How to Solve Your Clients' Problems With Creativity

Creativity is Problem Solving - Ernest Hemingway Sitting in a Chair

There’s something about that chair you’re sitting in. So inviting.

It’s comfortable, though you wouldn’t want to spend an entire day in it.

Yet, there you are.

All day.          

“What the hell happened?” you wonder. You used to have such great ideas you couldn’t wait to share with the world.

You were going to be a mover, a shaker, and a big deal maker.

Somewhere along the line, that chair got pretty damn comfortable. But now, your rear is sore from years of sitting. You want to spring up from the desk and into the arms of a new career. A fresh start.

But how? It seems like everyone else has the big ideas you just weren’t made to have.

So many people feel like they are in a dead-end job, doing something they can’t stand.

Filling out reports, replying to emails, putting out fires. Everyone has to do it.

Many of us have that feeling inside of us. Something is boiling beneath the surface. An itch we wish we could scratch.

But we’re stuck here in this chair.

Hey, I get it. It’s ergonomic. It feels pretty good.

Ahhh, heck, this job ain't so bad.

We look at successful people, and wonder what makes them different. Many of them seem to be creative. The artists, writers and musicians; they’re creative, of course. They’re cut from a different cloth. Their brains are wired differently.

Maybe even successful business people are creative. That’s how they got there, right? They have something the rest of us don’t. Right?


But I'm Not Creative!

Me, I don’t have that creativity gene. I’m not good with words and am tone deaf in both ears. Can’t sing, can’t dance, but I’m decent at pushing paper.

Have you ever felt the same way? I’m willing to bet you have.

And maybe you wish you could be more creative, or maybe you’ve long since given up after convincing yourself you aren’t.

There could be a million reasons why, but honestly, I don’t care!

You see, I’m convinced that everyone is capable of being a creative genius! I think we all have abundant creativity stored up deep inside, begging for an excuse to get loose.

You Gotta Believe

I truly believe we are all very creative; we just don’t know it yet.

Now, I’m not saying we can all be Pablo Picassos. That idea for a movie you have, it’s probably not that great (hate to break it to you!).

And do I really need to tell you that all that singing practice you get while driving isn’t going to do you a bit of good? (Don’t worry, I once got a ticket for disturbing the peace while singing and driving!)

No, few of us have what it takes to be a creative painter, poet or even a blogger.

So, why do I keep talking about being creative? Because you are creative! You simply have the wrong definition of creativity.

You see, I think that creativity is really just problem solving.

If you’re already a great artist, not only am I jealous, but this may not apply to you. But for the other 99% of us, what in the world can problem solving have to do with creativity?

Well, the trouble is we don’t see artists as problem solvers. But they are!

Searching for Creativity to Solve Problems

Do You See What I See?

A painter has a vision in his head, and is compelled to get it down on canvas. The problem is he isn’t a copy machine. He has to figure out a way to take what he sees in his head and replicate it in a physical medium.

He has to use color, shading, texture and perspective to get the rest of us to see what he sees. The thing is, we can’t see inside his brain!

That sounds like a pretty big problem, doesn’t it? But he makes it seem so easy.

When the painting is done and we step back to view it, we are amazed. “What genius!” we cry. “What a visionary!” experts claim. “I wish I were that creative,” we all sob.

How did he do it?

He solved a problem. Now I admit, he has a skill set I never could, but when you distill it down, he solved a problem.

We are all problem solvers. It’s in our DNA. Our brains are literally built to solve complex problems. Sure, you could train yourself to crunch numbers in your head like a machine, but it doesn’t come naturally.

Ernest Hemingway, one of my favorite authors, put it this way:

My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.

I feel everyone can be creative. Yes, even you, sitting in that really nice chair! There’re only a few things standing in your way:


We all have the same amount of time each day. I’m not saying you should quit your job to live a carefree bohemian lifestyle like some fancy painter. Because that’s not going to work.

What I mean is: you have to make time for yourself to be creative. You need free time to just sit and think. No email, no phone, no endless Youtube videos.

Just you, and your brain.

When’s the last time you did that? None of us really have the time to, but some of us make the time. Despite our jobs, kids and everything else, it is possible to set aside some time to think. Even if it’s just 5 minutes, stop and ponder the world.


This goes hand in hand with making time for yourself. You need to have the right setting. Where do you find your zen?

The most important thing is to get rid of other distractions. How will your creative juices start to flow when you keep getting email notifications on your screen?

But your thinking space doesn’t need to be devoid of all outside influences. In fact, it’s a good idea to include something from your everyday world to act as inspiration.


No, this isn’t going to turn into a motivational speech. Go watch some Tony Robbins videos for that.

What I will say is this: You have to want to be creative. It’s easy to get stuck in the daily grind. You need to get out of it, because when you step back, you give your mind the freedom to do some creative problem solving.

When you give yourself time to just think, you'll look past the day to day tasks you have to deal with, and see the big picture.

That's where the magic can happen: when you see the big picture and start figuring out creative ways to get things done.

Past Success

Are you beginning to realize that you're creative after all?

Think about past successes you had. Especially the ones that made you feel great. What do they have in common?

Are they times when you had to overcome an obstacle? Was the solution something new and exciting? Did you find a creative way to solve someone's problem?

Use these experiences as a template for your work in the future.


This one is the key.  You have to realize that you can be creative!

Most people would think being a lawyer is boring. I mean, who wants to read through dry legal textbooks or study important case law?

Let me ask you this question: Are lawyers bored at work? Did they choose to become a lawyer because they thought it’d be boring?

Let me ask you a more important question: Do you visualize your dream job as boring?

No, of course not!

I bet your idea of a dream job is one where you are the king or queen of your profession. You’ve got a great reputation. Your coworkers look up to you. You spend your time well, getting important work done and solving problems with ease.

And there it is. Solving problems.

Creativity is Problem Solving and It Helps Sales peope help their customers - Picture of a vacuum salesman

Make the Sale

Salespeople are classic problem solvers (and you thought they were just pushing products!). The bad ones try to sell products. The good ones can sell an idea. But the great ones, they solve problems.

Great salespeople get creative. You have to, in this day and age. Finding new and exciting ways to solve a customer’s problems is the hallmark of a great salesperson.

The next time you feel a little stagnant in your career, be honest with yourself. Are you a problem solver, or just a paper pusher? The difference could be as simple as how you view yourself.

Once you realize that creativity is simply finding a new way of solving a problem, your career will open up, you'll be a better resource to your clients, and you'll never be jealous of talented singers again!

MonMan is a Division 09, 15 and 16 firm specializing in market entry, sales channel development and service of efficient solutions for mission critical facilities.

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