The New ABC’s of Success: Always Be Creating

Image courtesy of (Creative Photography)

In every economic crisis, there have been those individuals who have emerged from the aftermath even more financially secure. Luck has something to do with it, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. In order to rise up and get ahead, you need to shift paradigms. You need a new way to look at and interact with the world. Fortunately, it’s as simple as re-learning your ABCs.

In the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, Alec Baldwin taught us the ’80s ABCs: “A-always, B-be, C-closing. Always be closing!” But that’s old school. The new ABCs are Always Be Creating. People who create will be the people who succeed and excel. If you can create, you can write your own check.

I know what you’re thinking: work stinks. They’re talking about more layoffs, bonuses are out of the question, and you have to pitch in more for health insurance. Your 401(k) is in shambles, and your house is worth 40 percent less than it was a couple of years ago. The vision you had for your life has been seriously challenged. All you feel like doing when you come home is kicking back, cracking open a Heineken, and watching the tube. That’s understandable, but it’s absolutely bass ackwards.

You must get out there and create — start a blog, write a book, record a video, start a business, code a new application, etc. It’s easy to give advice like this, but I’ve tried to follow it, too. A couple of months ago I came up with an idea for a free personal finance eBook titled Plan Z: How to Survive the 2009 Financial Crisis (and even live a little better).

Why did I create something for free? I have counterintuitive (some would say controversial) advice on how to get through this recession, and I wanted to spread the word and build my brand: get the media’s attention, build followers, and attract new readers to this blog and future projects. So I used my other 8 hours and wrote and wrote and wrote. I then partnered with several people and got the whole thing completed in about a month. It took me some time, but it didn’t cost me anything. (More on how to find partners to donate their services for free in an upcoming post).

In a recession there’s a whole lot of talk about reducing, cutting, shrinking, and decreasing — but what if you took a different view? What if instead you looked for opportunities? What if you looked for ways to grow and expand and create?

Here are a few ideas on how to jumpstart your creative thinking:

  • Brainstorm. Think about what services/products might be needed if this turmoil continues and what services/products people will want when we recover.
  • $1 million game. This is a fun one. If you absolutely positively had to make $1 million in less than 365 days, what would you do? What area would you focus on? What skills would you have to rely on? You might not start any of the businesses you think about, but it’s a great way to jumpstart your creativity.
  • Get partners. Get two or three friends/colleagues together for a twice-a-month meeting. Sit down with them and brainstorm. Tell them what’s on your mind — what ideas you’re toying with. Press each other to come up with at least three business ideas for each meeting. If you agree on one, you have your team in place. But even if you don’t, this get-together will force you to think entrepreneurially inside AND outside of the group.

Your goal is to create something — anything. Create content. Start a blog. Invent a prototype. This blog post you’re reading right now is an example of creating something. What can you create?

For a limited time, you can download several free resources (assessment, poster, audio interview, video, and more) at and learn more about my new book, The Other 8 Hours: Maximize Your Free Time to Create New Wealth and Purpose.

Don’t Forget to Follow PickTheBrain on Twitter!

Related Articles:

How To Be Happy At Work:Employee Motivation
How To Increase Your Will Power

13 Responses to The New ABC’s of Success: Always Be Creating

  1. Man is creative creature.Creation is inborn boon for man. From birth to death man only create and in creating he get real satisfaction.Everybody very eager to show his creation to other just look carefully children want to show their mark list, award,mother proudly kiss her child. We show our house every creation give us tremandious joy to us.When we stop the creation we psychologically dead.So up to last moment of our life we must create some thing.Nature send us on this earth for creation.

  2. Guy Farmer says:

    I love your ideas Robert. There is nothing more energizing than to create something where once there was nothing. People can do it at any level and at any time. The only limitation is the voice in one’s head that says, “I can’t create anything.” Imagine if that same person shifted their thinking slightly to, “I can’t wait to see what I do next.” Vastly different perspectives which will lead to different results.

    Take care,


  3. I couldn’t agree more. I believe during this time while everyone is talking about how bad things are; people fear losing their jobs and financial security, great entrepreneurs will arise and change not only their circumstances, but the world. And it will all begin with one creative thought. But we must not forget that all creative thought must follow persistent action.

    Hey Robert, I would love to brainstorm with you sometime!


  4. sandy says:

    while creating, think about what’s the best value we can create now, and try create exactly that. it will be our core competitiveness among all the ambitious competitors. also this way, we can enjoy the most out from the creating process.

    however, if we haven’t found our best value yet, it’s still ok. just create anything we can create now will be so much better than create noting. and through the way, we will eventually come up with our clicks :)

  5. Creation is our nature, but for some reason it feels so foreign for many. We’ve been so used to consuming that we’ve lost our creative ability. Time to recapture it!

  6. Absolutely! Everything you see around you was once just an idea in someone’s head. Anyone can create. It’s our nature. We just have to shift from being full-time consumers to being part-time creators…

  7. Amen! You speaketh the truth. I always tell people that when they start to use the other 8 hours and are living their best life, they can not only radically change their life, but their family’s, their community’s, and even the world.

    I might take you up on that offer!

  8. So true! It’s not about reaching perfection–that puts too much pressure on yourself. Just start! Do something. Do anything. Just get started…

  9. Craig Thomas says:

    Nice post. Creativity comes to me in odd places and situations but I always let it flow – I’d hate to stop the next big idea. :p

  10. Pingback: The Simple Dollar » The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Free Teleclass Edition

  11. Sometimes it’s really that simple, isn’t it? I feel a little stupid for not thinking of this myself/earlier, though.

  12. Pingback: The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Free Teleclass Edition

  13. I’ve got a scuba slate board in my shower so I can capture ideas there!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *