All too often, we put creativity and business at odds with one another—as though creative people can’t have an interest in entrepreneurial things, or as though success in business does not require a high level of outside-the-box thinking.

Here’s the truth: A lot of the best business leaders I know are deeply creative people, and they have learned to harness their creative skills and use them to push their business interests forward.

And you can do the same. Let me show you just a few ways in which creative habits compliment entrepreneurialism nicely.

Pitching your ideas. One of the toughest parts of being a creative person is learning how to help other people see the vision in your head—how to pitch them on your idea for an article, or a novel, or what have you. Indeed, most writers will pitch a bunch of ideas to a publisher before ever getting a green light. That’s a great mindset for entrepreneurs to develop, especially if they’re raising capital: You’ve got to be willing to pitch your idea to a bunch of folks a bunch of times, and to hold your head up if the first pitch doesn’t go anywhere.

Brainstorming. There is so much value in giving your mind space to wander—to find its own way to the next great idea. Great painters are always pursuing flights of fancy in their sketchbooks, and writers play around with scenes or characters that never end up in the final novel. Don’t be afraid to just sit and let your mind explore things, even if you’re not sure that they will really pan out. It’s all part of the process!

Create something that’s needed. Whether you’re a painter, a poet, or a songwriter, your job is to provide the world with something it can use—a perspective that only you can offer. Similar, successful companies tend to deliver products that fill a real void, and that other businesses just aren’t providing. Having a unique vision is crucial.

Open your mind. It’s amazing how many novelists draw inspiration from songs, how many songwriters draw inspiration from paintings, how many painters draw inspiration from poems, and so on. You never know when you might draw a surprising and relevant lesson from a field that’s not your own—which means, for business owners, that there is merit to having passions and hobbies beyond the business. Read fiction. Go hiking. Take up yoga. Learn guitar. Cross-disciplinary lessons will come to you, and enrich your business experience!

Creativity is not foreign to business success. In fact, it can be a key ingredient.