Tip of The Week – How Creativity Will Save the World

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It was a bold two-page concept ad for MEGABLOKS in the front signature of the New York Times magazine years ago.

Once upon a time, there lived a creature named Creativity.

When Creativity was young, he was allowed to explore the farthest reaches of his imagination. No one told him what noise his train was supposed to make.  So he made it sound like a cockatoo.

And nobody told him that his dragon was scary.  So he had it over for pizza.

Then once day, when Creativity was all grown up, people throughout the land turned to him for inspiration in good times and bad.

All the world rallied around Creativity to solve their most confounding problems. And that’s how creativity saved the world.

 

So often we are trapped in what others tell us we can and cannot do in relationship to how we work, how we promote our work. We get caught up in other people’s images of us and it restrains our creativity.  Our natural inquisitiveness is quashed.  Occasionally, I have to remind my husband not to tell my son ‘how to do it’ because my son sees through fresh, untainted, and, for the most part, unsocialized eyes and I want to learn from him how he chooses to do something.  I want him always to say, ‘I want to do it’ even though I think I know better.  As long as he isn’t going to injure himself or others he should be free to say, I’ll do it and then go do it.  (My mother told me at 10 months old I grabbed the fork from her hand and said, ‘me do’ in an attempt to feed myself.  I still have the holes in my forehead…only kidding!)

It’s no different in building and marketing a solo practice.  Just tell me definitively what is a violation of the rules which will threaten my license.  Otherwise, let me be free to construct my universe, my marketing world.  Let me have my legal megablocks and create.  It’s my right and privilege as long as no client is harmed and I’m comfortable doing it.  It’s my sandbox. And this is the attitude you should have, too.  Pick your mentors carefully who let you say ‘me do’ and make sure you don’t hurt yourself or others.  But outside of that, start inviting dragons over for pizza.  And if the train you build sounds like a cockatoo, that’s okay in my book.  If it gets you the clients you want, allows you to pay the bills, makes you sing when you go to work, who’s better than you.  Start creatively building in 2013.

Happy New Year.

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4 comments on “Tip of The Week – How Creativity Will Save the World

  • Love this advice, Susan! It’s definitely time to have Dragons over for pizza. (I’m just trying to figure out what my train should sound like. I’m not a big fan of birds.)

    This is a lesson I learned when I was watching my daughter play. She wanted to put her ‘jungle’ stickers on a blue piece of paper and I was encouraging her to use green instead. (It just seemed more jungle like to me.) I had to stop myself and tell her “It’s OK if your jungle is blue.”

    If we want to continue to help our clients, ourselves, and our profession, I definitely think it’s time for us lawyers to get creative and rethink the rules as we ‘know’ them.

  • Susan, burn bright. Bar associations are typically ruled by the least creative, least inventive, least interesting, most insecure people, which is why we have rules that all but strangle creativity in the provision of legal services. That just means we must be all the more creative, inventive, and resourceful. Charge on, fellow creative lawyers! We shall overcome!

  • Awesome! Thank you. I was a stifled, miserable big firm lawyer for a long time (really chafed against the group-think and lack of the merest awareness of innovation) and am now a solo. OMG this feels good! I think the fact that as soon as I decided to leave, and especially after I did, I immediately felt terrific mentally and physically (instead of a sleepless, aching, ill person trying to find reasons to continue living every morning) instead of worrying about entrepreneurial risk was a clear sign that solo was the right course for me.

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