Why You Struggle as a Creative Running a Business

idea-1014052_640The demands placed on business owners today can be overwhelming at times. But, for creative business owners, the burden can be especially frustrating. Their need to be creative within a limited timeframe and within a budget can dampen their creativity, reduce their performance and may even result in dramatic business failures.

True, there are cases of creative business owners who thrive (See our post: Here’s What Creatives Do To Thrive in Business). These are a rare breed.  Most creatives never achieve anything close to thriving. Typically, they either give up, fail or they struggle for way too long in frustration and never quite reach their true potential.

Can the science of creativity shed any light on to why these creative business owners struggle? And, more importantly, is there anything that can help them learn to thrive?

The answer to both questions is “Yes.” But first we must understand what creativity is.

Most often the definition ties in an element of divergent thinking abilities. In common language, creativity is the ability to “think outside the box.”

The process of creativity requires the relaxation of portions of the executive function. The executive functions are basic cognitive processes that control thought and action.  Science is still uncovering exactly which executive functions relax, but brain scans reveal that creative activity is associated with the relaxation of the functions most often associated with powerful linear thinking.

“We found that activation of the brain’s executive-control centers — the parts of the brain that enable you to plan, organize and manage your activities — is negatively associated with creative task performance,” said Stanford Professor, Allan Reiss.

interview-717291_640So, why do creative struggle when leading a business?

Because, in order to access their deepest levels of creativity, they must relax many of the executive functions that are often required in business. These include impulse control, emotional control, flexible thinking, working memory, self-monitoring, planning and prioritization, task initiation and organization. As a business owner, it can be challenging to balance the need to stick to a plan with deadlines and the need to have an open schedule to be creative. Business ownership may require the use of extensive organizational skills and at the same time creativity requires the allowance for some chaos and the free-flow of ideas.

These dichotomies are real challenges for creatives who own businesses. They must learn to build in the time they need as well as the freedom to be creative while also being disciplined enough to organize their thoughts and actions.

If you are a creative business owner and find yourself struggling to balance your creativity and your linear thinking, you can learn a process that is designed to help you in our #1 Best Selling Book, “LEVERAGE: Achieve a Lot with the Little You’ve Got” or the Master Class based on our book.  Both are designed to help creative business owners balance their creativity and their need to be a disciplined leader so that they achieve the success that they’ve always wanted.


Tony Bodoh is the CEO of LeaderBridge. He is also a Fortune 150 consultant, the founder of Tony Bodoh International and the best-selling author of “The Complete Experience: Unlocking the Secrets of Online Reviews That Drive Customer Loyalty“.  Tony is also a popular speaker at business and customer experience conferences.  Vinny Ribas is the President of LeaderBridge. He is the CEO of Top 4M Entertainment, the CEO of Indie Connect, a consultant to 1000+ small businesses and the author of “CEO Secrets: What They Know About Business That Every Entrepreneur Should“. Vinny is also a popular speaker at business and music industry conferences. Together they wrote the #1 Best-Selling book, ‘LEVERAGE:  Achieve a Lot with the Little You’ve Got‘ (with Connie Ribas) and teach an in-depth 4-week course based on it.