While having a strong business background is important, it's not the only trait that makes for a successful entrepreneur.

Professional photographer Yatin Patel believes the one characteristic often overlooked in effective entrepreneurs and business leaders is creativity.

"I feel that in order to be a successful entrepreneur in today's world, a person cannot achieve a high level of success without being creative," Patel told BusinessNewsDaily.

While many aspiring entrepreneurs think their initial idea and inspiration requires the most important creative thinking, Patel said the initial idea is the easy part, and it’s the later implementation, and the competitive business marketing that are the real challenges.

"In order to conquer these challenges, you have to use creative approaches to outsmart your competitors," he said.

Patel said brainstorming, ideation, thinking outside the box, disruption and creative thinking are things a person must explore every day in their business.

You have to let go of things that are holding you back, and take chances in business, especially after that first great idea," Patel said. "That is the scary part, but that is where you will see the most reward."

Patel, who in addition to photography has launched a series of his own Internet companies, offers five creative skills that will make you a better entrepreneur:

  • Look for known patterns in unrelated matters: Due to learned habits and routines, new ideas often default to similar old ones. Creative thinkers get results by combining things that are not similar.
  • Challenging change with changing challenge: Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change. The same old notions block clear vision and inhibit our imagination. Sometimes it’s helpful to imagine contradictory approaches, or working with opposites.
  • Think the unthinkable: We all need ways to un-structure our imaginations to explore the outer limits of alternatives, so that we can go beyond the typical solutions.
  • Execution is the key of creative thinking: Most artistic people fail at execution. You must execute in order to succeed.
  • You become what you pretend to be: Attitudes influence behavior, but behavior also influences attitudes. Reality is what you believe.
Patel, based in Orlando, Fla., is currently displaying work from his personal "Sutra" series of photographs, which focuses on aspects of Indian society, culture and history

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This story was originally written for BusinessNewsDaily and is reprinted with permission here. Copyright 2013 BusinessNewsDaily, a TechMediaNetwork company.

5 creative skills to boost business success
No matter what your business is concerned with, practicing creativity is key in order for it to do well.