Success in Business Has Nothing to do With Intelligence

Take a minute and think about all the friends you have in business. How many of them are PhDs? How many of them are geniuses? Probably very few. High intelligence is not a prerequisite for success. Being a nerd isn’t much use, unless you’re a nerd who knows how to think. Highly intelligent people probably make good doctors and lawyers, but you need creativity to be business savvy.

Put it simply creativity is about being streetwise, having common sense, and being educated in the school of hard knocks. It’s about being intuitive and being able to find solutions to all the problems (or challenges) you come up against. If this wasn’t true you would need a PhD to open that lunch stall or coffee shop around the corner from your house.

Being creative is something totally empowering; it has a strong sense of freedom to it – the freedom to use your imagination to think about all the possible futures you may desire. And guess what? Creativity can be developed in people once you know how how to do it. Creativity requires you to be confident about your own thoughts; not be put off by what others think. Creativity is about being able to use your imagination to think of alternatives, and creative people have a much better chance of being successful than intelligent people.

Take for example a business school. The intelligent student will write beautiful dissertations and come out with honors. The creative person may find the course boring and very difficult to focus on. Many creative people even drop out and sometimes think they are failures because they can’t stick to the course. Princess Diana dropped out of school at 16. Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, and Mark Zuckerberg were all drops outs as well.

The secret to rediscovering the  creativity you think you may have lost is going back to your childhood and thinking like you used to think without fear of others’ opinions to dissuade you. Remember that time when you used to paint beautiful and colorful pictures, have vivid fantasies, and were filled with idealism. Go home, play with your kids, make sand castles by the seaside, fly a kite, use your hands, and let the thoughts come. Recapturing your sense of creativity again is like having a second chance at life. Your creativity and imagination will guide you wherever you want to go in life.

Once you are doing what you want to do, creativity will be your closest companion guiding you each step of the way; allthe intelligence in the world could never do that for you. So next time you sit down for a sandwich and coffee, remember that the people operating the stall are truly creative in their own way and have found their own sense of empowerment along the sidewalk. Today coffee, tomorrow the world. Ray Kroc certainly thought like that, and thanks to his creativity we now have McDonald's.

So get out there, opinion your mind, you too can be creative.

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Murray Hunter

Murray has been around the traps of entrepreneurship for too long. He is a long time expat from Australia who has made Malaysia his home and tried his hand at everything from agriculture to computers, to food, to spas and to cosmetics. Now he is taking the easy life as an associate professor at a university close to you. Murray spends half his time in Thailand and the other half looking for opportunities in Malaysia. Murray is passionate and deadly earnest about entrepreneurship and believes everybody should have the chance to “have a go”. Murray’s columns focus on giving some simple and practical ideas about the game of entrepreneurship and personal development based on his immense experience and the insights. His pleasure is your success.

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