Is “Creative Entrepreneur” a Redundant Phrase?

Welcome back to the Creative Journey Project.

There have been many attempts over the years to define traits that are common among business entrepreneurs.  Some common traits turn up on most of these lists:

  • Willing to take risks
  • Adaptability
  • Passion
  • Perseverant / Resilient
  • Possess a vision
  • Self-motivated
I think, but do I create?

Do some of these traits seem applicable to traditional creative types such as musicians, actors, painters, etc.?  Is a writer taking a risk when she releases her work to the world?  Does a theatrical actor require passion and perseverance to endure months of rehearsals and the potential wrath of critics?  (Not to mention possibly years of rejections before even getting the part!)

Let’s take this even further.  Think about people you know who seem to excel at their own careers and lives.  They are enthusiastic, always have ideas, and generally seem to land on their feet (or quickly right themselves when they don’t).  They sometimes break rules or conventions and rarely seem to get in trouble.  They might be performing more conventional careers such as accounting or nursing or sales, but they approach their careers, and often their lives, with an entrepreneurial attitude, going their own way while still serving organizational needs.

Creativity is often considered an important trait for entrepreneurs.  Is it possible we have that backwards?  Perhaps we can think of entrepreneurship as part of the overall creative process, as the act of adapting or implementing a creative idea into use.


Some might simply say this is simply innovation, as innovation is sometimes defined as “applied creativity.”  One definition I like resolves the question this way: “Creative performance refers to products, ideas, and so forth produced at the individual level, whereas innovation refers to the successful implementation of these products at the organizational level.”  This blog will tend to use creativity and innovation interchangeably.

Ultimately, entrepreneurs and creative types, in any discipline, are inclined to forge their own path.  Any way we examine it, there is considerable overlap between entrepreneurship and creativity.  A theme we’ll explore more over time is how we can live in a more entrepreneurial way to use creativity in every aspect of our lives.

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