Guest Blogger: Tapping into Your Creativity

Tapping into Your Creativity 

By Anita Rothwell Lindsay
Photo: jscreationzs
“Capital isn’t so important in business. Experience isn’t so important. You can get both these things. What is important is ideas. If you have ideas, you have the main asset you need, and there isn’t any limit to what you can do with your business and your life.” ~Harvey Firestone
Each of us is born with creativity. Children bubble over with creative energy in search of an outlet for expression. So what happened along the path to adulthood?
Sharon Good wrote in her article Accessing Genius ”It has become clear to us that much of our genius is squashed at an early age. School curriculums are standardized in the interest of conformity and control and rarely address diverse talents and learning styles.”

You did not lose your creativity or your capacity for innovation. You may have neglected to excavate this buried resource. Steve Jobs built Apple’s empire through creativity and innovation. Steve Jobs exemplified a creative life, an innovative life and his quotes reflect his mission – gems of inspiration too precious not to share.

What are the secrets behind Steve Jobs’ success?
Design according to Steve Jobs

“In most people’s vocabulary, design means veneer. It’s interior decorating. It’s the fabric of the curtains or the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.” Fortune

“We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them.” flickr from Yahoo

Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service. The iMac is not just the color or translucence or the shape of the shell. The essence of the iMac is to be the finest possible consumer computer in which each element plays together. BrainyQuote

Creativity according to Steve Jobs

“Creativity is just connecting things,” Jobs said in a Wiredinterview in 1996. “When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity.” Brain Pickings

Innovation according to Steve Jobs

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” BrainyQuote

Photo: iStockphoto

“Innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem. It’s ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea. Business Week

“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.” Apple Blog

“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”

“Japan’s very interesting. Some people think it copies things. I don’t think that anymore. I think what they do is reinvent things.” BrainyQuotes


‘Breakthrough innovation—the kind that moves society forward—will be much, much harder to achieve. Innovation occurs when someone is obsessively passionate about a particular subject, whether it’s building computers that delight consumers, creating technologies that reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuels, developing life-saving medicines, cultivating an exceptionally engaging workplace, or any number of other ventures that improve the human condition. The people who obsess over these ideas cannot imagine doing anything else. Thinking about the subject consumes them, energizes them, and ultimately inspires them to create breakthrough companies, products and services.” The Dijulius Group The Customer Experience Blog
Love what you do

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.” Addicted2Success
What do you do when you are not at work? How do you spend your time? What are your interests? What are you passionate about? Define these moments and you have a road map to a creative life.
Change the world

“ I want to put a ding in the universe.” BrainyQuote

“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do want a chance to change the world?” dailykimchi

Jobs did not settle for anything less than his best. It takes vision, perseverance, and hard work to follow your dream, your inspiration. Your mantra, acknowledge your potential. Then find an enduring sustainable solution to a problem, a service or need. Trust your gut and lead with your heart.
Accept only quality
“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” Quality is more important than quantity, and in the end, it’s a better financial decision anyway,” BrainyQuote
When it comes to reshaping the universe and your world, strive for perfection. Without it, you let the air out of your passion if what service or product you produce is not your best work. You cannot promote a product, a service or yourself if you don’t believe your product or service is exceptional. BrainyQuote
Establish customer centricity
Jobs’ strategies: “Keep responses short, don’t respond to everything, communicate new information, real company issues are in your in box – do not ignore them.”

“Don’t sell products, services, or jobs, sell dreams & a vision.” The Dijulius Group The Customer Experience Blog

Deliver what you promise and stand behind it. If something goes wrong, make it right. Go above and beyond expectations.

Turn a deaf ear to failure

Steve Jobs dropped out of college after six months. He was fired by Apple in a power struggle. Jobs failed to launch NeXT, an expensive computer. Each end became a new beginning. He believed in his potential and maintained optimism.

“The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.” And he added, “I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful-tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it.” BrainyQuote


Learning to fail, and often, stretches you to grow. Most successful men and women built their empires on the lessons they learned from failure. According to Thomas Alva Edison, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 that won’t work.” BrainyQuote
Photo: iStockphoto
Solicit diverse experiences

“A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. They don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions, without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of  the  human experience, the better designs we will have.”  Wired

“Ultimately, it comes down to taste. It comes down to trying to expose yourself to the best things that humans have done and then try to bring those things in to what you’re doing. Picasso had a saying: good artists copy, great artists steal. And we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas, and I think part of what made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians and poets and artists and zoologists and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world.” Triumph of the Nerds

Dance to your own tune
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. … They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.” ABC News
Learn to say no
“We’re always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it’s only by sayingno that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.” BrainyQuote
And it comes from saying no to 1000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We’re always thinking about newmarkets we could enter, but it’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.” BrainyQuote
Ask lots of questions

“If you are willing to work hard and ask lots of questions, you can learn business pretty fast.” LUKEW IDERTION + DESIGN

“The point is not to go ask your customers what they want. If you ask that question in the formative stages, then you’re doing it wrong. The point is to go immerse yourself in their environment and ask lots of “why” questions until you have thoroughly explored the ins and outs of their decision making, needs, wants, and problems. At that point, you should be able to break their needs and the opportunities down into a few simple statements of truth.”
Anticipate and stand up to problems.
“When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there. But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can often times arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions.” Michael Gass Fuel Lines
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it on someone elses’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, BrainyQuote
Goleman, D. and P. Kaufman. “The Art of Creativity.” Psychology Today.  2011 June 13.

Cultivating Innovation in the Workplace. Free Management Library. n.d.


Serrat, Olivier. “Harnessing Creativity and Innovation in the Workplace.”Asian Development Bank: KnowledgeSolutions. 2009 Sept.

Apple Blog.


Creativity Time Management.


Personal Time Management Guide.

Eby, Douglas. “Does school support your Creative Growth.” Psych Central. 2010.

Gallo, Carmine. The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success


Cameron, Julie. The Artist’s Way. (not just for artists)

Tharp, Twyla. The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life.

van Leeuwen, Max. Innovation by Creativity: Fifty-one Tools for Solving Problems Creatively

Galindo, Javy W. The Power of Thinking Differently: An imaginative guide to creativity, change, and the discovery of new ideas.

Kelley, Thomas. The Ten Faces of Innovation: IDEO’s Strategies for Defeating the Devil’s Advocate and Driving Creativity Throughout Your Organization


GOOGLE  Search Terms: innovation and creativity quotes, Steve Jobs, innovative strategies, thinking differently
Anita Rothwell Lindsay, Information Specialist, Educator, and Workshop Facilitator, currently employed as a librarian at a local technical institute. Creative design consultant to ShoutOUT® Enterprises, Inc., Chimera Investigative Group, Inc. and Next30 Productions Inc. Contact Anita directly:

Image: Idea go /


About ShoutOUT

Founder of ShoutOUT. Love to discover, share, and connect my community to events, businesses, and services locally, nationally and internationally.
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