Entrepreneur Advice: 9 Ways to Get Re-Inspired in Your Business
9 Ways to Get Re-Inspired
When you're just starting out, you're filled with inspiration and passion. You're soaking up the business world like a sponge. You're motivated to get out there - take some risks - make some big things happen.
But what about months later, or even years later?
This is when things can get stale - when you are less fired up to get out of bed in the morning. These are the days that feel routine. These are the times that you're so far down the road with your business or career that you may be feeling a little lost or lacking meaning in the work you're doing.
I'm two and a half years into life as a small business owner. After that first year of excitement, I've had to develop powerful ways to jumpstart myself and my vision for my business on a regular basis.
So I want to share them with you. These are the techniques I use to get re-inspired and find my passion again.
I invite you to give them a try and see if they breathe a little more life into your mission and career.
Reading was so pivotal for me in starting my business. I probably read 10 books in one year at that point - which was HUGE for me. So when I'm feeling off, a great business book can jumpstart my motivation.
Here are some books that have totally gotten me out of a funk:
- Do Cool Sh*t by Miki Agrawal (a young entrepreneur's guide that'll get you to think differently about how you do business and live life)
- 168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam (how to look at time management differently)
- Love Does by Bob Goff (just read it, it'll lift you up in the most awesome way)
- I also recommend perusing the covers of books at Barnes and Nobles, then downloading all the samples. It can be inspiring just to read a couple of different perspectives in a sitting and discover a source of value you may not have exepcted.
If reading is not your thing, you can listen your way to great inspiration. Podcasts are making radio accessible to all of us who carry that mini computer iPhone in our pockets.
Here are some podcasts that I'll listen to when I need a fresh perspective:
- Action Army Podcast by Jason Zook (New ways to take action in your business and your personal life, my story was featured in Ep. 007 btw)
- ShePercolates (Women sharing their own, unique takes on success)
- The Dave Ramsey Show (This show never fails to fire me up personally and professionally to make better financial decisions - it always leads to great conversations with my husband that bear good fruit in our lives!)
Not sure if you saw this one coming! But yes. No joke, I sang "Let it Go" at the top of my lungs in the car during the several week period I was debating going full-time with Greatest Story.
Sometimes I'll have a rough day, rough meeting, rough morning... and it does really help to do as Taylor Swift instructs, "shake it off."
Beyond that, there's so many great things happening in music. For example, I started listening to "Hamilton" as background music. If you haven't heard - "Hamilton" is the Broadway show that's breaking every Broadway record...ever. Tickets in the nosebleeds start at $600. No one can get tickets!
Anyway, after listening - I've been blown away by the narrative behind the show, how Lin-Manuel conceived of it, and all the truths I see in the story and the history behind it all.
At heart, Alexander Hamilton's real story and Lin-Manuel's story of bringing it to Broadway - they are about creating something from nothing and being brave enough to try. What's more inspiration than that?
Learn more about "Hamilton" here. Once you hear the entire album, I dare you not to listen to it at least once a day. Lin-Manuel won the Grammy and he knocked it out of the park.
4. Lean Into Your Other Interests
One of my favorite authors, Austin Kleon, has often remarked that he is a better artist thanks to his side gig of being in a band. He notes he's not the best musician, but he believes having the hobby makes his art better.
Whatever you do every day - your core skill sets - it's a very real possibility that those creative and professional muscles are sore.
So what are you other interests? What are some things you could do to lean into them or even better, do something you rarely do?
For example, if you are always on the computer, why not take a calligraphy class? (Here's some taught by Maghon Taylor if you're in NC) Or a pottery course? Something with your hands, away from a screen.
Doing something that'll let those professional muscles rest may even allow you to discover a talent you didn't know you had.
5. Get Visual
Here's where I tell you that Pinterest is one of my love languages. If you're more of a visual person, this may be the place to seek that inspiration to keep going and get refreshed.
Here are specific ways I've used Pinterest to find some direction:
- Searching for inspirational quotes
- Creating my own vision board for myself or my business (pinning quotes and imagery that fire me up, this is something recommended by Lara Casey her goal-setting process) - Here's mine from 2014.
- Searching and then reading Business Advice articles
6. Get Outside
This may be a bit of a boring suggestion but, since I work from home, getting outside and taking a walk can be critical to looking at the world with new eyes. I'll ask Gus to go on a 10-15 minute walk to start the day sometimes and it sets a better tone than staying inside and heading straight to email. I also love to go on longer walks and call an old friend.
7. Host Your Own Personal Retreat
I try to set aside a full day or two every month that is my day to make things happen in my business. These are called Batch Days and you can read more about themhere.
You can set aside a day, shut your phone off, and dedicate the day to your business (or your personal life). Make it your own personal retreat. Do some brainstorming around new events, products, ideas. Treat yourself to some spa time. Whatever you need to do to get your head clear and excited about the future is what you can do with one day to yourself.
I did this back in the fall and it sparked the creation of this very newsletter.
8. Meet New People and Visit a New Organization
There are so many unique organizations out there and so many people in your local community you've yet to meet. I promise you.
If you're feeling stale, this could be a time to get out and visit some local events / widen the circle of folks you know and collaborate with.
I've been doing this since January and have met at least 50 new people doing incredible things here in Raleigh-Durham. My business view and life are definitely so much better for knowing them and for visiting the dynamic groups they belong to.
Here are some of the types of events that are super fun to visit, especially if you've never checked one out:
- Toastmasters (especially if you might want to use speaking to grow your career or business)
- Leads Groups (similar to BNI)
- Women's Networking Groups (if you're a female entrepreneur)
- Young Professionals Mixers
- Chamber of Commerce Meetings
- You can find more events and groups specific for your area on Meetup. Try to meet other business owners. We're all in this together.
9. Attend a Business Seminar
If you look for them, every community offers great programming, local speakers, and workshops to help you improve your business. Take a look at what's going on at your local Chamber of Commerce and on Meetup to catch some of those presentations.
And if you're in or near Raleigh-Durham, I'd like to personally invite you to something new I'm co-hosting:
This is a totally free one-hour event designed to help you do exactly what I've been talking about today: get re-fired up about your business!
"Small Business Gut Check" will be hosted by myself, Jim Reklis (a Leadership Coach), and Joe Novara (a Networking Expert) showing you new ways to rediscover your business purpose, improve your branding, and network more efficiently. We'll also be giving away over $600+ in services, including one-on-one coaching and a professional brand analysis!
Join us for one of 4 dates next month by registering for free below. I'd love to see you there!
Tuesday, May 10 @ 8:30am in Pittsboro | Register
Wednesday, May 11 @ 9:00am in RTP | Register
Thursday, May 12 @ 11:30am in Durham | Register
Tuesday, May 17 @ 5:30pm in Chapel Hill/Carrboro | Register
You can even bring a friend - just send them the details on our website. The more the merrier.
If you're not in Raleigh-Durham but would be interested in attending Small Business Gut Check, please reply to this and let me know. We may be bringing it to other cities and providing other exciting ways to experience our talk that you could enjoy.
Gus quoted this to me today and it was right on the money:
"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily." (Zig Ziglar)
So motivation doesn't last forever. Inspiration is something we always have to seek. I hope this list of favorite go-to inspiration sources helps you along the way.