Want to create distinction for your business? Start thinking like a rapper!

Want to create distinction for your business? Start thinking like a rapper!

Every sales professional wants their business to stand out from the competition and grow, but few actually do. Every leader desires to become more distinctive, yet only a fraction really are.


So, what’s the problem? Interestingly, there are some insights from a study of hip hop and rap artists. Scientific American’s website recently reposted an article from Nature on a study of brain scans of rappers that was revealing in terms of creativity.


Researchers Siyuan Liu and Allen Braun, neuroscientists at the US National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders in Bethesda, Maryland, and their colleagues had 12 rappers freestyle while connected to a form of MRI machine. Then, they had the rappers recite from memorized lyrics and compared the brain scans.


“We think what we see is a relaxation of ‘executive functions’ to allow more natural de-focused attention and uncensored processes to occur that might be the hallmark of creativity,” said Dr. Braun.


When we want to create distinction by becoming more innovative in how we serve our customers, build and grow our team — or a myriad of other aspects in our direct selling business — our “executive function” thinking usually kicks in.


The result is the “we’ve never done it that way before” or “do you know how much it would take to do that?” syndrome that kills the very type of creativity required to stand out in today’s marketplace. 


The article states that the study suggests there are two phases to creativity:


·      Phase One is spontaneous and based upon improvisation to create unique ideas and approaches.

·      Phase Two is where we process, revise, and improve our original thoughts.


Without “breathing space” between innovation and evaluation, we shut down the flow of our creativity — just as rappers can’t concurrently freestyle and analyze their performance.


As the article states, “Michael Eagle, a study co-author who raps under the name Open Mike Eagle, agrees: ‘That’s kind of the nature of that type of improvisation. Even as people who do it, we’re not 100% sure of where we’re getting improvisation from.’”


Strange as it may sound, if you want to create distinction…maybe you need to think less like a sales professional…and (if only for a little while) think like a rapper.

Scott McKain