Fuel Creativity With A Little Five For Fighting


Five For Fighting's John Ondrasik presented an inspiring talk about fueling creativity as the keynote lecture on the second day of the 2016 ISPA Conference & Expo. Before his presentation, he was introduced by spa pioneer Deborah Szekely, who presented him with the 2016 Alex Szekely Humanitarian Award of the Year.

Undoubtedly, you've heard some of Ondrasik's songs, and that is how he began his presentation...with his hit ballad "Superman." Afterwards, he noted that he and those in the spa industry have more in common than they may think. He said, "We both help people by providing an escape."

He noted that as entrepreneurs, both he and the spa industry face the same challenges, including:

  • Hiring a team
  • Creating a Brand
  • Remaining Current
  • Innovating
  • Having a Work/Life Balance

So, how does such a creative person achieve success with a host of challenges. He offered the following advice.

1. Little Things Matter

Ondrasik explained that small things have played a big part in his success. He wrote "Superman" in 45 min., and it wasn't the music he thought he was going to make, but it was a huge success.

2. Environment is Key

Where you are when thinking creatively matters, and it has to change. He added that some of his best ideas come to him when he is running or in the shower. He also does the "sleep on it" strategy.

3. Collaborate

Working with others is an important dynamic, according to Ondrasik.

4. Listen

He emphasized how important it is to listen to others, especially your team. Some great ideas can come from others.

5. Tell Your Story

"If you don't tell your story, no one is going to listen to your song," said Ondrasik. This message proves important in creating a powerful spa brand.

6. You May Fail

According to Ondrasik, failure is the key to success. He mentioned a few of his failures, but noted that they were part of the process. He recommended for the audience to always go with their gut.

7. Change the Game

Perhaps one of the most powerful messages from Ondrasic surrounded a changing atmosphere. Music has changed for him, but he has reinvented himself and explored new opportunities. To that, he added, "If you can't win the game cause the rules have changed, change the field of play.


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