Problems with being creative?

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I have noticed that there either people who are super creative with crazy ideas and who make tons of non-linear connections but lack discipline, or there are people who are very hard-working and smart, but can’t come up with a good tagline to save their life.  I’ve noticed this in the musical world too with jazz vs. classical musicians.

To the creatives: almost anyone can push keys on a piano, but if you have discipline and become an expert at your craft, your ideas will have even more possibilities and you will be able to back your ideas yourself.  People may not notice if you fake it, but they will notice if you know what you’re doing.

To the hard-working: don’t be afraid to make mistakes.  It takes a lot of courage and thick skin to put yourself out there.  You will fail and sound foolish at first when you start “improvising” or “creating”.  It’s just like when children first learn how to talk.  First you learn basic sounds, then some essential words, and after a while you speak full sentences.  You will never learn how to speak with your mouth shut.  Listen to the pros in the industry, and then try it for yourself.  My jazz prof in college said there are two things that will make you an improv pro: listening and playing.  Put your hard work to good use and don’t be afraid to fail.  Everyone starts somewhere.


  1. on 05.11.2013
    at 4:07 PM

    John, I love the article. As for being creative, I would fall into the second category. I work-hard, but then get stuck on coming up with something creative. I will definatly implement these steps in the future when trying to come up with created items.

  2. Bryson Edmonds
    on 22.11.2013
    at 5:28 PM

    Great insight John. I totally agree. You will never get anywhere in life if you’re not willing to put yourself out there, for better or worse. It’s definitely something I struggle with, but something that needs to be done.

  3. on 27.11.2013
    at 5:58 AM

    Interesting insight here. Creativity is a great tool to have but there must be a focus to the creative process. There is also a sense of passion that a creative person has to have in order produce meaningful work. I think this goes for everything in life, but is seen especially in music.

    • John Green
      on 20.12.2013
      at 8:39 PM

      Hi Evan, you’re absolutely right! I like to think that this applies to a lot of things besides marketing and music. I learned in the Fire Department that people never rise to the occasion–they fall back to their training. That’s why I wrote this post. Which “category” do you think you fall under? Creative or Hard-working?

  4. on 09.12.2013
    at 8:26 PM

    speaking from the completely un-creative bunch this is a great post! its good to be reminded to put yourself out there and not be afraid to fail! you can work as hard as you want at something but if you dont step put of your comfort zone it could spell disaster.

    • John Green
      on 20.12.2013
      at 8:36 PM

      Thanks Kaylee! I’m glad you liked this post! I’m all about strategy, but at some point, you just have to get down and start messing around. The strategy is what you fall back to when you don’t know what else to do.

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