What Is The Most Elusive And Sought After Commodity In Business Today?

Let me introduce you to Entrepreneurs-Journey’s latest expert columnist, Neroli Makim, who specializes in creativity. Neroli is a friend from Brisbane, who recently published a book called “Your Inner Knowing” which as the subtitle explains, is about Unlocking The Secrets To Creative Success. I can tell you from experience talking to Neroli, the subject of creativity is definitely her passion and she is eager to help people tap into theirs.

Creativity is so crucial to the success of every entrepreneur, which is why I invited her to contribute her knowledge from studying this vital aspect of all human beings. This is her introductory article, explaining who she is and why you need to become aware of important your own creativity is…

What’s the most elusive yet sought after commodity in business today, and who has it?

The answer to the above question is creativity. Who can access this? Everybody.

Neroli MakimHi, it’s Neroli, I’m an author, artist and speaker on creativity. My work focuses on the relationship between creativity and personal fulfillment and professional success in life. I educate people about creativity; what it is, why it’s important and how to access this precious commodity within our selves.

My goal is to help people understand how and where they’re already abundantly creative, and show them how to tap into this resource.

How I Became A Creativity Expert

How did I get involved in the business of writing and speaking about creativity?

Creativity is something that has infiltrated and influenced every aspect of my life. During my early childhood, spent on an isolated, outback cattle station, I had no choice but to use my creativity to deal with the challenges of growing up without the things most people take for granted. We had no television, telephones and electricity, or even a community of people around to play and communicate with (our nearest neighbors were a 20 minute drive away). And of course, the Internet wasn’t even invented then.

The only way my brothers and sisters could pass the time and relieve boredom was to use our imagination and creativity. As an adult, I learned from studying the work of some of the leaders in the field of creativity, it was precisely this environment which forced me be imaginative and innovative from an early age that facilitated my prolific creativity as an adult.

I’ve been involved in the Creative Arts industry for over 15 years. I completed a degree in Visual Arts at University, and have exhibited and sold work nationally and internationally during this time. My interest in creativity and its relationship to personal fulfillment and professional success led me to train extensively in the art of self- awareness and spiritual disciplines. This involved moving meditation, Buddhist disciplines and Body Psychotherapy, as well as studying under select leaders in field of personal development for over a decade. I released my first book on Creativity in 2010, which is the culmination of the life experience, training and study of all of the above.

Why Creativity Is Important To Business

Why is creativity one of the most sought after commodities in Business today? In May 2010, IBM released a survey “of more than 1,500 Chief Executive Officers from 60 countries and 33 industries worldwide, chief executives believe that — more than rigor, management discipline, integrity or even vision — successfully navigating an increasing complex world will require creativity.” (IBM press release, www.ibm.com)

It’s quite simple really. In essence, creativity is the ability to be resourceful and innovative, to tap into insights, and access skills we need to navigate our constantly evolving world. Creativity also plays a crucial role in helping us interact with others and feel part of an integrated social structure. In other words, it helps us find our tribe, connect with it, and flourish.

Think about how rapidly our business environment is changing. Once stable and secure ways to earn a living are completely obsolete in today’s global marketplace. Outsourcing to far cheaper, offshore alternatives is a readily available, easily accessible option. “With competition now global, companies must cut overheads to the bone, with a clear trend from labor-intensive investment to capital-intensive.” (The Australian Institute of Management)

A steady job and long service leave is an almost unheard of phenomenon in today’s workforce. “Part-time, seasonal, project, contract and temporary work is rapidly becoming the preferred mode for employers wanting to cut costs.” (The Australian Institute of Management)

In today’s business environment, to ensure a continued income, both employers and employees are required to be flexible, resourceful, self-managing, great at communicating and networking, and capable of creating your own niche in which you can compete as a dominant player. All of the above requirements can be fulfilled through your creativity.

Applying Creativity

How does creativity fulfill these requirements? Let’s start with flexibility and resourcefulness.

As most of you reading this blog are entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs, remember the times when you have had to be exceptionally resourceful and flexible in order to make things work in your own business. Coming up with unique and competent ways to meet the needs of your clients, within the scope of your human, financial and time resources, pushes you to the limits of your creative capacity. In order to draw on the insight, intelligence and skills needed to be an entrepreneur, you are literally forced to tap into your creativity to be competitive with the bigger players who have more time, money and human resources to draw from.

Self-managing through creativity; this one’s easy. If you’ve read Yaro’s articles on the 80/20 rule, you’ll know how crucial it is to self manage effectively to be successful in your business.

How does creativity assist you in self-managing? Your creativity shows you exactly what it is you need to focus on and what it is you need to outsource. When you are in the zone is when you are in sync with your creative genius. Your creativity shows you the tasks you find most rewarding and gives you the best return for your investment of time, energy and money. Creativity is literally the guiding light to what and how you need to self manage to be effective and successful in your business.

Creativity = great at communicating and networking. This is one of my favorite aspects of creativity. Remember how I said creativity helps you find your tribe, connect with it and flourish? Communicating and networking is not something that everyone loves to do or is naturally good at. When we find the people and places we really connect with, communication and networking happens effortlessly.

Think about a group of fanatic collectors. They’re not struggling in any way, shape, or form to communicate and network with each other about whatever they are collectively inspired by. Again, it’s your creativity that directs you to where you are highly competent and already engaged in communicating and networking. These same skills can easily be transferred to your business life.

Creativity is one of the most sought after commodities in business today because that’s what’s gives you the edge over the competition. Creativity gives you the insights, innovation, communication & practical problem solving skills needed to make money, and to keep making money in business.

Who Is Creative?

So, who is creative? And how can we tap into this resource? The good news is, everybody is creative. The bad news is, very few people recognize how and where in their lives they are already abundantly creative.

Creativity is an innate part of being human; it’s like breathing. In fact, if you are breathing, you are creative. You may not be accessing and expressing your creativity in this very moment, but it’s there all the same. It’s something we’re born with, and it goes with us to the grave.

The big disconnect usually happens during our education. Up until school age, kids have very few qualms about launching headlong into any creative endeavor. During school, not only are we largely misinformed about how creative we are, we are largely misinformed about what creativity is, and how relevant it is to success in life. If you think back to the beginning of this article, you may not have been aware of how much you are engaging your creative gifts. By now, I’m sure you will have more of an idea of how your entrepreneurship and business thrive on creativity.

How do we tap into this resource? This is the real kicker in this whole creativity game… we access our creativity through play.

Now, before anyone starts screaming that work and play are mutually exclusive and playing has nothing to do with making money, allow me to explain further. Play does not necessarily mean sitting in front of the x-box, going shopping or driving balls around a golf course. Play can present itself in any form at all, but there are certain key elements in all forms of play.

Dr. Stuart Brown, medical doctor, psychiatrist, clinical researcher and author has spent his entire career studying play behavior in humans. He says “Play lies at the core of creativity & innovation.” Over his lifetime’s work, he has discovered there are 8 dominant styles of playing. He calls these play personalities, and people generally favor 2 or 3 styles of playing. In order to find out where and how you are already abundantly creative, you simply need to know which play personalities you most naturally connect with. Then you can see precisely where and how you are already accessing and expressing your innate creative gifts.

What Is Your Creative Character?

I have put together a Creative Character survey in which you find out your dominant play personalities. By clicking on the link at the end of this article you can fill in the survey for free for a limited time only. (This is not usually a freebie, but I think it’s rude to ask you to pay for something when we’ve only just met, so for a short while, this is gratis.)

Play not only happens in the workplace, it is the thing that makes our work enjoyable, and makes us become very skilled at the type of work that is most closely linked to our Creative Character.

(Repeat after me; Play = creativity = niche = dominant player)

Notice how I say you’re a dominant player? You’re not dominating in your field because you’re a dominant worker, that not only sounds absurd and incongruous, it simply doesn’t happen. If you want to be creative, innovative, resourceful and ahead of the crowd, you need to be a dominant player in your business. It is through your style of play that you will access the creativity, innovation and problem solving skills needed to dominate in your niche.

If you fill in the survey to find out which play personalities make up your Creative Character, you will see clearly how and where you are already accessing and expressing creativity in your life. Once you see where these gifts are, you know exactly what to continue to use as leverage to succeed in your business, as well as what needs outsourcing.

The really cool thing about creativity is that once you’ve found it in one area of your life, it’s much easier to translate it into other areas. Because once you know you are creative, it literally begins to feel like an inherent part of your being, you just know you can do it.

I’d like to thank you very much for reading this article. How creativity relates to personal success and professional fulfillment is literally a bottomless pit of amazing and fascinating information, I have struggled to cram the essence of it into this one tiny post.

In future articles, I will explain in far greater depth how various aspects of creativity relate to success in distinct areas of business and life. I’d love you to join me in this grand adventure of discovery and awakening the creative genius within. Here’s to your creative success!

Neroli Makim

About Neroli Makim

Neroli Makim is an intuitive artist and writer who loves exploring Creativity and its relationship to personal fulfillment and professional success. She educates people about Creativity, what it is, why it’s important and how to access it within themselves. For more information, visit www.yourcreativesuccess.com.

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  • Neroli-

    Great article! I see creativity in the way I look at decision-making too which is something you probably get into as well in your book. Rather than a one or the other course of action, I usually brainstorm a variety of other solutions to add to the mix. This creativity gives me more confidence as I move through making larger decisions.

    Also, I enjoy working with a daily time sheet to manage my day. I go “shopping” for the tasks I will work on the next day from a longer list of goals and place them into hourly time slots. It works really well.

    I look forward to taking advance of the survey you offer. Thank you!


    • Hi Natalie, you’re quite right that you are using your creativity in decision making. I think I know which of the survey options will pop up as high ranking scores in regard to your creativity, there’s a particular play personality that loves to manage & delegate, and it’s a very handy characteristic to have 🙂 cheers, n

  • Thanks for the creativity article

  • This was a really refreshing and interesting approach Neroli and thoroughly enjoyed your approach to the subject of creativity. Definitely going to let our creativity dominate from now and follow you to find out more. Thanks to Yaro for a great share.

  • @ Neroli –

    I think I am able to recognize my creativity about the work I love to do really without any boar and feels more energetic after coming to completing a section of the same but currently not eligible to target that directly and hence taking some short of hack of traditional life to make the path towards the same in easy way.

  • Great article! Although I didn’t grow up in the Outback, I did grow up before the Internet and before video games, etc. Although we had a TV, I didn’t look at it much. As a consequence, I too learned to be creative just so that I could entertain myself. What’s so great about the Internet age, though, is now people with seemingly narrower interests can connect with each other. Pre-Internet, if you were interested in creativity, for instance, within the normal population, you wouldn’t be able to find that many folks who were passionate about the same thing. Unless you lived in an “artsy” area, or a university town, you probably wouldn’t find many people to talk to about your passion. Now, with the Internet, you can quickly find a whole global community of people who are just as interested in this subject as you are.

    • Hi Lee, having a global playground really is one of the super cool things about the age we’re in! Being able to find our respective tribes and connect with them makes for some extraordinary co-creations, or even just to have heaps of fun! cheers, neroli

  • Thanks for the great post! Will share with co-workers.

  • hi Neroli-
    I was curious to take the survey to discover “play personalities” , as components to a Creative Character- but could not find this link , ?.
    great article & subscribed to your blog for future interest.

  • I’m sorry, but I think I missed something.

    Clicking the link did take me to your website, but the only Creative Character survey I found was a quiz, which is still under construction and not available to be taken.

    Could you give more detailed instructions to the survey you said was ready, for free?

    • Thank you everyone for the great responses to my article, there’s something important re survey I mention in the article I need to add..

      Hi Mark, Kara & others, sorry for the confusion re the survey. It will be available & it will be for free. We’re experiencing some pretty crazy floods right now in mine & Yaro’s city, in our whole country in fact, but our city is one of the worst hit. So my tech guy has had to stop work as he was getting the survey ready for article launch date but all kinds of hell is breaking loose. I still have electricity, but a lot of places have lost power & been evacuated. You can check out pics on the net or on my fb page, I’m about to head down and take some more now. I’ll post updates on my site regarding a timeline for when the survey will be ready as well as dropping a line here as well. So anyone wanting to take it will be able to & will have free access as soon as this freak flooding passes.

      Cheers:) Neroli

      • I’ve been hearing of the flooding in the news, but I didn’t realize you were in one of the effected cities.

        Take care of that first, and I’m sure when things have calmed down Yaro will gladly put up a quick post reminding us the survey is ready.

        Good luck.

  • Hi Neroli,

    I liked your article. However, I have a question, if everyone has the capacity to be creative how is it a commodity? Isn’t that like saying air is a commodity? I don’t mean to be critical, but I’m having trouble picturing how I could sell the concept to a prospective employer.

    • Everyone has the capacity to be creative but not everyone is able to harness and use that creativity properly. Hence, the people who show a tendency to use their creativity the best and most frequently are sought after. I hope that is what was intended by calling it a commodity. Excellent first post here, Neroli. Looking forward to more in the future.

    • Hi Daniel, did komodo’s response help at all? Another good way of explaining it is this, when I ask a room full of people “Who thinks they’re creative?” Very few people will raise their hands. The truth is, everyone has a unique way of experiencing and expressing their creativity, but not many people recognize these aspects of themselves as being creative. The cool thing is, once you know how and where your creativity exists in your life, you can not only tap into it, you can fine-tune it, it becomes a valuable asset to you in your life. You also become one of the few people in the room who puts their hands up when asked if you’re creative, so you stand out from the crowd:) Hope this helps, cheers, neroli

  • […] Makim the author of “Your Inner Knowing: Unlocking The Secrets To Creative Success,” creativity is an elusive commodity that businesses are actively seeking as a characteristic in prospective employees.  Furthermore, as prospective future employees, we […]

  • Hi Neroli,

    I really loved the way you’ve explained creativity in such depth, your points must be motivating a lot of people to tap into their creative side as many people think that creativity is a natural talent and not many people have it. Thanks for sharing and really looking forward to the survey! Sad that floods have affected the area so badly. Hope all gets well soon!

    Riya Sam
    Training for Entrepreneurs.com

    • Thanks Riya:) Will keep you posted on the survey, cheers, neroli

  • Yes,Creativity is needed not only for the arts,music etc,but for business too.In essence, creativity is the ability to be resourceful and innovative, to tap into insights, and access skills we need to navigate our constantly evolving world. Creativity also plays a crucial role in helping us interact with others and feel part of an integrated social structure.we need more creative businessmen now-a-days.

  • Hi Neroli, I am thinking of all of Brisbane, we just narrowly missed it on the Sunshine (rainshine) Coast. I would love to do the survey when it is available but totally understand your situation. Will you let us know or what should we do to find it?

    thanks again, great stuff

  • From Wikipedia “A commodity is a good for which there is demand, but which is supplied without qualitative differentiation across a market. Commodities are often substances that come out of the earth and maintain roughly a universal price.[1] A commodity is fungible, that is, equivalent no matter who produces it.”

    I had to look it up, not being a native speaker, because I felt that creativity is everything but a commodity. Reading the definition, I remain convinced that it is not. I believe the author wants to say that creativity is a much sought after skill, rather than a commodity. Even if business polls phrase it that way, it still sounds awkward. I do not believe that the value of my creativity is immediately affected by the availability of creativity on the global market. On the contrary, someone who is highly creative, is likely to be overwhelmed with demand, regardless of the relative abundance of others’ creativity.

    Or is this the point of the article? That, if we all become creative, then companies can treat this skill as a mere commodity. That may be closer to the truth, but neither is it a particularly appealing idea from the creative person’s perspective.

    • Hi Dieter, yes, my use of commodity may not have been in keeping with perfect english, and i am a native speaker, so I have no excuses! For me, creativity is something which is needed today more than ever as we’re facing a very unusual time in the history of life on this planet. It’s just as much a sought after skill as it is a commodity. Creativity is something that can be used in your own life as well as to help other people. If you know how and where your creative gifts lie, then indeed, you have a very precious asset for either your own personal benefit or to share with others. I guess it can be seen as a commodity if you’re selling it, or you place a monetary value on it. Like an artist who sells their artwork, they put a price tag on their creativity, the same way a company puts a price tag on what they pay a CEO they deem has the creative skills needed to successfully steer their company through these times. A lot of people who feel they are creative don’t like to put price tags on their creativity though, and that’s fair enough, it’s a personal choice, each to their own. cheers, neroli

      • Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I understand now that your message is more about valuing your creativity up to monetizing it, rather than considering it to be a mere resource. The commodity/asset/skill issue is rather semantic, so there is no point in continuing it.

        Thanks and good luck!

  • Bein creative with my blogs is somethign that I am slowly learning from a friend of mine who runs his own blog. I showed him how to make money online and he is helping me be more creative. 🙂

  • I look forward to your creativity survey Neroli but nothing spurs creativity and innovation like necessity.

    It’s off topic but I got the idea that some sort of judgement was going on for Brisbanites. I searched for “What is Brisbane known for” and the number one news story on Google was Brisbane Floods Hit Sporting Holy Land.


    One of the things that Brisbane is known for is a man named John Dunmore Lang. The story that I link to may offer some comfort to some. My prayers and thoughts go out to the people affected by the floods in Brisbane.

    • I found that Brisbane has a history of droughts and floods, so it’s simply not that great of a location to live in.

      For those interested, financial help and donations can be given through the following website;


    • I agree totally Dennis, necessity is indeed the mother of invention:) cheers, neroli

  • Well said! 🙂

    Creativity allows us to work smarter and harder, instead of just working harder.


  • I just fell in love. This post makes the word awesome look like an understatement. I study neuroscience so I’m totally aligned with creativity being inherent. It totally is shunted as we grow up in our “system” here in America. Largely misinformed is definitely a precise way to say it!

    I found that creativity flourishes when one makes that distinction, and gets rid of bad mental programming!

    Your point – Accurate or not?
    YES, creativity is definitely one of the most important skills in business. I believe it is the Linchpin! (as Seth Godin would say)

    Great post.

    • Thanks Ryan, perception and mental programming is absolutely a massive part of finding and connecting the missing links! It’s pretty exciting stuff, especially because it’s such an beautiful, powerful resource that can have such a profound effect on peoples lives, and it’s largely untapped! Equally cool is that everyone has access to it in their own unique ways. Neuroscience is not my field of expertise, but it is truly fascinating. I’m scrambling around right now trying to put together something that makes sense in my next post on creativity and an aspect of it that lights up the brain like a christmas tree. If I can find the information I need, I’ll whack it in there:) Cheers, neroli

  • There were a couple of well-regarded books that came our recently – both of which asserted that *creativity* was exclusively the product of HARD WORK.


    • Good point, all the people I know who succeed in life haven’t got there from kicking back and taking it easy. A big part of fine tuning your creative gifts is doing the work required to become great at whatever it is you love to do. Lance Armstrong is a perfect example, he didn’t win all those Tour de France races by sitting on the couch watching bike races, he trained like a machine to be the best. But everyone will have their own way of training or developing their creative gifts; consistent time, effort and attention is crucial to being great at anything in life:) cheers, neroli

  • Neroli,
    Indeed your article on creativity is interesting and informative.
    Creativity is not only very important to achieving success in business but it’s also important to our entire life, because without applying creativity into all that we do, our effort and resources will result into waste.
    For example,
    You gave two sets of people the sum $1000 to start a business, you will discover where one person is complaining bitterly the money is not enough to start,the other person may simply go and use the same amount creatively to get that business set up.
    Creativity is an essential commodity when it comes to achieving success in Business.
    Thanks. http://www.naijabizcom.blogspot.com

  • I agree how important creativity plays in finding true and lasting success in marketing. Creativity in decision making is critical. Thanks for sharing Neroli.

    – Robert

  • I find that creativity is also a very resourceful tool for problem solving. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to think outside of normal business practices to really get different and interesting results. Creativity is in everything we do and shows our innovative and progressive nature.

  • Beneficial info and excellent design you got here! I want to thank you for sharing your ideas and putting the time into the stuff you publish! Great work!

  • Your website constantly makes me think, I have just bookmarked it!

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