Let’s look at these two parts of flow so that we can understand the importance of balancing each perspective when launching a project.
Firstly, let’s recognise that the flow is a life force that knows where it is going. The controlling power is already in the flow, otherwise it would be a splash. So exerting some kind of control over this flow makes no sense and only leads you to getting stuck. But the flow without an “attracting force” also doesn’t exist. That is why it is a “flow” not a “splash” — it is going TOWARDS something. Ok?
Second, being overtaken by the idea and having lots of fun with it is not yet being in a state of flow, unless you are five years old.
Third, since the flow already has an attracting force within itself, it doesn’t need to be controlled. It has to be allowed to go where it is flowing.
And fourth, if the splash doesn’t take a form of flow by itself, it can be created. It is being created either by YOU yourself realizing a need for a structure, or by someone else who is better with structures then you are.
This where your creative force gets converted into the entrepreneurship flow — it’s the skill of breaking an idea into a process without intervening into the process too much, yet maintaining the flow.
Whatever their talents, many starting entrepreneurs know nothing about these two components of a successful project and how to balance between them. They get unbalanced, and they end up getting frustrated or stuck at the very beginning. I sometimes visit start-up networking dinners in Silicon Valley, and it is amazing how many bright entrepreneurs of different ages and backgrounds have almost no understanding about their product (especially in “creative sector”) when they are pitching their projects to business angels. They don’t have any authentic feel for their target audience, nor do they have any philosophy of their brand. These struggling entrepreneurs can be roughly divided into those who need some adjustment to their structure, and those who simply fit a project management position much better. In fact, both would benefit from partnering with each other before pitching in front of investors. Rarely have I seen teams that had both skillsets from the start. And in the start-up world, this is totally fine. In fact, that is what networking is all about — to find each other and learn from each other.
However, if you are launching your project by yourself and you don’t have a mentor to supervise your launch (and especially if you are a creative yourself), you better understand this balance.
Very often the creativity/structure union is formed by two people within a certain project (this happens for couples too, there are many famous couples like this), but not always. Sometimes you have to learn how to develop it in one person. It takes time for these two components to recognise each other and start speaking to each other. With the union of two people, it usually happens very organically. But when you are a solopreneur, and you know nothing about the importance of this balance within your project or business, you may experience lots of inner conflict with understanding even how to start. It is not until you become aware of it that it will start changing.
Moreover, breaking it down to steps can be a creative process. Visualising and understanding a structure for your idea to become a project, making architecture from a mass of energy, is also a fine art. If this process is seen as being “not creative” and “boring,” it becomes heavy, too left-brain. In fact, it can create resistance to the idea.
Remarkably, I have seen that sometimes one and the same person can become better in one role just depending on the chemistry within a project. For myself, I tend to be very good at structuring for others’ people ideas (something I’ve learned in the corporate world), but when it comes to putting my own creative process into a working “grid,” I prefer having someone else supervising me.
On a business level, these two components are presented by a well-known leader/project manager union. And only when there is rapport between these two people will the business enter “the flow.” So if you are a start-up and you are forming a team, make sure you understand this. If both of you are overflowing with creative energy, it is not yet an indicator of future success; the same goes if you both are super well-versed with management processes and can create a business plan in a minute.