Do you know your creative triggers?

creative triggers panda

What do you do to get your creative juices going?

I became aware of my creative triggers when I was a teenager – starting with cruising around my hometown on my bike and dreaming up great ideas and master plans for the future. But the bike was just the beginning of it. I later set out to find out what my creative triggers where, both when it came to my writing, but also when it came to drawing.

Creative trigger for writing: trains.

When I am doing keynote speaking gigs in Scandinavia or Germany, I prefer to get on a train and write for hours on end. I don’t know why I get so focused on trains, but it works every time. I get sucked into this train writing vacuum each time I get on a train, and I loose track of time.

Creative trigger for drawing: Rebellion

When I am going to draw something, I find inspiration in music and rebellic pictures. Street art. Words written to inspire. The image in this post is a quick sketch of a smoking panda.

Why do we have creative triggers?

I think it’s our brain’s way of saying “you’re inspired now – get to work”. Sometimes being in a room with no WiFi can be a creative trigger – simply because I get the feeling of not being on the internet, so I might as well write. That feeling of inspiration is one of my favorite feelings in the world. So, when I can’t get on a train to get big chunks of words down on paper,  I go for a brisk walk of around 40 mins. Another thing I often do is to go across the sea from here, to Helsingborg to sit at a café and write. I think the travelling aspect helps with inspiration as well. Or maybe, that things are just different if you go to another country.

Last week I wrote about being on a writing retreat in the middle of nowhere. I was so productive. If I am in a big city (Berlin is one of my favorites) I have a need to explore and not to sit down and write all the time. Mind you, when I am exploring, my favorite thing is to bring my small Ipad to a coffee shop and sit there and write. Normally it’s good words and work that comes out of it.

I think it’s important to know how you can trigger your creativity. It’s also important not to leave everything up to “feeling inspired”, but getting to work even though you’re not inspired and then appreciate when inspiration comes to you. Writing for me, is a job. It’s just what I do. If I left it up to “chance” or “inspiration” to get going each morning, I wouldn’t get much done.

rock on

 

 

 

How to create a personal mission statement

how to create a personal mission statement

One of the pieces of advice I always come back to, when it comes to my client work is that I want them to “speak in manifestos”. When you work with complex messages, it is always beneficial to be able to go back to “oh that’s what we mean” – or “oh yeah that’s why we’re doing this”. Especially when you work in teams and across management levels. That’s why I always work with different cores and different manifestos with my clients: it simplifies messages and get’s everybody on the same level.

It has been important to me to have a personal mission statement that keeps on reminding me, why I am as I am and choose as I choose. Now, I don’t post my personal mission statement at home on my wall. It lingers in my journals ready for me to look at it and remind me at times where I forget it.

Steps to writing a personal mission statement

- Who inspires you and why?

The people who inspire you can change your perception of things.
I have always been amazed on how much influence the blogs I subscribe to; they have on my life. There’s some of them I have been following for more than ten years and some of them are new. Some of them, I have subscribed to for some time, unsubscribed, and then resubscribed again after some time. If you want to change parts of you, you have to change your input.
I am aware that what I read isn’t only links that are shared by my friends on Twitter, or by the blogs I follow, but it’s also defined by the books I read and the magazines. Without going into details, it’s just important that you know what the different “outlet’s” are giving you.

- Who do you want to be?

I am still at a place where I am just happy to breathe. I am happy that my health is going in the right direction. But I think someway along the way, I don’t want to let my illness define me.  I want to be a writer. I AM a writer. But I want to write more. I want to create more. I want to feel good. To me, it’s more important to ask who you want to be today, than who you want to be 30 years down the line. That’s also an important question to ask, but the world are sometimes a bit too goal-oriented to me.

When you have answered those questions – you’re well on your way to being able to draft a personal mission statement. It’s not an easy process, but if you map down all the important words that keep popping up in your head, you can quickly write something together that looks like a personal mission statement.

Here’s my personal mission statement:
“my mission is to change me for the better and share my process. I will do this with being a true, creative, unique and inspiring person.

I know it’s a bit “airy” but it has to be if my work, my health, and everything else in my life has to fit in there. I do create mission statements around ever “sub-area” such as “health” as well.

ps. My mission statement used to have a different tone to it. It used to be:

“my mission is to change the world for the better and share my process. I will do this with being a true, creative, unique and inspiring person.”

But believing that I change the world by changing myself, I changed it a while back. It became closer to the heart of me.

Get creating rockers!

rock on

 

What I learned from going on a writing retreat

writing retreat

I have wanted to go on a writing retreat for ages. Not with other people, but on my own. Simply lock me up in a house somewhere and write.

When my friend Mariakaisa asked me if I wanted to tend to her farm while she and her family were on holiday, I immediately said yes. It was a chance to write more on a book I am working on, and research a lot on it as well. But it had some good surprises coming to me as well, apart from concentrated book writing.

It was so dark at night

To begin with, it felt like a huge challenge to be all alone on a farm where there’s 500 m to the nearest neighbor.  But after some time where I had a chance to calm myself it was wonderful. I’m used to having light, houses and noise around me at most times, so the “pitch-black-ness” of the nights out there made me quite anxious. It also made me look at why I was anxious around darkness, and I healed some stuff around it, that I think I’ve been carrying with me for ages. Another great thing was that I started tracking the daily cyclus of day and nighttime, something I haven’t been that aware of, before.

I didn’t speak many words

I loved to move around in silence. Writing in silence. For the first days, music was playing in the background at all times, but I eventually turned it off. I did the same with my phone. It felt like I was centering myself. It felt like I was finally able to get a distance to everything that has happened in the last year.

I got away from my every day, alone, which was lovely

It was great being alone in the world again, just tending myself and my creativity. It was amazing, and the focus made some things clear around the book. Like there are parts of it that I can’t write yet. There are subjects I need to research more on before I put my take on it down on paper. The focus made parts of the book process easy peasy.

There was a ton of other benefits. Taking my art serious and taking my time to nurture it on my own. Giving myself permission and space to “birth” it. I felt like some of the literary giants sitting in this house in the countryside, surrounded by animals.

Somewhere in this process, it became a book. Maybe a shit draft right now but it’s still a book that I am writing, and not just some thoughts coming together. It has a structure now, and it’s finding its voice.

So writing retreats are highly recommendable. Especially in places where there is peace and silence and darkness at night.

rock on

Hustle yourself larger

eurythmics hustle

Since I read this story I have meant to write about it here on henrietteweber.com.

I love a good marketing hustle, but I also love Eurythmics. When I started out in Marketing in London at the beginning of the 00s, it was on a budget that was a big zero. The startup I was working for didn’t have much money, and the first thing to be eliminated from the budget was the marketing and branding. I was told that they could afford my wages, but they couldn’t afford anything more than that.

What’s a girl to do? Hustle. I hustled myself larger. I (almost) begged to be invited to invite-only industry parties. I was super active in forums, and I discovered a gem: Blogs.

Relationship building online without having to meet for coffee all the time. Where you could make your brand larger than life. Where you could express everything around your company, and if it was remotely interesting to people, you would get a comment. Then you would write some more. And then people you met in the industry knew what you were up to. But it was all a big hustle. And then all of a sudden it became real. We didn’t have to hustle anymore.

We can all hustle. We don’t have to make things from the ground up. We can find a freelancer on odesk or fiverr or even hire a virtual assistant who can help us grow. Reach more people and build an empire. Just like Eurythmics.

You can implement slideshare presentations on your linkedin profile (free worksheet)

idea presentation worksheet

One of my constant go-to’s for inspiration in my work has been SlideShare. Or more the SlideShare / LinkedIn combination. It’s an amazing resource that can be used as a way to inspire you and your work, but also to get your creative ideas out there.

Slideshare has an embed function so you can share it across the Internet in the same way you would a youtube video. But one of the smart things that I often talk to people who want to turn their professional profile up a notch is that you can embed your SlideShare presentations directly on your LinkedIn profile.

That’s great for two things:

People who are interested in working with you will get a behind-the-scenes not “static LinkedIn summary” peek into who you are and what you’re passionate about enough to make a Slideshare presentation about.

You will get to work on your idea if you put it into a presentation. For me, I had one of my presentations featured on SlideShare, and it made a huge traffic increase to my site.

To prepare you even more, I have created a small worksheet that you can download for free.

You’re welcome – as always!

rock on

Could an online friend connection be a pact ?

friend connection pact

I want to propose something to you.
Something radical.
Something that could shift your brand purpose and how others view you.
I want you to see every friend connection as a mutual pact where you not only sign up to see what’s going on in each others life on social media. Where you also sign up to help each other grow creatively.

Where you help each other out.
In my perspective in my part of the pact, an online friend connection is as genuine as an offline. Where online is simply an extension to amplify the offline.

Where we help each other out – and not just click a “like” when your connection posts a picture.

I’m so blessed that I have a very creative network that launch things. They use blood, sweat and tears to build something fantastic.

The smallest thing I can do is to share their work and their efforts.

I’ve started to honor those genuine friend connections and help them launch their babies that mean the world to them. Sometimes by referring their work to others or sharing their updates.

I see it as a way I can serve the world and some of the people closest linked to me.

I see it as brand activism and viral effect  on an underground grassroot level, and that my friends, is one of the best things I know.

Peace out rockers!

How to market your creativity

how to market your creativityThere is one aspect to creativity that’s an, in particular; hard nut to crack.

It’s when it’s supposed to meet the world.

When it’s supposed to stand on its own, tall and beacon-like.

When we take it to market.

Like a stamp to your brand.
Like a developed sellable concept.
Like a painting ready to be sold.

It is at that moment that we as artists, writers and entrepreneurs are most vulnerable. It’s when we show our work to the public. With a blog like this, we do this bit by bit every day. But sometimes we develop something larger. Something to make us thrive even more in this beautiful world in which we exist.

You make your creativity consumable by labelling it.

By calling it names.

By adding “buy now” buttons all over it.

By making it bigger and more product-like.

And this is where the real challenge lies for creatives. Because we have, add an aspect to our creativity that some of us don’t have. That we have to develop and teach ourselves.

It can be a huge frustration, but it can also feel like the ultimate success if we crack this hard nut and make it consumable. Purchasable.

One of my absolute biggest takeaways from running a company for ten years is that labelling and packaging are, if not everything, then 80 % of creativity. It’s how we make our creativity ready for consumption that defines how well we’re going to sell our ideas and our creativity.

The worst thing for creativity

The worst thing for creativity is not silence.

Is not standing still.

Is not non-movement in thought or body.

Is not procrastination.

The worst thing for creativity is comparing you to other people and feeling they have it all and you have not-as-much.

The worst thing for creativity is complaining and whining and coming from a place of lack of ideas.

The worst thing for creativity is to not think you’re good enough and your art aren’t worthy of showing to other people.

Just the thought of these things takes my creative energy away.

I have often thought about the quote from Jean-Paul Sartre stating:”l’enfer – c’est les autres” or “hell is other people.” it’s not only inside ourselves that our creativity lies – it in particularly lies outside of us as well. If you’ve studied Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book “creativity” you’ll find out that our surroundings and our society has a huge effect on our creativity, and whether or not something is deemed creative at all.

I can in particular recomment the Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi book on creativity, it shows that there are two sides to creativity: creating and perception of the created.

 

Is creativity changing because we are more connected?

I believe that the perception of creativity is changing all of the time. With the internet our art is becoming visible to a lot of people who wouldn’t see it otherwise. Simply because it’s searchable and findable for eternity. So there are more possibilities to find a niche. There are more possibilities to connect with people who would love your art.

 

rock on

 

3 workbooks / planners for deep planning

Some people don’t get enough ideas. Or can’t get the right ones.

I, au contraire, am different. As I touched on the other day,  I have started to do some idea mapping around my gazillion ideas and jot them down and let them expand through notebooks and files.

But I have gotten some fantastic planners this year as well, Some people say planning is needed to keep my curls in order. I believe I need planning to let my freak flag fly higher. I have three that I think you rockers would love!

One is my desire map day planner by Danielle LaPorte. The other is a christmas gift from a dear friend – a passion planner  – for all my thoughts.

The third one – is the crowdfunding notebook  that I got in the mail last week from Mr. Danish crowdfunding himself Michael Eis. Michael and his crowdfunding platform Booomerang.dk has been a con amore project for me for a couple of years. So I was so psyched when I saw this in the mail:

crowdfunding notebook crowdfundingnotebook2 crowdfundingnotebook3 crowdfundingnotebook4
The design of the notebook has a Marilyn Manson/braille feel toward it.  But when you open it up, there’s nothing braille about it (the Marilyn Manson-esqueness is a matter of preference I guess). When I am launching my next crowdfunding project, this is going to be our main source of collaboration.

It’s an interesting tendency; you can get deep planners for all creative things these days – such as a crowdfunding project, or get a bit more perspective  to your desire and passion.

Write It all out I say.

 

 

Disruptive thinking: brand development before money gain

disruptive thinking brand development

I had a link coming through this morning from one of my facebook friends – about a swedish media exec who where clearly disrupting the media world with her thinking and how she implemented things in her organisation (link is in swedish though, sorry rockers!).

Disruptive thinking leads to disruptive actions, and disruptive actions change organisations.

I am a firm believer that unusualness and disruption by thought are the way to proceed.
Especially since I have been preaching business unusual and disruptive thinking in my brand studio Toothless Tiger, and making it the blueprint of everything I have done.

Creativity and play are also key – life is supposed to be challenging and fun, right? Looking at a challenge from so far away (or up so close) that the challenge changes- right before your eyes. It makes markets appear where no markets where.Disruptive thinking leads to disruptive actions, and disruptive actions change organisations.

If you want to be a leader in your field, if you want to be the one that others looks at because you do things differently, then you need to put those ideas into action.
When I researched for Return on Involvement, I did an interview with the CEO of the Danish office of Innocent Drinks. He told me that he had started to speak at a lot of logistic conferences. I was a bit puzzled by this. Why would he be speaking at logistic conferences? Because Innocent Drinks had taken a stand, that when they gathered the fruits that they used in their smoothies, from all around the world,  they weren’t going to use planes to fly the fruits in. It was against everything that Innocent Drinks stood for. So they decided to have a zero-plane policy. And nobody in the logistic industry thought that could it was possible to do this. But it was. Hence, a logistic rockstar company emerged to inspire the logistical industry, who also with this bold move showed that they put purpose before profit. That their long-term brand development matters more than short-term money gain.

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