Natural Products Expo West

Are you feeding your creative side? Are you embracing your need for creativity, and do you understand that releasing creativity can actually make your business life more successful?

I started thinking about creativity while I was at the Natural Products Expo West 2018 in Anaheim, CA, this week. It was such an incredible gathering that it made me think of this creative side of Doers, and how necessary it is to feed it. In fact, all people need that creative energy––maybe especially those that don’t feel they are creative.


[tweetthis]All people need a creative outlet, especially those that don’t feel they are creative. [/tweetthis]


I have been attending this particular convention for the last 30 years––with and without companies that are exhibiting. It is an emotional experience for me, because of all the ups and downs of the businesses, relationships, and colleagues, that this show represents. And this year was no different, except that I was in utter amazement of the size of this show. It seems like overnight it went from several hundred exhibitors to 3200, and from hundreds of people to 80,000 in attendance. It is massive and it overwhelmed me. That started me wondering whether I really liked doing this or has it just become to difficult to get around? I used to know everyone here. I was looking around and thinking, “Who are all these people. Where are my peeps?”

Natural Products Expo West 2018

Amazingly, right then, when the chaos seemed out of control, I ran into one of my colleagues! Someone with whom I have been in business for the last 20 years. What a moment! After a big bro bear hug, I felt grounded again. Then within minutes, I ran into another old friend. He has spent most of his career in the big corporate world, but a year ago he got involved in an entrepreneurial company that was exhibiting. His energy was contagious, he was so upbeat and excited, smiling from ear to ear and going from booth to booth tasting products.

Talking with my entrepreneurial friend was encouraging. He was on fire, so inspirational. Walking around with him and experiencing the expo took my energy up 10 fold.

As we walked the Hot Products Pavilion, I realized something. This friend is an incredible Doer. No company was too small for him, no concept too crazy. Then it hit me, the reason this show has grown from a few to 80,000 people is that every Doer has a creative side that needs to be “fed.” (I am all about the puns lately!) This show feeds the corporate world with creativity.

Net, every bodily condition or function––or anything else you can imagine––is represented here. There is someone exhibiting that has a product to remedy or change or cure, whether it is from plants or humanely treated animals. Whether it’s organic, fair trade, biodynamic, sustainable, or the proceeds go toward world peace, everything is represented and it is an incredible gathering of creativity.

Obviously, I am exaggerating at bit, but if you have ever been to the show you realize that I’m not exaggerating that much. YEP! It is a crazy, fun, and creative place to be and everyone wants to be part of the creative energy that surrounds this place.

Contrast that with the Food Marketing Institutes annual show, for all the CPG (consumer products goods companies.) It used to be the big annual festival for all the big corporate companies to show their products, but attendance kept falling because, quite frankly, it was boring. Hard to believe, I know. I personally quit going over 10 years ago. Now, the show is only held every 2 years and is primarily for companies to export their goods. The real action is now in Anaheim, at a show started by a small group of Hippy Doers led by Doug Greene.

I am sure Doug never imagined it would grow to be this important on food, supplements and household trends. It provides the yearly creativity and energy boost that executives from Wal-Mart to Sprouts to Unilever London to Nestle absolutely need.

[tweetthis]Feed your creative side. Take the time to make it a priority to be creative in some way.[/tweetthis]

All these thoughts were going through my head, literally in nano seconds. Then I started thinking about painting, writing, how all of us really need to make sure we recognize and grow our creative side and how critical it is for Doers.

So my challenge to you is to feed your creative side. Are you taking the time and making it a priority to be creative in some way? Dancing, singing, designing, moving the furniture in your house around––whatever it is, you need it. And it should be more than an annual thing.

Back to my entrepreneurial colleague…He is feeding his creativity everyday by making small investments in many start-up companies. In fact, many of the companies that were in the Hot Products Pavilion knew him and are already working with him. Remember, you don’t have to make monetary investments in these companies––you can make a time and personal investment in creative companies, in small start-ups or even giving advice to a friend who is trying to get something off the ground. In fact, I would recommend that all you Doers do something creative today. Then tomorrow, and the day after, too. I know for sure that you will get a burst of energy and a euphoric feeling. Because all Doers have a creative side. We all do. We just chose to ignore it or not to feed it. (Note to self: All people are creative in some way, and it is vital to nourish that creativity so it can grow and blossom.)

So make sure not only that you build your own creative side but encourage others to sing, to paint, to design, to do something creative. It is incredibly important for everyone and the shot in the arm Doers need on a regular basis. Just think about what a small group of “creative” hippies started when they got together in Anaheim because they couldn’t afford or relate to the Big Food Marketing Institute.

Your world will get so much bigger, and so much more fun when you “feed” your creativity.

Feed on––