Monthly Nuggets: Elizabeth Anderson-Cadogan

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Meet Elizabeth

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"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." Mark Twain

Elizabeth Anderson-Cadogan is the CEO of Cadogan & Associates, LLC. With over 15 years experience in operational optimization, Elizabeth is a Business Development Consultant, Speaker, Business Coach, and Outreach & Engagement Facilitator. Cadogan & Associates is a full-service Washington D.C. based consulting firm providing business development resources to the private, public and non-profit sectors.

Entrepreneurship: The First Year

Why entrepreneurship?

Mistake! [Laughs] no, it is a way to bring new and innovative ideas to the marketplace. It provides a chance for minorities and women. Young women are often unrecognized in the workplace; entrepreneurship offers an opportunity for them to build wealth–there's still a pay gap especially in fields where women aren't largely represented in leadership. In business when you're your own boss, you get to ask for what you deserve. 

When did you decide to become an entrepreneur full-time how was that transition? Did you create a plan?

It was an easy transition. In my field, I already knew the challenges entrepreneurs face. I had already done the research, a lot of research, and I was well-prepared for the upcoming challenges.

After your first year as an entrepreneur, what is the biggest lesson you have learned?

You cannot do it all alone. [I've learned the importance of] having a team and a support system to provide with additional knowledge and resources.

How was the process of hiring interns and employees to aid in achieving your goals?

Hiring interns was an easy process, finding interns with skill sets I need is challenging. A lot of the time, with interns, it is their first professional experience and some may not have experience in my field. Juggling the demands of the business, training and mentoring staff can be challenging. 

What were your greatest achievements and hurdles?

Bringing in over 40 clients in one year and making connections internationally. A hurdle would be, maintaining the original mission while also growing the business. Keeping the balance between serving the core demographic and expanding to service the needs of new clients. 

What are five tips you would give entrepreneurs going into their first year?

  1. Do your research, know the market, make sure you're an expert in your field. 
  2. Constantly enhance your knowledge.
  3. Get a team–interns. Interns will help you because they ground you. They allow you to make sure your work can translate to clients because they're learning [too]. 
  4. Networking.
  5. Something that I should do more of–work-life balance. Taking time for the things that are important to you is necessary like having dinner with your family. It’s important, so you don't end up working yourself to death.

Monthly Nuggets: Phil Brooks

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Meet Phil Brooks

"I looked at the resources I had and decided on the best opportunity I had, given my connections at the time. I knew it would take a lot of hard work, but we don’t usually go as hard as we can until we feel we have no other option."

Consult M&P is a boutique consulting firm dedicated to solving all of your material expertise needs that may arise with a new, and or existing product.

The Business of Product Development in 2018

How is Consult M&P changing the world?

CMP is changing the world through advances in science. As material scientists, we strive to find the best way possible to handle material expertise needs no matter what stage in the product life. We have worked on an array of projects ranging from food packaging difficulties to military defense apparatuses, creating advances in technology in both. 

Why is product development so important for new product-based businesses?

Product development is so important because it is the business. The consumer determines the life of the product through its need. It's our goal to continue the advancement of each project to benefit the consumer overall. We must constantly try new alternatives to success to ensure we don’t leave any discoveries behind.

What predictions do you foresee happening in 2018 within your particular industry?

I see a big push for polymer based products in the future. More and more industries are realizing that they can benefit from polymer products replacing their correct materials or complimenting them. You can see this in the new Snapple containers and also newer wine corks. The world is using alternative resources to preserve and we help move that knowledge in the right direction. 

What moment in your career triggered your desire to start your own business?

I got fired! That’s the honest truth. But before that always wanted to own my own business. This actually is not the first business I’ve started but by far the most successful. Back in 2015 when I was let go I knew I needed to start something but I was not sure what. I looked at the resources I had and decided on the best opportunity I had, given my connections at the time. I knew it would take a lot of hard work, but we don’t usually go as hard as we can until we feel we have no other option.

What are 5 tips to be an effective millennial man in business today?

Never stop learning. We live in such a fast pace world where information is constantly changing and being behind can have extreme disadvantages. 

Stay humble. I always tell my friends this in comparison to the show “Survivor,” they always vote off the strongest and the weakest first. As long as you stay in your lane you will get to the promise land.  

Stay ambitious. Always striving for advancement will keep you from being left in the past. Depending on your industry, you need to constantly strive for the next big thing.

Your network is your net worth. I’m not sure who created that saying, but having great people around you for direction is essential to success. 

Take Risks. The greater the risk the greater the reward they say. If I had not taken the risk to start my company, I would not be where I’m at today. Most people don’t take necessary risks for success.

RIP Open Internet: What Net Neutrality Could Mean for Your Small Business

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The 3-2 vote to repeal net neutrality by the FCC will change the way we use the internet and could potentially have long-term financial effects. Net neutrality allowed consumers to surf the net freely and information was exposed to internet surfers unbiasedly. With net neutrality repealed, service providers can control and select what you see, further controlling the gateway of information; which will ultimately lead to misinformation. The internet is not just for pleasure, but a necessity for many to use for work and personal purposes. Capitalizing off of the fundamental use of the internet could eventually narrow down impressions on the web if charges and fees become too robust. However, it's not very likely. There’s no question that this repeal by the FCC isn’t favored by the vast majority, but before this repeal becomes contested (speaking it into existence) what could this repeal mean for your small businesses? 

 

1. Your speed of web traffic could decrease

Internet service providers (ISPs), under the repeal, are now able to pick and choose the activity it allows, which can result to traffic congestion on the web making your web pages load slower. A Google internet ad-survey study shows that mobile site visitors who have to wait more than three seconds for a page to load will give up browsing 53% of the time. 

2.  Suppressed innovation

Slower internet effects your research. One of the many ways entrepreneurs gather innovation for their business and partnerships is through surfing the web. Since ISPs have more control on what is being filtered through the internet, viewership of the websites you frequent could take longer to load leading you to either spend more time on the web…waiting or conducting less research because it starts to become too time-consuming.

3.  General public could become less trusting of doing business online

ISPs now have rights to track online behavior without the customer's consent through supercookies. This could allow the general public to be much more cautious about the information they choose to share online, specifically their credit card information in fear of their card being compromised, which could ultimately affect your online sales.

4.  Your market could become much smaller

If the internet turns into a tiered service with different internet packages this could limit your marketing reach as your website may not be included in certain service packages your customers would purchase (this would be a worst-case scenario).

5. Limit your advertising dollars

ISP’s now have the ability to charge additional fees to sites like Facebook to deliver their data at a faster pace. Facebook could choose to purchase that package or pass down fees to users and consumers on the website by increasing the cost of Facebook ads—a tool many small business owners take advantage of. 

 

Overall, chances are you will not see the effects of the repeal immediately, but it’s important to know what could be the case, so you can have the best strategy in place for your small business. 

Monthly Nuggets: Eddie Johnson

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Meet Eddie Johnson

"Commit thy works to The Lord and thy thoughts shall be established (Proverbs 16:3)." [This verse] Gives me reassurance that God is in control and if you want true success, if you give your cares to Him and you ask Him to direct your steps and you're obedient to Him, then He will surely bless your efforts while bringing glory to His name. What better than that?"

Verdure Watches was founded in 2012 by owner and designer Eddie Johnson. His love of watches stems from generations of discriminating gentlemen who always expressed how important a watch is to a man’s attire. Ever since a youth, he would see his father and grandfather wear different timepieces on a daily basis, and his interest was piqued.

From drawing cartoon characters to fully designing watches in its entirety, Eddie has come a long way and he plans on taking the world of horology by storm to be the household name for sophisticated timepieces.


The Verdure name meaning “strength” will hold a high standard for style and elegance with comfortability. We specialize in luxury watches for both men and women that can be worn on a casual day or with a 3-piece suit or elegant gown. So if you are a man or woman of refined taste, Verdure is your brand.

Time and Technology: Verdure Watches Founder Eddie Johnson

What moment in your career triggered your desire to start your own business? 

Well, I really decided right before I graduated college that I didn't want to work a 9-5 for 30 years and retire. I always found freedom in being able to come and go as I please, and that is really what prompted me to become a business owner, among other things.

What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

My favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur is that I can be as creative as I want in terms of coming up with new ideas, strategies, marketing schemes, etc. Another reason is the freedom. Again, being able to call the shots and come and go as you please is priceless.

With the expansion of technology, how has Verdure Watches kept up with the times? 

The expansion of technology has helped Verdure stay up to date in terms of payment and database systems. The different platforms help to store our customer information easier and also makes them easily accessible. With a lot of things turning into apps now, that makes it easy as well being able to quickly communicate with people on the other side of the world with just a few clicks and everything is sent promptly. 

From your perspective, why should individuals take interest in the tech industry?

Individuals should take interest in the tech industry because the conventional way of manually doing things is completely going out of style at a rapid pace. So in order to be able to survive in the tech age, I feel it is imperative to have some type of basic literacy to be able to get buy. And also for those who are interested in starting a business but doesn't necessarily have the means to pay a staff right away, being tech savvy allows you to wear multiple hats at once and get things done even as a one-man show.

What are 5 tips to be an effective millennial man in business today?

  1. First, be a man of morals. A strong moral compass will keep you out of trouble and keep you on the right path to making good business decisions. I go by the verse Proverbs 16:3, "Commit thy works to The Lord and thy thoughts shall be established". If you want true success in this crazy world we live in today, you have to let The Lord direct your steps. He made you so He knows best.
  2. Keep your distractions limited. There are so many things that can take our attention away from whats important. Stay focused on the task at hand and the end goal.
  3. No "Yes Men" in your circle. You don't want people around who always agree with you. Have people around that will challenge you and support and care for you enough to let you know that you should rethink something before making a big decision.
  4. The glass is always half full. You cant assume things will change for the better if all you do is think negatively. There's no real losses, just lessons. Learn from your mistakes and keep on moving forward with a smile always on your face.
  5. And last, be patient. Sometimes it takes a while for the best opportunity to surface. Sometimes the first deal isn't the best deal, so it is important to weigh all your options before going all in on something. Do your research before making decisions. And be sure to have a plan B.

 

Monthly Nuggets: DJ3two1

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Meet DJ3two1

"Know who you are first and foremost, your brand is a representation of you and if you don't know who you are then it will be hard for you to build a brand."

Dj3two1 can cater to both the party-gods and the innovators of your favorite brand. As a musical taste-maker, the consistency and dedication are main ingredients to his success. With 15 years of experience, Dj3two1 has laid a foundation in charity, corporate, family and university events. Embarking on his new gift and fan-base, Dj3two1 has made a name for himself not only as a syndicated radio disc jockey/ personality on his own digital radio platform 3two1 Radio, but also being critically acclaimed, grabbing features in HipHopWeeklyThe Source and Ozone Magazine. You can hear Dj3two1 weekdays 2p-6p on the 3two1 Radio mobile app for Android and iPhone or at 3two1radio.com.

Discovering Your Personal Brand for Business

At what point in your deejaying career did you recognize the need for a personal brand?

I would say about 7 years ago, I'm a late bloomer with EVERYTHING!  So naturally, I didn't realize how important a personal brand was until almost a decade into my DJ career.  Once I knew I needed to build my personal brand I started investing in areas that would help me build it up. Like selling my own merchandise, putting out daily mixes, using professional photos and building a website.  All of the things I should've done years ago, but for some reason, I just never thought to invest in those things for my brand.  Better late than never.

What was the process for discovering your personal brand?

The process was first knowing who I was, and that was something I struggled with when I first started at 99.5 Jamz.  Nobody knew who I was, so listeners would call in and say everyone's name (who was on the station at the time) but mine.  It was at that moment I realized that I needed to figure out how to stand out from not just other DJs in the area, but from my co-workers as well.  So I put a plan in place, set up a photo shoot, built my website, started producing daily mixes I gave out for free, had a logo created, and used radio to help build my brand.  Every day I worked at promoting my brand, and eventually, it paid off.  I went from sitting at home almost every weekend to having 2 to 4 events a week, then people started recognizing me from DJing events and being on the radio.  So the process started with me figuring out who I was first, then putting a plan in place and working my plan every day.  A formula I still use today.

We know that a personal brand can do wonders for marketing and branding, but what other benefits can professionals gain?

Longevity is one major benefit, we've witnessed people with very strong brands having longevity in their career path.  Michael Jackson is a great example, he's been gone for almost 10 years and he's still the King of Pop and his music still sells.  Consistency is another benefit, having a strong brand will keep the money coming in consistently.  When I first started DJing I only made money if I was booked to DJ an event, and just like any other business, I had slow months (still do at times due to the market I'm in). But having a strong brand allowed me to have bookings coming in consistently, where I can pass off events I can't DJ to other DJs in my network. I've also managed to generate other revenue streams within my DJ brand that helps me get through the times when the gigs slow down. Consistency and longevity are the 2 things that will allow you to eat off of your brand while you're here and your family can eat off of it when you pass on.

Personal brands require people to choose a direction, what happens when someone changes careers or changes jobs--how/or should they adjust their personal brand?

They should adjust their brand according to the needs of the industry they're in, no matter what company or industry you work in there's always a need somewhere.  Focusing on the needs of your industry will keep you employed or in business (for my fellow entrepreneurs).  An individual during the great depression studied every day for hours learning about the industry he wanted to be in, during a time when people were losing their jobs left and right. This young man would go into businesses and explained to them how he could fulfill a need for them, and as a result, he had multiple job offers during one of the worse economic times in this country.  Moral of the story, create a brand that fulfills a need/creates a solution.

What advice would you give to someone looking to establish their personal brand for their own business?

Know who you are first and foremost, your brand is a representation of you and if you don't know who you are then it will be hard for you to build a brand.  After that establish which audience you want your brand to cater to.  When I created my digital radio platform I knew the audience I wanted my show to cater to was 25-40.  So everything is catered to them from the music (classic hip hop and r&b) to the content I discuss on my show.  Establishing who you're targeting will help keep you focused and not have your brand and business all over the place.  Once you've done that you have to focus on the needs of your audience or your industry.  Recently I posted a question on Instagram "Annoying things DJs do?" and the responses I got let me know as a DJ what changes I need to make.  Focusing on the needs allows you to create a solution which will bring in the money.  With that being said DO NOT CHASE MONEY!  Chase needs, create a solution and the money will come.  Oh, and be consistent, consistency is necessary and a major key!  Also, you have to download my mobile app and check out my show 3two1 Radio weekdays 2p-6p or you can listen at  3two1radio.com .  If you do that then you will have a super successful brand!  Lol....but no seriously you should download my app and listen to my show please.

Non-Profits: Gear Up for Your Donor Campaigns this Season

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Yes, the seasons are changing fast and summer is officially (not quite) over. As some pastors would say during offering, “It’s time to give.” During this time, 35% of giving takes place between Thanksgiving and New Years. For charities and organizations, the holidays present a perfect time to put together strategic, timely and creative campaigns to enhance their presence and maximize year-end donation goals. 

In creating a donor results - driven campaign, there are three key elements to consider: 

Strategy

The campaign strategy should always consist of a strong message, financial goal, appealing look, and consistent branding. With messaging, donors want to be able to connect both mentally and emotionally with the cause. Creating a hands-on project may also encourage donors not only to give financially but also volunteer their time.  By including popular trends in the strategic planning, organizations can garner attention from potential donors that directly resonate with trending topics and how its impact affects the people in which they are serving.  

Messaging Channels

Today, you can use so many channels to implement a creative campaign and each channel serves a different purpose. Although social media has a greater impact today, direct mailing still offers a personal touch when reaching out to donors and lays the groundwork for the campaign. Email is also making a major impact in inboxes everywhere. Consider sharing a report on the organizations' impact in the community, including a creative infographic or share a story from someone who has benefitted from your programs and services. Your websites’ homepage donation, and thank you page needs to be easy yet memorable for viewers. With social media, organizations can build buzz by running Facebook ads targeted at existing followers. Running ads may not be in the marketing budget just yet, but the use of social media provides an opportunity to be creative with your messaging through the use videos and a consistent posting schedule.  

Timing

In order for your campaign to be strategically executed, develop a working calendar and set concrete deadlines. If you're an avid social media user organization, you are probably paying close attention to how other organizations are disseminating messages on a specific day and time. A working calendar helps.  The calendar identifies when messaging and tactical processes should be implemented and helps with the development of content centered around current holidays and events.  

We hope these tips and tricks help you redefine your donor relations programs and meet your financial goals. 

Monthly Nuggets: Toni Patterson

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Meet Toni

"If you want something done right, do it yourself."

Toni Patterson is a Brand Strategist & Designer and the Owner of Skye Media Group. Before pursuing a career as a Creative, Toni studied Business Administration and started a career in the legal field. After getting her creative feet wet with Web Design, Toni delved head first into what made her happiest. Skye Media Group specializes in Brand Strategy, Web Design, & Brand Design. Toni's latest business addition to her growing brand is Skye Soiree Brand Experiences, which conceptualizes and executes business events that reinforce your brand, grow your market, and spread your message.

Transitioning to a New Career & Entrepreneurship

What was your career before entering the Design field & entreprenuership?

When I started college I wanted to be an interior designer and publicist. At the time, those occupations weren’t as popular as they were now. I struggled to understand how I’d make a living as either of those. I pursued a more traditional course as a Business Administration major and focused on English and Writing.

By the time I graduated, I was working in the legal department at a mutual fund company and decided to get my Paralegal certification. I decided not to pursue a paralegal course because spending hours in the law library researching cases was not my idea of fun. I decided to stick with the legal, administrative, and office management track.

What sparked your interest in changing your career?

I always had an interest in technology and was a creative at heart. When social media communities like Friendster, Blackplanet, and MySpace became popular, I was excited to customize my profile with different colors, photos, music, and font. I felt a sense of control and instant gratification from adding HTML to a section and then seeing it change immediately on my profile.

I hesitated to change my career or even pursue web design because I had no training! I only had the desire and passion to learn, but still needed that push, so after getting encouragement from my support system, I started learning how to design websites.

What tools or resources did you use to navigate your career change and learn more about your desired field?

Photoshop was my friend! I would find different Photoshop tutorials and try to recreate the design. Mine would never turn out the same and it helped me appreciate that even though people are given the same tools, their interpretation and manipulation of those tools can create different designs. This is beautiful. When I started getting my first few clients, I designed their websites in WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) design platforms, so it was a lot of designing in Photoshop and drop and dragging layouts. I didn’t like that I had to design within the confines of those platforms where the code was proprietary. It meant that I truly wasn’t developing sites. I wanted to make websites from scratch and manipulate the code.

I would post questions in different code groups to get assistance with various issues. There was a web developer who started helping me to understand WordPress (I had transitioned from WYSIWYG editors), CSS, HTML, syntax, and other coding languages. He became a virtual mentor to me. I never met him or spoke to him beyond getting training, yet he assisted me for a year. I’m very grateful of the time and chance he took on me. It helped me to see a true definition of mentorship.

Did you find that skills from your prior career were and have been transferable? How did they help you in your new career field?

Being in the legal field helped me to put everything in writing and to account for what I do. It also helped me to work with different personalities and be confident about my work product. I’ve also learned to confirm, double-check, and remind. Communication and follow-up is key in this industry. It’s the true mark of excellent client service.

Becoming an entrepreneur can be daunting and you decided to not only switch careers but to become an entrepreneur in that field. What was that transition like?

I started my business while I was working full-time. Even though I was tired and frustrated from learning new things, I was energized and thrilled to be putting in effort to do something I love. The transition was gradual, but tough. There’s so much to learn with web and graphic design, but it’s more than designing. I had to learn how to run a business. Working in Corporate America helped me to see that I had to stay on top of my job. This was the path I choose and I wasn’t going to quit or do anything mediocre.

When I moved to a new city, I found myself in a new job that I didn’t like. Although I worked it, I wasn’t happy and was getting depressed with the situation. Then, a few months later they called me in and fired me. I didn’t flinch, but immediately thought “this is the out I’ve been praying for” so instead of crying, I began working on my business with a new focus and energy.

What are three tips you would give to those looking to change careers?

  • Before you make a career change into entrepreneurship, study your craft and industry.
  • Develop your strategy, unique sales advantages, marketing plan, target market analysis, communications strategy, and solutions.
  • Save money. Pay yourself first from your paycheck and put it towards growing or starting your business. Learn how to live without for a little bit and make investments towards your dreams.

Monthly Nuggets: Anthony Hales

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Meet Anthony

"Beastmode 24x7. Beastmode isn’t a temporary mindset but a way of approaching life."

Anthony Hales is a Municipal and Regional Government Engagement Specialist and the President of Hales Government Solutions. Hales Government Solutions is a small consulting firm that provides research, communications and training services. Their primary clients are local government agencies. Clients of Hales Government Solutions include several local D.C. government agencies such as:

  • Department of Health
  • Office on Aging
  • Department of Employment Services
  • Office of the State Superintendent of Education
  • Criminal Justice Coordinating Council
  • Connect.DC - Digital Inclusion Initiative
  • Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia
  • Housing Authority

 

Growing Your Business While Still Working a 9 to 5

What have you learned about time management, company growth, and balancing everyday life while still working a 9 to 5?

Discipline is key. You have to really be disciplined in all aspects of life to make it work. Early on, I didn’t understand that. I was so focused on the work that I stopped paying attention to some of the close people around me who needed me.

It is always recommended to keep both your business and day job separate. Is it that simple? How do you achieve this? How do you keep both sides assured that they are your first priority?

Its not always simple. Truthfully, I don’t think you can be a great business person and a great employee at the same time. You have to pick one as a priority. Also, keeping both worlds completely separate becomes impossible once you grow to a certain point. Once you are running a business vs simply having a side hustle, there are just some things you will have to do during traditional work hours. I made the decision to be an mediocre to above average employee so that I could focus on trying to be a great businessman.

Has being an entrepreneur impacted your career positively?

Starting a business (I don’t believe you can call yourself an entrepreneur while still working a traditional 9-5) has forced me to grow and address areas of weakness that I probably would not have done on my own.

What are the top three things to consider before starting a business while working a 9 to 5?

  1. Understand if you have enough time to actually perform the work you are considering on the side.
  2. Understand that you cannot be both a great employee and a great business owner so you better know which way you want to go long term.
  3. Remember having a side business is like being a superhero. The people who know you in each life should only know you from that life.

Spark Your Personal Growth With These Self-Improvement Tips

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As an entrepreneur, it’s important for us to find creative ways to improve our personal growth. We work almost 24/7 to keep our clients happy and deliver quality services. While we enjoy being our own boss, entrepreneurs find it difficult to self-motivate and work towards their own personal goals. Here are a few of our top tips to continue growing and learning throughout the next phase of your career. 

Prioritize Your Health

Your health should always be a top priority. Without a healthy mind and body, your business won’t be able to thrive. Take some time to step away from the computer, take a walk around the neighborhood or take a trip to your local gym. Self-care is extremely important, so listen to your body’s signals and give yourself time off when needed.

Invest in Online Learning

You can learn almost anything and everything online today. To stay fresh in your field, it's important to constantly seek out areas where you can improve or learn a new skill. It’s never too late to learn something new. Consider using the following online tools. 

Skillsshare

Coursera

Udemy

Lynda.com

Set Realistic Goals

Whether it is weekly, monthly or annual goals, take some time to really evaluate where you are in reaching those goals.  All entrepreneurs should hone their ability to identify and achieve realistic goals. An important part of reaching your goals is to keep them in mind often and stay accountable. You might also find it helpful to keep a journal or blog outlining your goals so you can honestly evaluate yourself at the end of each month. As you grow as an entrepreneur, you’ll be able to look back on your thoughts and be amazed by how far you’ve come.

Get Inspired

Inspiration can come from anywhere. It could be from your favorite book, public figure, or encouraging words from your mentor. Inspiration provides a new way of thinking, idea generating and influences creativity.