The Three Traits Of Highly Creative Entrepreneurs

It’s not about perfection. It’s not about peak performance. And it’s not about money. And no, I’m not a monk. Nor am I judging anyone. But here’s the deal. Highly creative entrepreneurs find their motivation from a different place.

The common thread to innovative leaders? Thriving artists? Legendary innovators? Rule breaking social entrepreneurs? They all share three specific traits:

    1    They live their truth without apology

    2    They have strong personal leadership skills

    3    They are visionary creators

That’s the Secret Sauce behind highly creative entrepreneurs like Steven Spielberg, Elon Musk, and Dominique Crenn. They all share the same three traits. And that's what will drive your success as a highly creative entrepreneur.


We all have within us on some level, the "genius" that is by nature, creative and rebellious. Full of possibilities. Unlimited in potential. We associate Creative Genius with famous people but in reality, it's something everyone possesses.

No matter where you are in life, there is magic to be found. You have Creative Genius stirring within. Untapped potential waiting to be set free. There is more to you, your brand and leadership than meets the eye. The trick is to find it. 

For decades, branding books, marketing consultants, small business blogs have told you to clarify your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). But will that TRULY unlock your Secret Sauce as a highly creative entrepreneur?

Nope. Your USP may help you clarify your brand but it will not unlock its potential. 

And I say that as a guy that has helped A LOT of brands lock down their USP! Think about your USP. Does it set you on fire with a strong sense of purpose and passion? 

Branding tools don’t inspire greatness.  

Is your brand brilliantly COMMON or boldly ORIGINAL? 

Highly creative entrepreneurs are driven by an invisible force far more powerful than a USP or even a mission statement. It’s The Secret Sauce that inspires works of distinction. 

Works of what? 

The kind of work that transcends tradition and shatters the status quo. 

Creating work at that level requires traits that are easy to learn but extremely difficult to master. Let's do something about that! Welcome to my crash course. Your journey through The Three Traits Of Highly Creative Entrepreneurs has begun. 

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Are you comfortable in your own skin? For me, that took awhile. At first, I thought that was about professional success. Then I thought it was about money. Later, fame. Don’t get me wrong, all those things can be fun. But they don’t feed your soul.

As a highly creative entrepreneur, you’ll need to own and live your truth. That's how you’ll infuse purpose and focus into your daily life. And you’ll need to do that without apology. 

Independence. Having a strong voice. Being heard. That’s your calling card. 

I would compare living your truth to joining the priesthood or the Peace Corp. It’s a big deal. It’s a way of life that is filled with uncertainty. It’s the Eternal Flame that you always pursue but never truly find.

What the heck? Eternal Flame? Let me explain. 

For Maestro Chef Dominique Crenn, food is a language all it’s own. A conversation with her about food is a conversation about life, feelings, moments, expressions. The same is true of Steven Spielberg when talking films, and Elon Musk when talking business. 

Their work transcends labels and breaks through boundaries. 

A famous dining experience beyond words. Mission accomplished! No matter, there is still more to be discovered, says the Maestro Chef. Thus the Eternal Flame of passion and curiousity that will forever guide the way.  

Enough filmmaking awards to fill a wharehouse. Mission accomplished! No matter, there is still more to be discovered, says the Maestro Filmmaker. Thus the Eternal Flame of passion and curiousity that will forever guide the way.  

Such is the walk of highly creative entrepreneurs. And with that mindset comes lots of failures. Lot’s of setbacks. Lot’s of highs and lows. 

It’s just the price you pay when you’re deeply committed to something. 

Like I said, it’s a way of life.

Assuming you are a mere mortal, you may never become a Dominique Crenn or Elon Musk, and that’s ok. You can still make the choice to live your truth without apology. You can choose boldness and audacity over the status quo. 

And in making those choices, you formally begin your journey as a highly creative entrepreneur.

Think of it this way. When you pursue something that deeply aligns with who you are and what you want, your chances for success soar. 

Which may be specific to your profession and/or business but it may not. Your truth may be getting your kids through college debt free. Or advancing a social cause that you care deeply about. 

Highly creative entrepreneurs come in many flavors in terms of the things that fuel their actions. There is no right version. The key is to live and lead, work and build authentic to who you really are and what you really need. 

You have needs. Are you meeting those needs? 

HOMEWORK: Fully living your truth as a person, leader and brand, would look like what? Please be very specific. 

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It’s midnight. The visionary chef misses his kids. The charismatic CEO misses her husband. Youthful dreamers lose their way. Some good memories. But the price was so high. Is this really success? The question lingers like dense fog.

For highly creative entrepreneurs, miserable but well behaved is not an option.

Then personal leadership whispers … there’s a better way. You just need the right toolkit. The kind of toolkit that manifests your version of success and abundance. 

Ever know someone who is brilliant at work but a disaster in their personal life? Or vice versa? Here’s the problem. Great leaders are not always great people. And monetary success does not guarantee life success. 

How to be a highly creative entrepreneur while also being a highly effective human being? That’s the million dollar question that I spent (3) years answering. The end result was the Personal Leadership framework below.  

The (10) Fundamentals Of Personal Leadership™

#1 Take Ownership
#2 Be Mindful
#3 Speak Your Truth
#4 Find Your Passion
#5 Live In The Solution
#6 Make Things Happen
#7 Meaningfully Connect
#8 Remain Disciplined
#9 Stop Being Polite
#10 Make A Difference

But what, exactly, is Personal Leadership? 

Personal Leadership takes an internal approach to external effectiveness. The concept in its various forms, has spread like wildfire to MBA programs and major companies alike. And for good reason. It works! 

I can draw a direct line between every type of coaching I have ever done and The (10) Fundamentals Of Personal Leadership. 

The stronger your personal leadership skills, the greater your effectiveness in all areas of life. It’s that powerful of a tool. And for highly creative entrepreneurs, it’s what allows you to follow through and get stuff done. 

Let me illustrate. You can apply the first fundamental, Take Ownership, to a vast array of issues: 

•Dealing with stress
•Overcoming adversity
•Turning around sales
•Improving your marketing
•Becoming a better parent and/or spouse

Here is how I define Taking Ownership per my framework & infographic:

Don’t make excuses and don’t blame others. Take personal responsibility for your life. All of it. Own your mistakes. Rise above your obstacles. Don’t avoid the truth. Face it head-on. Because ultimately, it’s your life. It’s your path to walk.

How might you apply this fundamental to your social life? How about your personal life? How might you apply this fundamental to your creative and/or business lives? 

Everything begins with ownership. 

It sets the stage for your effectiveness in all areas of life. It also set’s the stage for the other nine fundamentals. 

If I can help you take more ownership as a way of life, I can impact every area of your life. Which brings us back to your journey as a highly creative entrepreneur. 

You can’t live your truth if you can’t execute. 

You can’t effectively pursue your dreams if you can’t execute. 

Bringing your dreams to life as a highly creative entrepreneur requires becoming a highly effective human being. The big thing that Oprah, Richard Branson, and Felicia Day all have in common, is they get stuff done. 

In fact, they get a lot of stuff done and that’s how they do it. 

And that has nothing to do with perfection, personality, or being a machine. Executing as a highly creative entrepreneur looks different from one person to the next. But ya got to do it. 

You have to be able to execute as a highly creative entrepreneur and here is why. 

The more creative you are, the more talented, the more you think outside-the-box, the greater the likelihood you struggle with unproductive chaos. As in, the more likely you’re all over the map, chasing shiny baubles. 

Or you could struggle with the other extreme. 

Perhaps you execute like a four-star general. Not a problem. But in so doing, you piss a lot of people off. Your Shock & Awe approach is problematic. How to get stuff done without burning down the village?

Developing strong Personal Leadership skills as a highly creative entrepreneur will help you live life on your terms. Not a bad deal. Lot’s of ROI. 

HOMEWORK: Download my detailed version of The (10) Fundamentals Of Personal Leadership. As well, you can share this powerful infographic with your friends by clicking on any of the social share buttons to the left. 

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Highly creative entrepreneurs look for the doors that have never been opened. They crave the marble that has never been cut. They hear the voices no one else hears. They swim upstream. They break the rules. 

The idea, the script, the business, the social experiment, that must be brought to life.

It’s hard to explain but it’s all-consuming. Highly creative entrepreneurs have a primal need to explore and create. 

Ideas. Opportunities. Charting new territory. Setting the standard. Going to the next level. Solving impossible problems. Doing impossible things. 

It’s their bread and butter. 

Anything can be turned into an art form. A hamburger business that becomes The Shake Shack. An unconventional circus that becomes Cirque du Soleil. Outfitters where employees surf with customers (Patagonia). 

Such adventures, because that’s what they are, come in all sizes. A blank canvas that becomes a two-person start-up or a one-person roadshow. The local retailer that rewrites the rules in a given niche. 

It goes beyond WOW. It goes beyond the latest branding fad. 

It’s about living your truth through your work and brand. It’s scratching that itch over and over again. It’s about executing at such a high level that even impossible ideas become profitable enterprises. 

And it’s about unleashing your creative process to it’s fullest potential. 

Let’s focus on that last one. 

There are at least two types of people reading this article right now; creatives and non-creatives. For creatives, the key is to identify your Proprietary Voice. For non-creatives, the key is to find your Proprietary Experience.

Let’s explore each one. 

Martin Scorsese. Tim Burton. Wes Anderson. Name (3) very specific ways their work stands alone from the other directors listed.  

U2. Garth Brooks. Ella Fitzgerald. Name (3) very specific ways one singer’s music stands out from the others listed. 

That is what a Proprietary Voice looks like. 

Your favorite restaurant of all time. Name (3) specific ways your favorite restaurant stands out. Be very specific. Write down every detail. And note why these three attributes are so meaningful to you. 

Your favorite retail experience of all time. Name (3) specific ways your favorite retailer stands out. Be very specific. Write down every detail. And note why these three attributes are so meaningful to you. 

That is what a Proprietary Experience looks like. 

Becoming a visionary creator is about getting INSANELY GOOD at your given proprietary thing. Which simplifies the concept, doesn’t it? Your focus should always be on taking your voice, experience, or both to the next level. 

Both? Yes, there is crossover. 

For example, if you want to build a MIND BENDING digital agency, your business needs to have both. Your creative work needs to have a Proprietary Voice. Your brand needs to offer a Proprietary Experience. Both are required. 

Make sense?

The visionaries that build their brands with these things in mind will soar.

Best Practices and a strong USP will not be enough to compete against a modern, engaging, digitally relevant brand. While a powerhouse USP may make for a memorable brand, a powerhouse voice and/or experience makes for an impossible-to-ignore brand. 

Which one are you? 

Best Practices, USPs, have their place but such things are subordinate to building out your Proprietary Voice and/or your Proprietary Experience. That’s where the gold is. Look for the gold. Mine the gold. Heighten the gold!

HOMEWORK: Describe with a TREMENDOUS amount of specificity, EXACTLY what your Proprietary Voice and/or your Proprietary Experience looks like. 


The main difference between a highly creative entrepreneur that’s killing it and everyone else is rather simple. It’s all about the choices they made. 

Such as the conscious choice to live your truth. The conscious choice to become a highly effective human being. And the conscious choice to become a visionary creator. All of which are anchored by a never-ending sense of curiosity. 

Curiosity keeps your work is in a constant state of flux because there is always more to explore. 

Your deliverables, no matter how revered, are never enough.

What choices are you making?

How curious are you?

The Three Traits Of Highly Creative Entrepreneurs offers you a path, a way to live the life and to build the dreams, that set you on fire. 

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