C is for Creativity, Customers And Cash

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Imagine you have lots of creative ideas. Some you may want to translate into a service or product that helps other people. Some you may even want to turn into cash. Let’s explore ways to make this happen.


What do you have ideas about? Different people give different answers to this question. Over the years I have worked with people who have said some of the following things.

I have ideas about:

How people can take more care of their health … How people can build on their strengths … How people can use technology to improve education … How people can make organisations work better … How footballers can improve their nutrition … How people can use pressure as a trigger for achieving peak performance better.

Let’s imagine you want to translate your creative idea into a service or product that will help people to succeed. You can ask the classic questions.

Who are the target group – the potential customers?

What are their needs? What are the challenges they face? What is their picture of success?

What are the specific things that the service or product could do? What would be the benefits to the customers? What could it deliver to help them to achieve success?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe some of the creative ideas that you have.

Describe the specific things you can do to translate one of these ideas into a service or product that might help other people.

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Creativity is fun, but the advice given to budding entrepreneurs is: “Go out and get your first three customers. The customers will help you to shape your offering.”

“But I don’t like to sell,” somebody may say. “It feels like I am imposing on people.”

Sometimes it is important to reframe this as: “I want to help the customers to succeed.”

Before taking that step, however, it is important to know how to position your services or products for potential buyers. If you are planning to work for organisations, clarify how what you offer can help them to improve their profits, product quality or people.

The key is to focus on the customers, rather than yourself. Trusted advisors, for example, show they understand people’s goals. They then provide advice that enables them to achieve success.

Different people have different ways of reaching customers. It is vital to follow your natural style. You can discover different ways of doing this via the following link.

Getting Work

“But what about money?” somebody may ask. “I have been told that it is unprofessional to work without getting paid.”

Like an actor, it is vital to ‘keep working’. A similar rule applies to knowledge workers, for example, when seeking out potential projects. It is vital to: “Get out there, get alongside customers and get working.”

Remember: networking is not about self-promotion. Real networking is about helping other people to succeed. Providing you do good work, somebody will say: “How can we take this further?” That is when you can ask for funding.

Bearing in mind the service or product you want to offer, try tackling the exercise on this theme. Describe the specific things you can do to reach potential customers and help them succeed.

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“Man does not live by bread alone,” is the saying. True – but we do need food to survive. So it is important to get paid.

My own approach has been to visit potential customers and spend a couple of hours with them once or twice. The aim has been to pass-on practical tools they can use to succeed. If they would like a third visit, we explore the possibility of funding.

Freelancers often remember the satisfaction of sending their first invoice and getting the money in the bank. If you want to follow the fulfilling road and get funding, it is good to develop commercial awareness.

Granny’s advice still remains: “You have to earn more money than you spend.” Making this happen will fund your future innovation. You will then get the right balance of creativity, customers and cash.

Try tackling the exercise on this theme. Describe the specific things you can do to perform superb work and get cash in the bank.

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