5 Traits of Creative People + Recordsetters

Ever yearned to hold a record like Most Times Kicking One’s Own Butt in 20 Seconds, Longest “Arghhh! While Wearing An Eyepatch or Most Crotch Throws While Juggling Five Clubs?

If you’re intrigued by such offbeat achievements — and if you do indeed want to claim a record for that crazy stunt you show off at beer parties and family gatherings — then you’re a candidate for RecordSetter.

Image from Shutterstock.

The oddball, everyman’s alternative to Guinness Records, RecordSetter is the brainchild of ex-ad guy Dan Rollman, who conjured the concept several years ago as a theme for his group’s Burning Man camp.

“We staked out handmade signs around the event, and people immediately started showing up with their feats,” says Rollman. “I knew we were onto something when laid-back Burning Man folks returned to our camp again and again to make sure their records hadn’t been topped.”

Energized by the response, Rollman decided to turn the idea into a fulltime job.  Documenting the Longest Time Balancing a Spoon On A Chin led to recording the Most Pieces Of Gum Chewed At Once, and pretty soon Rollman and co-founder Cory Henderson were off and running with video cameras, stopwatches and yellow sport coats (think back to Wide World of Sports).

To date they’ve recorded more than 8,000 unique achievements, including Largest Cardboard Fort, Most Coins Balanced on One Dime and Longest Office Chair Train Pulled By A Golf Cart.

Weaving my way through dozens of RecordSetter videos, I spotted five record-setting traits that are also possessed by highly creative people. Claim these characteristics to pump-up your creativity.

1. They Stick with it.
Getting ideas out of the brain and into life takes large doses of dogged persistence, a trait familiar to RecordSetter titleholders.

A great example is Australian Daniel Fowler, who created the category of Most Giraffe Tattoos on a Shoulder.

“Fowler set the bar low with only one giraffe tattoo,” says Rollman. “But then a San Diego radio station hired a tattoo artist and offered listeners the chance to beat Fowler’s record. Mike MacDonald bravely took on three tattoos to capture the category.”

But not for long. Hearing the distressing news, Fowler rushed to his local tattoo studio and added three more giraffe tattoos, winning back his world title.

2. They High-Five Fellow Team Members.
Robust collaboration yields bold ideas, and we can all be inspired by the well-coordinated teamwork of many RecordSetter titles, such as Most People to Simultaneously Bite Into Peanut Butter Cups (27) and Most People To Paint On The Same Canvas Without Using The Color Black (166).

“But one of my favorite examples is a duo in Toronto who set the record for Longest High Five,” says Rollman. “They positioned themselves two miles apart on the city’s busiest street and ran with laser precision toward each other, their arms high in the air. They slapped palms at the exact center of the route.”

3. They Play to Win.
Creativity ignites when you see an existing idea and say, “I can do better than that.”

Same goes with RecordSetter participants. “Our record-setters are nothing if not competitive,” says Rollman. “Take it from a guy who has seen his own record bested by others.”

Rollman made fruit history is 2009 by setting the record for Most Bananas Fit Inside A Pair Of Pants While Wearing Them.

“One would think 60 bananas in a pair of pants would stand forever as a world record,” says Rollman. “But not so. Within six month, a guy in Australia packed 106 bananas in his pants and took down my record. And a year later Henri Mazza in Texas stuffed 148 bananas in his slacks to claim the current title.”

4. They Have Some Fun.
Creativity happens when we’re having a good time with it. And RecordSetters titleholders know fun.

A favorite is Mark Malkoff, who set the record for Longest Phone Call With One’s Dad While Sitting On Someone’s Shoulders. Malkoff performed the feat before a live audience at a World Record Appreciation Society event in Brooklyn, NY.

“I’m glad you are all supporting Mark,” Malkoff’s dad told the audience during the amplified conversation, “because I’ve been supporting him for years.”

5. They’re a Bit Weird.
To be creative, it helps to be a little weird. Likewise for RecordSetters stars.

Deciding on the weirdest record is daunting when dealing with a catalog that includes Longest Time to Suck On One’s Big Toe While Holding One Finger Up Nose (5.62 seconds) and Most American Quarters Fit Inside A Belly Button (20).

But if you’ve ever stuck pencils in your mouth, you have to be inspired by Dinesh Shivnath Upadhyaya, who grabbed the record for Most Pencils in Mouth At Once, keeping 92 #2 pencils in his mouth for five seconds.

And while it’s probably more cute than weird, a final shout-out to youngster Carinne Pinheiro, who has the Fastest Time To Climb Up A Door Frame. The little tyke shimmied up the frame in exactly 8 seconds, a smile pasted on her face throughout the arduous journey.

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