I used to think I wasn't creative. Any time I would try to come up with an "original idea" either it would have already been done, or more often - I would draw a complete blank. This was pretty frustrating because everyone knows that in order to stand out you have to be completely original. But do you? More on that in a moment.

My way of compensating for my apparent lack of creativity was to take something that already existed and use that as a basis for something new. Sure, it wasn't completely original but at least I wasn't copying someone else.

For example, The Land of Brand® map and The Branding Game™ were inspired by a conversation about the classic game Candy Land. With that simple structure we created a whole new way to present the idea of branding, and a way to deliver it that was fun and as far as we know - isn't being done anywhere else.

That was when I realized - in order to think outside of the box you need a box to start with. Because, you can't think outside of nothing right?

Some of the best ideas are plays on things that have been done before. Amazon started out as a bookstore that was delivered online. Netflix is a movie rental company that doesn't have a physical store. Google is just a library for online content. Each of these ideas may seem completely original but in fact are just plays on something that came before them.

When you have a structure to start with that inspires you, then you can be truly creative. And you don't have to be totally outlandish in order to stand out. People like structure that is familiar to them, with the novelty of a twist that enhances their experience.

So my question for you is, what "box" could you use to deliver your ideas in a new way?

Author's Bio: 

Holly Chantal is the founder of The Land of Brand, a website design and branding company for coaches and solopreneurs. Go to http://www.thelandofbrand.com and download a free video training on how to use your personality to create a unique brand - because your mom was right when she said you were special.