Originally written by Catherine R. Bell in March 2016.
Staying inspired running a business can be hard. Entrepreneurship can be just as rewarding as it is challenging.
So, how do I stay inspired?
I stay inspired by having a meaningful vision, working with awesome people, leaning on core values, and learning continuously.
Learning keeps me alive. What am I open to? How am I pushing my own developmental envelope? Learning drives business innovation, which ignites my passion and fuels me.
Here are my top three tips to stay inspired on your quest as an entrepreneur:
#1 Challenge the Status Quo
I continually ask myself the question “Why?” and “What is needed most?”. For example, most job descriptions are terrible. They are boring descriptions of companies, success factors, experiences needed, personal characteristics, blah, blah, blah – BORING!
Why does it have to be this way? It doesn’t! At BluEra, an executive search, team transformation and coaching firm I co-founded, we create videos of our clients articulating their corporate cultures and the importance of the role we are hiring for. While we hire a professional videographer, you can do this cheaply and easily with your smart phone. Now, our clients have exciting and unique position descriptions – something that sets them apart. It’s also a heck of a lot more fun to do!
I invite you to iterate on what exists now to solve a business problem. I work at radiating and modelling a new way of business daily by challenging my own assumptions.
#2 Get outside of your comfort zone
Recently, I took an aerial yoga class at Miraval. I’m a trained yoga instructor, but had never done an aerial yoga class. It was pretty uncomfortable swinging through the air intertwined in a silk rope. And though the class had nothing to do with business, it taught me the importance of being confident, knowing my own boundaries, and trying new things—all skills I can directly apply to my company. Doing new things gives me soul fuel.
If you don’t have a business background and are new to the world of entrepreneurship, for example, consider taking courses that’ll challenge you to think differently, develop new skills, and explore the aspects of business you haven’t yet touched on. While completing my MBA, I leaned into my tax class since it was something I knew I didn’t have enough first-hand experience with. Not only did that course provide me with a business building block, but I now know what questions to ask tax lawyers and accountants.
#3 Create a positive memory for someone in your organization
I try to do this every day. Most people leave organizations because of their bosses, and many rate doing household chores as more enjoyable than spending time with their managers, according to researchers Tom Rath and Jim Harter in Well Being: The Five Essential Elements.
I’ll randomly leave notes on my colleagues’ desks to give them a little inspiration, and applaud them when I catch them doing good work. Often they respond with a comment of how that note inspired them just a little bit more or was in alignment with what they are working on today. Doing little acts of kindness for suppliers, partners, clients, and team members—like sending flowers, cookies, balloons, jelly beans, or thanking employees for their hard work—shows them your appreciation and makes you happier in return.
These small acts make a big difference – increasing staff engagement and morale, which studies show improve financial results.
I call this creating heart wind.
Challenge the status quo, get outside your comfort zone and create positive memories for your team will keep you inspired. For me, these fuel my soul, create heart wind and keep me lightly radiant – all part of my recipe for inspiration as an entrepreneur.
Learn more about becoming a remarkable leader and building remarkable teams, business and communities in my best-selling book, The Awakened Company.
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