The other day a friend and myself were emailing each other and one topic that came up was whether we were morning or night people. His business requires him to get an early start. He works outside and once the sun sets the work day has to come to an end.
I’ve always been much more of a night person and find I get a lot done after most sane people are long asleep. When I thought about it more I realized it was a certain kind of work I get done late at night and wondered if there was a reason why.
Once the stars are out for the night and and a tiredness begins to creep in I find myself getting much more creative.
Late night work for me tends to lean toward the aesthetics of design and problem solving. I’ve often observed similar behavior in others and think that tiredness might have something to do with late night creativity.
Inhibition Prevents Creativity
When you’re tired you often lose inhibition. Perhaps the voice of reason takes a nap before the rest of you calls it a night, but I find myself more willing to try something new or different after hours.
Ten or so years ago I was still living in New York and most of my friends were creatives of one type or another. We were writers, artists, and musicians who worked during the day and got together after midnight for one kind of jam session or another.
Those sessions would start slow, but as the hours went by the creativity began to flow. Much of the best work came shortly before sunrise and close to the time when most of use were past coherent thought.
Admittedly other factors were in play. Let’s just say oxygen wasn’t the only thing we were inhaling, but again that goes towards a release of inhibitions leading up to our most creative moments.
Success Involves Taking Risks
Most ideas fail. Successful people know that and are willing to take chances on ideas to find those that stick. Inhibition keeps you from taking chances. It firmly plants you in the safe and moves you further away from remarkable.
Through a lack of fear and a lack of inhibitions some people will take a chance on something new. The more ideas they act on the more they increase their probability for succeeding with any one idea.
During the Renaissance, Florence, Italy was an important port city where many different cultures met and ultimately shared ideas. One very wealthy family supported the arts leading the area to become the intersection for creative ideas of the time. The Medicci Effect (pdf) describes the how the intersection leads to creativity and original ideas.
People take risks at the intersection. They’re dealing with the unknown and the unknown is never without risk. An inhibited person doesn’t spend years painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
It’s easy to play it safe and to become part of the herd. You might even be able to carve out a small niche within the flock, but followers are not influencers and followers fail to gain our attention most of the time.
Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
I’m not a risk taker by nature. Like most people I find it easy to fall back into comfortable patterns and routines and find I need to challenge myself to move away from the safe and known.
The other day I mentioned taking a chance on signing up for Teaching Sells and being very happy I did.
Earlier this year I picked up and moved to a new domain. I was nervous and apprehensive thinking I could lose subscribers and see my search traffic tank. I took a chance and in the end came out with what I think is a better design on a better domain and a more focused business.
Lately I’ve been working on the development of a WordPress theme as an entry point into the premium theme market. It’s another chance I’m taking. I’m putting in a lot of work (late at night of course) and may never sell a single theme. If that happens though I’ll take what I’ve learned and apply it to the next idea.
There’s no guarantee that taking a chance will lead you where you want to go, but I can guarantee if you keep doing the same thing you’ll end up in the same place every time.
Are you playing it safe in your business? When was the last time you tried something new on your blog? What could you do to free your inhibitions and call forth your creative muse?
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