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Details Can Destroy Creativity  

Recently, I was working with a young entrepreneur who has an incredible vision for a product. In fact, he already has prototypes that operate at about 60% of what his expectation is.

What was really interesting to me was to watch how different people react to this start-up’s product. What hit me was that questioning him on the engineering and operating details was chipping away at this poor entrepreneur. I could tell that it was irritating him —  that this small group of three that he was talking with — where drilling down into many unknowns.

The engineer, who was new to the idea of the entrepreneurial journey, (something that goes along with this type of creativity) seemed overwhelmed.

Then all the sudden, I said to myself — “Wow, never thought about it!” — but all of that scientific, corporate training, used to extract all the details (because the devil is in the details) and being trained not to show up to a meeting without them — was actually destroying the free flow necessary for creativity! Well, at least in this particular situation that seemed to be the case.

Then, I thought, maybe it’s the case in most creative endeavors. Because creativity is a journey. It’s not a perfect destination, not a place where you know everything and can answer every question. The “how” sometimes comes after the vision.

Knowing where you want to be next, that is the goal. Just put the end destination in the your mental GPS and start driving — or chopping wood — every day and you will see where it goes.

So, next time someone brings you a very creative idea or plan, step back and focus on the vision. Give the destination the energy, not the details. Just say to yourself, “the details will come.”

With every step, every day, the details will become clearer. Let the creativity flow and the details will follow.

Remember that the most important question to ask yourself as an entrepreneur is, are you taking actions every day toward your vision? Are you chopping wood?

What’s the second question you should be asking yourself? Are you taking the time to carry water or do something for someone else?

Remember, chop wood and carry water. Every day. Keep your eye on the big picture, and don’t let details destroy your creativity.

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