Maritza and I work with a lot of incredibly creative people everyday in our business. All of them without exception have fallen into what is known as the “Creativity Trap” at one time or another.
We’ve fallen into this trap more than a few times too. The end result is always a lot of frustration and very few if any sales. There’s a way out, but it takes courage and the proper perspective.
What is the “Creativity Trap” you ask?
Let me explain by first describing the lifecycle of an idea as it matures into product and then income. This lifecycle can be broken down into several steps, most of which blend from one into the next:
Step 1: The Idea
Step 2: Research & Development
Step 3: Product Creation
Step 4: Marketing & Advertising Creation & Implementation
Step 5: Sales
Step 6: Delivery
Step 7: Customer Service
The “safe” area for most creative entrepreneurs is everything that happens before you move into Step 5 and start to sell your idea. Steps 1 – 4 are “safe” because little to no feedback is being received from anyone.
The unsafe or fearful step begins when we begin to put our idea out there and start selling it. The fear of the selling step comes from our misguided perception and over association of our idea with our worthiness.
We wrongly assume that if our idea and product isn’t accepted (and acted upon en masse) then neither are we. If lots of people immediately buy our product, then we are worthy. It they don’t, then we aren’t.
We labored for days, weeks and sometimes even months bringing the idea to life. We invested hours creating the perfect headline, ad copy, graphics and opt in page. We crafted the ideal email campaign with must open subject lines and persuasive, benefit filled copy that has to lead to a click. We reviewed and refined our deliverable over and over again trying to increase it’s value each time. We poured our blood, sweat, tears, heart and soul into our idea.
After putting so much effort into our idea, we begin to believe our idea and the resulting product or service is who we are. We wrongly assume that if our idea doesn’t yield instant success then we don’t really understand our prospects, and we aren’t the expert we thought we were.
The problem is very few ideas result in immediate success. Feedback and the refinements that come from this information are almost always required before an idea matures into long term, consistent successful sales.
We may have every piece of the puzzle perfect except for one or two. Just a couple small tweaks stand between us and success.
Our over association with our work makes us overly sensitive and afraid of the feedback we need to make the small, required improvements that lead to a successful idea.
We run from the very thing we need to have the success we desire. Feedback. Feedback from our prospects and clients. And feedback in the form of data from each piece of our sales funnel.
What happens is most of us dip our toes into the selling step, get a little negative feedback and then immediately retreat back to step 1. We retreat to where we’re free from judgement, and develop another idea.
We want to work where we feel safe from judgement.
We missed out on the feedback we need that will make our idea work. We need information on each part of the funnel we created to uncover the gaps and make needed improvements.
The “Creativity Trap” is constantly creating new content because selling what you have opens you up to judgement.
To break out of the trap you need to have two things:
- Courage: The courage to see your idea all the way to the end. Yes, you have to put it out there and get feedback and data.
- Perspective: The proper perspective to realize your worthiness is inherent. Your worthiness comes from within. You were born with it. You never, ever need to look outside yourself to find or know your worthiness. Its part of you and can never be taken away or diminished by anyone (unless you allow it).
Your idea was just that. Nothing more. You have an idea of how you can provide value to your clients. We rarely get every piece of the puzzle that’s needed to fully develop an idea into a product that sells right at the start. In fact it rarely if ever happens.
There are MANY moving parts to a successful sales funnel. More than likely you got pieces of it right but not the whole thing. So sales are off at the start. And that’s normal. It’s okay.
You need to know which areas you got right and which need improvement, and you’ll never know without the feedback and data you’ll get when you sell your stuff.
Accept the feedback as the valuable information that will enable you to perfect your idea not the judgement of your worthiness.