7 Creativity Killers that Squash Your Success

You can’t grow your business without new ideas. Unfortunately, there are several obstacles that stand in the way of your creativity. Check out this list of 7 common creative hurdles and learn how to overcome them.

“Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.” – Edward de Bono

Little did we know that Mr. de Bono was talking about ecommerce.

He’s right, though – without creativity, none of the challenges you face can be solved. So instead of just talking about increasing sales or better marketing your site, it’s time to put on your thinking cap, create new ideas and make them happen.

Unfortunately for most of us, creativity is something that sounds nice, but is difficult to achieve. Trust me, I’ve been there. When I first started blogging, I didn’t think my work was adequate and it took forever to get anything done. But as I’ve become more confident in my abilities, I’m glad to share these 7 obstacles that are holding back your creativity:

  1. Believing that you’re not creative
    Most people think that creativity is a gift that’s only given to artists, poets and musicians. This correlation between creativity and art just isn’t true – as humans, we’re all creative beings. Our ability to think and create is what separates us from other species. In truth, you’re creative every single day – just because your end result isn’t hanging in the Louvre doesn’t mean it’s not creative. Once you realize that you indeed have creative energy already inside you, it’s much easier to hit the ground running.
  2. Close-mindedness
    When someone says, “That won’t work,” or “We’ve tried that before,” the creative process is ruined. When brainstorming, enforce a rule that disallows anyone from squashing an idea in its infancy. Even if the initial thought isn’t the best one, it can lead to new angles and perspectives that turn into a golden opportunity for change.
  3. Complacency Creativity’s arch enemy is complacency. By accepting the status quo, you also accept that there’s no room for improvement. Enough said.
  4. Lack of passion
    If you’re not passionate about the challenge at hand, no amount of creativity can help you. When your idea hits a roadblock (which it will), your passion is what will get you through it. Even if the task you face isn’t the most thrilling, apply your bigger passion for success to creatively solve even the most mundane projects.
  5. Interruptions
    Once you start working, it’s important to keep going. While this is admittedly easier said than done, find ways to limit distractions in your environment. At work, I often block time on my calendar to work on a specific project, closing out my inbox and turning off my phone and IM system. It’s hard to get anything done when you’re working on 20 projects at once, so pour yourself into one thing at a time to see better results.
  6. Getting stuck in the details
    Sean Connery put it best when he said, “You write your first draft with your heart and you re-write with your head. The first key to writing is to write, not to think.” In other words, dump out your ideas and worry about finessing them later. You’ll be surprised at how easy the creative process can be when you’re not hung up on the perfect wording or most eloquent presentation.
  7. Perfectionism
    This one is particularly true for me, and likely keeps a lot of others from releasing amazing work. Part of being creative is sharing with others, which makes us strive to build something that’s perfect. Unfortunately, that’s just not possible. Remember, you’ll achieve a lot more by creating something that’s slightly flawed than not creating anything at all.


Or as de Bono said, “It’s better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.”

Now get out there and start creating.

Happy selling!
-Matt Winn, Volusion


Matt Winn is Volusion’s Senior Brand Manager, where he helps oversee the organization’s branding and communications efforts. Matt has created hundreds of articles, videos and seminars on all things ecommerce, ranging from online marketing to web design and customer experience. Beyond being a certified nerd, Matt is an avid college football fan, enthusiastic home cook and a self-admitted reality TV junkie.

5 Responses to “7 Creativity Killers that Squash Your Success”

  1. Robert Marshall

    True. True. True. It will never be a mistake as long as you can change it! Go ahead and experiment, you just might be surprised with the results!

  2. darkan9el

    I find apathy to be the killer of killers. The archetypal image of this is the couch potato and their procrastination attitude. What a waste of a life!

    • Matt

      Excellent point – being apathetic towards anything prevents any progress from being made. -Matt

  3. Lisa Bell

    Thank you for the great reinforcement!

  4. steve cullen

    Thinking outside of the box…afterall inside the box is confining…

    Then again, Edison “discoved” 10,000 ways not to make a light bulb before he discovered one way to make a light bulb…

    Imagination and perseverance was his skill set….


Leave a Reply