Once a quarter I block out a week on my schedule for creation. It’s the week when I can work on projects, write, play with new ideas and innovate in my business. It’s a fun week for me because I LOVE to create. Part of me would love to just write books and create curriculum all the time. But I learned the hard way, that level of over creation comes with a price.
From 2013 to 2014, we experienced a 400% increase in revenue. From 2014 to 2015 we experienced a plateau in revenue. Revenue was good, so I’m not complaining, but it was an eye opening experience. And taught me an expensive and valuable lesson about innovation and over creation.
In 2015, I released my first book, Walk Your Talk: Take Ownership and Lead Like You Mean It. I created a mentoring course to go along with it. I went on a speaking tour. I released an automated Marketing Course. I launched a high level mastermind program. I revamped the curriculum of my signature program. I felt like I worked 2-3 times harder that year than I had the year before, but it didn’t translate into numbers or results.
I fell into the trap of the entrepreneur: over creation. Over creation in business is sneaky because you are working hard. You are producing things that you know you can sell for years to come. And it feels a lot like innovation, which is an important part of running and expanding any company.
What is the difference between innovation and over creation?
Innovation involves using your creative thinking to improve on processes, systems, methodology, marketing, client management, and product development. You can innovate in every area of your business. Innovation requires high levels of creativity. Innovation will ensure that you are constantly improving as a business.
Over creation on the other hand, involves channeling all of your creative thinking into one area of your business: Program or product development. It is sooooo tempting! Do you think clothing designers only release one line per season because they can’t think of anything else? Do you think Authors release one book at a time because they could only manage writing one at a time? Do you think cosmetic companies only have a set number of lipsticks because that is how many they could come up with? Absolutely not! All successful companies have to follow this simple rule: Only create what you are capable of marketing, selling, and fulfilling.
My big stall of 2015 happened because I had created more products than my team had the bandwidth to market and sell. Thus we over created and it did not lead to company growth. In 2016, I determined that we would not create anything new for the year. We would instead use our creative thinking to innovate and come up with better ways to run our business. I’m sure you can guess what happened, revenue numbers began to increase.
I am not saying, don’t work on product development! You want your products to be on trend, and to feel fresh. I am suggesting that you schedule your product development so that you can create a new product, and then run the necessary marketing and sales campaigns to monetize. And I am suggesting that you wait until one product is working well before adding in another one.
Do not buy into the false thinking that if you just keep adding products or services to your offerings that it will somehow make your business more profitable. Over creation ALWAYS harms your profitability. Just because you can create something doesn’t mean you should.
I know how much entrepreneurs love to create! I love to create too. I’ve just learned to channel that creation into the innovation of my business systems and strategies so I can also make sure my creations make it into the hands of my clients!