Dare to Create. Creating something new that you've not done before is hard. Of course it is. So why in the world would you do that? Start over.

Dare to create something new even if you’ve never done it before.

Creating something new that you’ve not done before is hard. Of course it is.

Hard work, uncertainty and financial insecurity.

It would be strange if something you are not used to doing would come easy. For some maybe – but for most of us it means a long and often tedious road of learning and perfecting your new found trade, or hobby, or sport.

Starting something new often also means letting go of something familiar, the beaten path that was comfortable to walk. Not many of us are willing to let the comfortable go in order to move into a direction that comes with a lot of uncertainty.

Sometimes the place where we find ourselves has not come easy, years of study, or years climbing the corporate ladder. Many will not willingly give up what they have achieved. Especially if this step will come with financial insecurity.

And then we did not even discuss the guts it takes to try something new and go public with your first results, or efforts, or art. We’ve all experienced those moments of uncertainty about our work, but went ahead and put it out there for everyone to criticise.

So why in the world would you do that? Start over.

I have asked myself that – I think everybody that has walked this path has. I’ve walked this route a few times, started from scratch every time again. Well from scratch is not exactly fair, because all the experience and training that has shaped you, helps you move forward and is a valuable buffer to fall back on.

I certainly am not the only one. Entrepreneurs are known to take on new ventures regularly. Challenging the status quo is what they do since the financial benefits are glaring on the horizon.

But if you’re not an entrepreneur why would you start over or broaden your portfolio?

Dwindling economic prospects in your current position could be just that little push that people sometimes need to listen to that inner voice to take up that new challenge.

During this pandemic we’ve seen people take on new challenges. Being confronted with global threat and lockdowns it seemed more people followed their heart. Maybe the feeling “you only live once” or the “sense of doing something meaningful” at that moment was stronger than the feeling of uncertainly.

“I’ve learned how fast-paced this world is and how long I spend working, giving very little time to creative stuff,” 

Vincent Djokoto columnist and business executive based in Accra

Here’s a number that shows the pandemic has accelerated plans: more than 4.4 million new businesses were created in the U.S. during 2020 — the highest total on record. For reference, that’s a 24.3% increase from 2019 and 51.0% higher than the 2010-19 average.

It could also be that change is born out of necessity. Like losing your job or having to deal with physical or mental limitations. Those life occurrences require refocus on your goals. The best example I know is Dutch artist Marcel van Luit – who overcame his illness and found solace in creating his art.

Could the process of creating be a reason in itself?

So we looked at some reasons to switch to something new. But if we look at Vincent and Marcel’s story how much creating art meant for them, there must be some appeal in the process of creating itself that pulls us in.

So let’s take a look at the process of creating art – as an example.

From personal experience I can vouch that the process of creating visual art itself is very much a welcome flight from reality. A comforting process of trial and error, visually creating new angles, enhancing viewpoints. Seeing the work coming alive before your eyes. And strange as it may sound but it also gives part of your brain some rest.

Creating brings new energy. It seems many artists find comfort and solace in creating.

It makes me happy when I am sad, almost like a necessary remedy that helps balance my mood. Creating keeps me optimistic during difficult times.

Laetitia Miéral – Merveilles en Papier

I picked up my camera again to have something to do on my hikes, when I wasn’t able to run any longer. I fled into designing, photography and upping my camera skills at a time I was physically overcoming some challenges. Basically the creative side of my brain still helps me through the day when I am too tired to think business.

The fact is that you cannot control what is happening in the outside world or your illness, but you can control what you create. This might be why we find art comforting, flee to it in difficult times and use it to boost our positive energy.

Take the jump?

Although starting something new is difficult, it also comes with new opportunities. No you don’t have to jump in cold, or take on a huge project. You could just be starting small. Developing your creative side more systematically will boost your unconventional thinking too. And that is essential for just about any part of your business.