This is an excerpt from a Jonathan Fields article he recently published on his blog.
I highly recommend taking this creativity audit and buying his book “Uncertainty – Turning Fear and Doubt Into Fuel For Brilliance.
But, then something happens. You succeed.
You begin to build a real business. You have offices, assets, overhead, inventory and employees. People, families, are counting on you to pay their rent and send their kids to school. Your own family begins to expect a certain lifestyle. And so do you. You get comfortable. And, along with your success, you now have the perception of so much more to lose if you fail.
So, instead of continuing to take risks, your mindset begins to shift into what famed psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize for behavioral psychology, Daniel Kahneman, calls loss aversion mode.
Rather than being driven by what you can build, create and have, you are overwhelmed by a fear of losing what you’ve already amassed. Being an entrepreneur, and innovator, an artist or a creator does not make you immune to the often irrational pull of loss aversion. Because, as Kahneman’s research points out, it’s simply a part of human nature.
Two problems with this when it comes to creators and entrepreneurs…
One – The switch from seeking gain to loss avoidance cultivates a strong negative creativity bias that makes us say no to innovative ideas. Ones that come from our own minds, as well as from those around us. And ones that, embraced, could have been key drivers of innovation and growth.
Two – Because we set the tone as entrepreneurs, when we pull back, stop innovating ourselves and rebuff innovation and creativity from employees, we create an idea-killer emotional virus that destroys the very culture that got us where we are. It breeds loss-aversion, fear and scarcity, which is death to innovation and expansion.
So, what do we do about it?
If you’re an entrepreneur, or you work with an entrepreneur or a team charged with innovation, create a monthly mindset circuit-breaker check-up. Take a step back, preferably leave the office and take a few key creators with you. Maybe get out into nature and ask a big question –
“Am I operating from a place of creative opportunity or loss aversion?”
Take the audit and buy the book!