086 - Creativity Wears a Suit With Nir Bashan



About Nir

Nir Bashan is a world-renowned creativity expert. He has taught thousands of leaders and individuals around the globe how to harness the power of creativity to improve profitability, increase sales, and ultimately create more meaning in their work. Nir has spent the last two decades working on a formula to codify creativity.
That formula is found in The Creator Mindset, which has been translated into two languages. He was one of the youngest professors ever selected to teach graduate courses at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and also taught undergraduate courses at the University of California at Los Angeles.
He has worked on numerous albums, movies, and advertisements with famous actors and musicians ranging from Rod Stewart to Woody Harrelson. His work on creativity has won a Clio Award and was nominated for an Emmy.
Nir is the founder and CEO of The Creator Mindset LLC, a company that conducts workshops, consulting, coaching, and keynote speeches at conferences and corporate events. His clients include AT&T, Microsoft, Ace Hardware, NFL Network, EA Sports, Suzuki, Activision and jetBlue. Nir lives in Orlando, Florida, with his wife, young son, and two Bernedoodles named P-Paws and Waylon Jennings.



Show Notes

Josh Tapp 0:01
What's up everybody? Josh Tapp here again, and welcome back to the lucky Titan podcast. today. We've got nearby Sean on the mic and today, we're going to be talking about something that's really unique. And we're talking about creativity. And I liked the tagline you use. It was you know, creativity wears a suit. So I actually honestly thought I was going to show up today in a suit, which made me nervous because I'm not a suit guy. So yeah, I'm usually in a suit. Neither today is great. Um, but we're going to talk about that day so near say, What's up everybody and tell us something about yourself that most people don't know. Hi, everyone. Good to be here. Thanks, Josh. This is awesome. I listened to the last episode. And it was it was really helpful. I like how you guys are, you know, focused on actionable items. That's awesome. And really good to be here with your with your listeners. Thank you, man. Glad to have you here. Yeah. Okay, so something people don't know about me. I've got eight toes. Eight toes, got a toe
is awesome. Yeah Thanks man. I don't know I don't know if you're an office guy or not but the office TV show if got the guy he's some kids come into their office and he's he's like kids you want to see a foot for
those awesome I totally yeah that like right before this interview so though how funny
Nir Bashan 1:18
yeah yeah remember that chose a good one yeah I've got a toe dude um it's weird because my my into I mean you nobody wants to talk about my feet right that's hey I do let's do it let's talk about beat my my the toe next to the big one and the next one over our stuff together. I mean that it's not that I have 10 toes but like if you look down at it looks like there's eight it's pretty funny like when I go on though for like my annual checkup with the doctor which I do like every five years. I do not advise. do not recommend going through your your checkups everyone. But yeah, go and they're always like, okay, so get your feet and stuff. They're like oh,
Unknown Speaker 2:00
This is interesting. Yeah. Surgery right now. Yeah, exactly.
Unknown Speaker 2:05
So that's my that's my little tidbit. That is hilarious. Well that's a
Unknown Speaker 2:09
good one that breaks the ice right? That's funny that question.
Nir Bashan 2:13
Well near it so let's let's delve now into it because I am genuinely curious about what you mean by creativity wears a suit. So give us a little bit of background on that and what you mean when you say that for real Josh though, um, for me, creativity is not you know, the stuff of the artist, right? It's not a painting or learning how to play an instrument, or you know, standing on the corner and like a bourree and like talking about Shakespeare and quoting, you know, great poetry and stuff like that. For me, creativity is a series of actionable items. 92 of them in fact, that allow you to extract value from your product or service in your business and are sort of disciplines created.
activity, the discipline that I can teach people how to do in order to, you know, maximize their profit and get better sales and all kinds of things. I'm, I do quite a bit of consulting, I do quite a bit of speaking on it. And what I really want people to learn is that anybody can be creative, just takes the will to learn how to do it. See, and that's really interesting. So, you know, one of my initial thoughts when you say that is like, there's, we always talk about the science and the art, and I think we kind of bucket them that way. But you're talking about saying, hey, there's there's a science to having an art. There's no doubt there's a science, there's a reason for the season, you know what I mean? So what, you know, listen, I I've been a serial entrepreneur, my whole life I've had I started my first company when I was nine years old. I've had a Hollywood production company, which I like, crashed and burned with. I mean, you know, I've done a bunch of things right and a bunch of things wrong. I would say more wrong than that.
but moving on. So yeah, it's kind of like, you know, I've, I've learned, I've looked around me and I've learned that people are doing well, no matter what business it was, I had a furniture refinishing business for a while, like, really, we made good money. But it's like, no matter what I did, I looked around and I saw that the people who were successful, Josh, were the ones that were most creative. And the ones that that weren't successful, weren't creative. And so I went around asking all the people who were creative, my friends, colleagues, people, I didn't know, authors who, you know, I'd read their book and be like, yeah, cool. And I'd email them and be like, Hey, this is a great book. How do I become, you know, creative, you talk a lot about the why I should be creative, but there's nothing in the book about how and nobody was talking. Nobody would tell me what the secret of creativity was. So you know, working throughout my career, getting it wrong, more than right. Teaching, you know, graduate school and undergrad and stuff like that, and just just you know, starting up businesses and having them fail over and over and over again, has kind of taught me to codify creativity. And I started writing down notes. And, you know, 1010 plus years of notes, and I have now a book coming out in August, August 4, by McGraw Hill business, called the creator mindset. And it's basically my notes of how anybody can be creative.
Josh Tapp 5:28
And that's really cool. And one of the things that really stands out to me about your message is it's really kind of against the paradigm. Right? And you're speaking to my soul on this one because I am not naturally a creative person. Right? I've had to become one yeah, as an entrepreneur, right? Because growing up, you know, they'd hand me a paintbrush or colored pencil or something. I was the kid and kindergarten I actually have a vivid memory of this. My teacher would get mad at me because she's okay you have to call us before you go to recess. I would grab three crowns, which whip it over and be done. And then we do it. Again, right? And so I'm not really an artistic person, but when it comes to business, I found that that's a place I can be creative in. And so let's talk a little bit about, I guess the impact that that has on entrepreneurship. Because a lot of people might even say, Hey, I am creative, but they don't really know how to channel that creativity.
Nir Bashan 6:18
Totally. So what what ends up happening is right, we like like your example. We're kids, and we're creative. I you know, talked about that in the book quite a bit about how children are creative and then we lose it. Your kindergarten teacher, it wasn't an encouraging creativity. She was like, get out there and play. And you know, you painted the tree with three colors. And she was like, that's not a tree colors aren't blue, green and black. They're, you know, they're just green. And then you kind of get beaten down through life thinking, you know, grad school and undergrad and you know, you graduate you finished the military or outward looking for a job and you're so well versed in analytics that you Forget your creativity. And so you start a business and you're like, you know, cool, I'm here, I'm ready to start this business or I'm going to work for someone else and some career that you're interested in. And all of a sudden, you discover that you're only relying on the analytics that you've learned. But of course you are, what else would you rely on? And I got kind of tired of that, you know, I think that that we ought to change it. So I looked around and I tried to find material. I asked people like I told you earlier, I tried to find books. There are no books out there right now on the market. None that teach you the how of creativity. Everybody teaches you why you should be creative, but nobody says okay, Josh, do you these are the things you need to do 92 prescriptive tools about how to actually start being creative in your business and and to move forward. So what I find that happens, and I don't know, Josh, maybe, maybe you've seen this too, but I think that people interpret it Especially have some success at some point. Okay, right. So somebody pays you for something and you're like, dude, I have arrived like, yes, this is I'm good. And I'm done. I'm done. I'm good. And I'm done. And you kind of like, rest on that little molehill because it's bringing in some money, right? You have, hopefully some profit model that you can generate from that revenue and you know, you kind of like protected. Especially enterpreneurs. You protect it, you're like, nope, this is my little thing. I don't want to change it. No, no changing it, you know, and you kind of love it and you pet it and you give it little, little kisses and stuff like that. And it's your own little, it's perfect, right? The problem is, is that things change, right? The market changes, conditions change. Look at us. We're in the middle of a horrible pandemic right now. Who would have predicted that in, you know, February in January and December of last year? No. I mean, you know, it just came from nowhere. And here you are with your little thing and you love it. You love that little you, you pet it, you kiss it, right? And all of a sudden, there's all this change going on. And you don't know what to do you hold on even tighter to what you've done instead of going, let's get creative, and start to talk about how I can change this business model into something that is adaptable for the environment that I'm in.
Josh Tapp 9:27
Yeah, and that Yeah, I know, I fall into that a lot. You know, I think they said like we need to. We call our businesses, our babies, right? Because we put every last bit of love we have into them. And it's really hard to make those quote unquote pivots. But I've actually been really thinking about this topic a lot recently. So this is a good a good thing to be talking about here. But you're talking about having that I guess malleability or that ability to change or to mold what you're doing. And this is a genuine question I have for you because a lot of a lot of the time times when I run into, I guess, roadblocks, right in our company up, one of my natural instincts is to say, okay, we need to do like 180 degree turn, right, we need to completely change our product offering and everything. Do you recommend that people should be doing huge transitions like that? Or is it just adjusting your processes? Or how does that work? You know it?
Nir Bashan 10:19
It's a very good question. And I get that that one quite a bit. You know, so you're, you're on your, you're completely on the mark. What, what I recommend is I have a process I started in chapter four of the book, we moved it up up, I think it starts on like page 40. So you can even skip the first 40 pages. I didn't say that McGraw. I did not say that. You can skip the first 40 pages and start there if you want. But it should. Yeah, exactly. But basically, it literally explains to you, you know, how to fit your business, your product or your service, in a sector, right, and how to think and create ideas that are around it. So Sometimes, Josh, you have to make extremely subtle tweaks, where you are only changing things creatively in very, very small increment. Sometimes the next level up, that's what I call the execution, airy the level of thinking, where most businesses live, by the way, then the step up from that at the idea section and that is more profound shifts. Those are monumental sort of, you know, bigger, bigger shifts and bigger ideas that you can do more like 90 degrees, then 180s. And then the top level is what I call the concept. The concept is the 180 shift. I highly recommend that you and everyone listening, please try the execution, airy thinking the little tweaks first. Because what you want to do, do you want to preserve what has bought in that revenue and you want to add value to different products and services around it. And that's the key and When you tweak on that level, you should be okay at least for a little while. But you might also have to go up to the concept level to have some 90 degree turns to really help that product. And if you're really, really kind of in need of a dramatic shift, you go up to the conceptual level where you really changed the the conceptual meaning of your product and service.
Josh Tapp 12:23
And that's really intriguing because I know like in our business, we've done all of the above, right where you go from completely like we've completely scrapped an entire company and started over or we've just changed a little bit of profit because I know during the Coronavirus, especially right, this this whole thing, it's really funny to watch how many companies are just giving up. They're shutting their doors and you're like, I mean, right now, there's so many companies doing that the competitive advantage is that you're the one who holds out and who might strategic changes. I know for us like we've had a more profitable quarter than in any year past. Because every all of our competition's like nope, I'm done. Nope, I'm done. And everybody's coming to us. Isn't that amazing? And in in crisis like this, actually,
Nir Bashan 13:08
I'm working with my book agent right now on the next book. And I think it might be creativity and crisis because in crisis times like these, the opportunity to be creative and to think about different ideas and different opportunities and different markets, different products and services that you can offer even within your your sector become amazingly powerful. And I think the reason why you see those people giving up, Josh is because they aren't creative. I think that you Sir, have that element of creativity. You have an impressive business. I've looked you up online, your some really cool and important things that you're doing, but you're in touch with sort of some of that creativity. You're not the norm Josh, you're less than 1% of 1% of people out There. And sometimes it just takes a bit of a different approach or looking at something just a bit differently to help you persevere and even thrive through crisis.
Josh Tapp 14:13
Yeah, well, and I think, you know, this is a really good time for us to be talking about this. And you know, just because of the situation nowadays, but, you know, with all of that in perspective, and understanding that creativity really is truly important. I know you have 92 different pieces. So my question to you, I know what I hear 92 that like, well, that's overwhelming to me. But what you're telling me really is you don't have to apply all 92 there's just 92 different options.
Nir Bashan 14:38
92 different options. Yeah. After seven years of writing the book I've come up with quite a bit.
Josh Tapp 14:44
Because a lot of people might hear the three things because nobody can consume more than three. That the human eye totally. That's right. So yeah, that's why I wrote a book. It helps you and this one's funny. A lot of authors I talked to they're like, I just had to write the book. Like I get it out of my head, and I could refer to it at times. And I know that I haven't written a book, I do the same thing as podcasts and stuff. Like if I have something on top of my mind, I have to put it down so I can get to get it out. So question for you, though, you're coming up in the interview already, which is crazy, but what are I mean, if you could choose three of those 92 that you feel like every business should be applying like right now? Well, yesterday,
Nir Bashan 15:26
okay. So one of them would be the importance of the little victory. Okay. I cannot stress enough how many businesses out there that I've consulted with and worked with and you know, really dove into I like to consult in person, hands on not, you know, here's five hours of phone calls and stuff like that. I'm a deep, you know, roll up your sleeves kind of guy. And what I found in all these in a lot of these businesses, is the lack of understanding the importance of the little victory. What the little victory it's a sort of thing. celebration of accomplishment on your way to that main goal, that big goal in the sky. What people don't understand is sometimes those little victories. In fact, always, the little victories are more important than reaching the big victory at the end. Why? Because those little victories will allow you time to see what is working. And they might even shift you creatively away from that main goal in the first place. Because if you're looking at the little victories and able to repeat them on kind of an ongoing basis, you'll find an amazing creative potential of, of realizing your value for your customers, your clients, and even your staff. Another thing that I really like out of the book, and I think it's very important, is the value of making mistakes. So Josh, again, I've seen this out in the business I've done it myself on my own companies. I've had staff have struggled. You know, really He really struggled with this one. But basically, you got to make mistakes in order to get better. And we as leaders, you and i, you run your company, I do, too. We have to make it better on our staff so that they understand that their mistakes are okay. And it's incredibly difficult, because usually mistakes kind of set us back or we miss a deadline or we, you know, screw something up customers unhappy, whatever the delivery is, that gets, you know, hampered by this. You know, it's a hard thing to deal with. So, making mistakes and allowing for ideas to come out of mistakes is incredibly important and something that we need to consistently be aware of the third thing that you can do today, today, listening to this podcast and you want to be more creative, is to start thinking about character. Now I know it's not popular to talk about character and and sort of the DNA of who people are, but sometimes in In order to thrive in hard times, like we have today, you need to be yourself. You need to be yourself. When we look at problems creatively, no two people will ever look at the same problem. In the same way, the way, Josh, that you solve your problems creatively, and the way that I solve my problems creatively will never be the same. Why? Because creativity is found deep within us, like we talked about earlier. It's who we are as children, and it kind of makes up our, the building blocks of who we are. And as we approach those problems, using character and being yourself are able to give you the tools, techniques, and the methodology to solve problem, I believe, and, you know, this is something that I get a lot is that every creative tool, every one of them in my book is free. And there's no machines to buy. There's no equipment. There's no staff You need to do everything in there is free. Why is it free? Because creativity relies on you understanding who you are, and allowing the ideas that you have that are trying to get out constantly to thrive. And it's, it's about you unlocking the ideas within yourself that will help you with your product or service and your business. I love that.
Josh Tapp 19:24
All three of those were awesome. I do really love that last one. Because, you know, I think it's one of the things everybody quote unquote, knows, right, but nobody truly understands how to apply it. Yeah, there was a guy recently. He also has a podcast and he was talking about this I just personifying your, your third point there. But he had been to prison for five years, and he started one of the best podcasts in our space, in entrepreneurship space. And he's like, he showed a picture of himself in a suit and then a picture of himself how he typically is and he's basically in like, a tank top. He's got his all tattooed up and everything and Sue was trying to cover all that up, run. He directly tracked and showed He's like, when I was wearing my suit zero results, but then he started being himself and a lot of people think that means they have to have some, I guess, wild persona, but like myself, I'm a pretty average guy.
Nir Bashan 20:16
Right? Right. People love I wouldn't I'd argue with average guy there. Oh, thank you,
Josh Tapp 20:21
thank you. But I, I'm not here. Like on our podcast, we don't edit out my arms, my arms, your arms, because I and people love that because we're pitch real myself. It's our character. It's showing who we truly are. where it's like, I'm not gonna tell you. I'm the guy, right? I'm not Tony Robbins. Yeah, right. Maybe you learn by right. But yeah, I can be the person who says here are the people that you should reach out to you. Right? If you're if you're needing something. I'm not the guy, but I'll point you in the direction of the right guy. Yeah. All right. I gotta be careful there. But I love out near thanks so much for coming on and sharing those things. So where can people get access to the book? I know it's available for pre order right now, but it launched is August 4, right?
Nir Bashan 21:02
Yes. Yes. It's been a pleasure. I really appreciate you having me the questions have been great. I'm a big fan of the show I've been the last episode with the, with the English lady on marketing was, was great. I mean, it's like, you turn that on, and then in 15 minutes, you're smarter. I mean, what more can you ask for? I am really so hats off to you, man on the books available on Amazon, on Barnes and Noble anywhere you like to buy books, all the independence or it's available now. And if any of this sounds good to you, we're trying to make the Wall Street Journal bestseller list. And so it's weird but bestseller lists happen when books are in pre release, not after they're released. I don't know. I don't know enough about it. This is my first book. But if any of this sounds good to you, please pick up a copy. You get it in August. On August 4, it'll ship and I think you'll enjoy it and I hope that you get a lot of value from it.
Josh Tapp 21:59
Well Everybody, make sure you go order that the books called the creator mindsets, make sure you go preorder that before August 4, you know, even if you're not interested in it, which I doubt at this point I'm pretty sure everybody's interested in but even if you're not go support near he's an awesome guy, what he's doing is really incredible and make sure you're pre ordering that book. And if you're seeing listening to this after August 4, make sure you go and purchase the book as well. But you know, before we sign off, what's your final parting piece of guidance that you give to everybody? If they could get one thing out of this interview? What would it be?
Nir Bashan 22:29
My final piece of advice is for you to fight what comes naturally. We are natural creatures of relaxing and taking it easy and kind of complacent human beings. Why? Because when we were early man and early woman, you know, we'd come across a kill or whatnot and we'd hunker down for months if there was enough meat and there was enough water and there was enough, you know, berries and stuff like that we'd hunker down for a month. Here we are in the you know, round of modernity doing the same damn thing and it just doesn't work anymore. Please, bite what come naturally and start to become creative in your approach to growth.
Josh Tapp 23:11
I love that. What an awesome way to end it. Well there. Thanks so much for coming on the show today, man. We'll catch you later. Thank you, sir, very, very much appreciated.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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