers. If you do, you’ll miss out on the magic that is having other entrepreneurs, marketers, designers, engineers, and writers to collaborate with. Make at least a small part of your week about connecting with others through lunches, happy hours, or a creative activity.

Ready to take action? Be sure to check out:
Creative Mornings — a monthly breakfast lecture series
Why People Thrive in Coworking Spaces