STAYING INSPIRED IN SMALL BUSINESS
Inspiration works in a funny way – it can come from the strangest places and hit us seemingly out of nowhere. That burst of inspiration or insight can often leave just as fast as it came. As a small business owner with plenty to juggle and manage on a daily basis, it can be difficult to find and sustain the inspiration needed to traverse the peaks and valleys of entrepreneurship. However, there are a few ways to reignite the spark of creativity and inventiveness, both professionally and personally.
Remember Why You Started
Just like the popular, anonymously-sourced meme advises, take some time daily to remember why you went out on a limb and started your own enterprise. Did you rise to the task of serving an important need in your local community? Did you turn the product line you dreamed about into a thriving reality? Or, at the very least, did you strike out on your own to be a voice for others OR to show the world you could be your own boss? Whatever your reason(s) for starting, channel that logic to revive your inspiration and keep going.
Let's not forget the mission of your company! What is your company looking to accomplish, anyway? Being mission driven will keep you grounded as you search for the right kind of inspiration. Heck, knowing who your mission serves may be inspiration in itself.
Even if it’s just for a moment each day or over your first cup of coffee, consider the people, the circumstances, the goals, and the drive behind your brand that have brought you this far. Focus on these things during especially weary moments as a reminder of why you started and focus on how these elements can propel both you — and your business — farther than you can currently imagine.
Feed Off Your Audience/Client Base
In past posts, I’ve emphasized the importance of engaging and cultivating your audience/client base, and for good reason. If you find yourself running low on inspiration, remember that your audience/client base is your most vital resource – your small business sounding board of sorts.
Allow the comments, social media posts, thank you’s, and even their frustrations to inspire your next developments or moves as needed. Just like remembering WHY you started, these things can motivate HOW you hustle going forward to support those who support your enterprise.
Not sure how to make it happen? Try a Facebook Live dialogue or story posts via Instagram or Snapchat to engage with your followers, get feedback on your business (both good and bad) and just vent honestly (and appropriately) about your lack of inspiration. Not only does this position you as a business owner who engages with followers, but this can also shine light on processes or other things you can set out to fix or streamline – which in most cases sparks incredible ingenuity and inspiration. As an example, think of how Scandal fixer Olivia Pope manages to practically always find an inventive solution to her client’s issue, ensuring that “it’s handled” by episode’s end.
Take Some “Re” Time
When all else fails, sometimes the best time to take is time away. While “me” time can restore us as individuals, consider taking some “re” time to restore your inspiration in your business.
You can fill that essential “re” time by doing the following:
• REcharge – Carve out a chunk of time to do the things that usually inspire you to be or do your best. Hit a museum to see some art, try some meditation to tap into your higher energy, or go for a long walk or hike in a scenic spot to give your business brain a break and release some stress. At the very least, use this time to recharge your body with quality sleep and rest.
• REad – Reading a book or magazine can inspire new ideas and business practices. Plus, reading offers you the opportunity to learn something new that can be readily applied.
• REach out – Taking the opportunity to reach out to a mentor or industry idol is a great way to get inspired. Whether they offer advice, tricks of the trade, or even the opportunity to brainstorm ideas, you’re bound to walk away feeling more motivated and enthused.
• REsearch – Facts and figures may not be your thing, but doing even some basic data research related to the trends of your industry – or related to your competition -- can inspire you to keep going and keep grinding.
In the case that you just can’t reclaim that inspiration, don’t forget about us! Our consortium of creatives is here to help you refocus and regain that force to fuel your business. Whether it’s through our content services or simply serving as allies who share your values and entrepreneurial spirit, we are dedicated to supporting your strides in small business success. As always, we want your feedback! Post a comment below sharing ways you stay inspired and feel free to share this post.