How to boost your creativity — even if you don’t think you’re creative

Aytekin Tank
The Startup
Published in
8 min readJun 4, 2018


Originally published on JOTFORM.COM

We put “geniuses” like Maya Angelou, Frida Kahlo and David Bowie on a pedestal because their acclaimed creations live on — and they shared them in a highly public way.

But, creativity doesn’t require a public body of work. It’s misleading to think that some people are creative and some are not.

I believe that everyone can be creative if they have the right environment and an open mind. That’s because creativity is a mindset and a way of processing the world. As author James Clear puts it:

“Creative thinking is not about generating something new from a blank slate, but rather about taking what is already present and combining those bits and pieces in a way that has not been done previously.

The creative process is the act of making new connections between old ideas or recognizing relationships between concepts.”

Let’s look at it another way.

In his 2011 book, Outliers: The Story of Success, author Malcolm Gladwell wrote that world-class artists, musicians and athletes achieved mastery by practicing for about 10,000 hours.

Somehow, we extended that premise to all creative activities, even though it best applies to repetitive, rule-based fields like chess and sports.

In response, many creatives began striving for that magic 10,000 hours, even though creative work isn’t just an “expert product.” According to author Scott Barry Kaufman, “Creativity must be original, meaningful, and surprising.”

Original: the creator goes beyond the norm

Meaningful: the creation is functional or offers a new interpretation

Surprising: the result surprises not just the creator, but those who experience it

This three-part definition applies to startups, entrepreneurs, writers, designers, UX specialists, and just…



Aytekin Tank
The Startup

Founder and CEO of || Bestselling author of Automate Your Busywork. Find more at (contact: