We are ALL self-employed and need to be creative

Only those of us who have made the jump into self-employment know the real truth. And no matter what happens, we wouldn’t trade it for the world (of employment). The fact that the highs are higher and the lows lower, the wonderful feeling when you make it big and you know it was all down to YOU. On the other hand you have the constant pressure to do more, find more business, be quicker and smarter, more creative…

Now that last one is my absolute passion. Self-employed people do tend to use more of their creativity, I find, because they have to. However, in this volatile world, I would argue that everyone should see themselves as self-employed because they need to shine and stand out even in (or especially in) a job. When the axe comes down, there will be some people that will be spared, and they are the ‘top talent’. Some creativity is required. Now, where to get it when you are working harder than ever and the current climate and people around you are trying to drag you down?

Some of the best ideas I have ever had have been through strategic thinking games, such as asking What If? and following it with more and more outrageous suggestions. Such as, What If people start living to be 250 years old? What implications would that have? Mostly, you need to let your thoughts run free and unfettered for awhile and watch what comes up, without immediately stifling them. If you catch yourself saying ‘Yeah, but that would never happen’, just ask ‘But if it did happen, then what?’ It’s about taking risks, going out on a limb.

The other night my husband and I went to the fantastic Savanna restaurant at the Black Lion pub in St Albans and there was a very interesting music act playing. Imagine two guys in their 40’s playing guitars and singing. They call themselves Whateversclever (no website sadly). The best thing was not their voices, but they were having a great time. The guitars sounded pretty good and there was some fantastic performing on some songs. But the best thing by far was the eclectic mix of songs they chose to play: Beatles, Coldplay, The Monkees, The Eagles, Jimi Hendrix, plus a fast an very non-Reggae version of Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry”, and best of all… Britney Spears “Hit Me Baby One More Time”. Can you imagine, two middle-aged slightly balding blokes with fairly croaky voices singing their hearts out and strumming and picking away?! Priceless.

My first thought was ‘How on earth did they think to put this collection of songs together?’ They must have asked, What If. What if we played this one, that one… yes, even that one…

We could all do with taking risks like that, whether we know we are self-employed or not.