Entrepreneurs are a unique group of people. Many attributes set them apart from others – their deep levels of desire, independence, needs for freedom, levels of dedication and a willingness to take risks.
However, many entrepreneurs suffer from creative blocks due to being so wrapped up in tasks. To a large extent, we all have to let the processes of creativity and inspiration come to us from the outside because it is not always an internal process we can count on.
Inspiration waxes and wanes along any person’s journey to success. Yet, there are many ways to stay inspired through outside sources to keep our engines of motivation and excitement roaring.
Keep one or more motivational books or readings with you at all times. The Motivation Manifesto by Brendan Burchard is a great book to keep on hand for inspiration. Sometimes it only takes one sentence to get your mind in gear on what you want to achieve in your day, your business and the bigger picture of your life.
Reading something that hits home reminds you that your path to success is worth the hard work. Having a book on hand is like having a pocket coach. When you need it you can reach for it at a moment’s notice.
Related: Live To Work Or Work To Live?
The majority of time in your life will be spent in the consistent company of other people on a regular basis. Even when the connections you have are positive, it is still taxing on your energy to be constantly giving out.
It is vital to the human spirit to have a certain amount of time alone to detox and re-energise. Inspiration cannot come from a dry well of energy resources. It is important to refuel and take time for yourself.
Money is a great motivator; not the root of all evil. Money is a tool and resource which can be used for so much good. Money is also one of the greatest rewards acknowledging your hard work.
It is not wrong to work for money, or to have making more money as a priority and important goal in your life. You should always strive to make more money. Increases in money often come hand-in-hand with increases in status and position; all which build confidence.
With money comes the freedom to do more things. Having this type of freedom brings more happiness. You are never more inspired than when you are happy.
Music can be one of the most direct ways to find inspiration. Inspiration is a drive, but as much as it is a drive, is also an emotion. You either feel inspired or not. Emotions, the full range of them, make up inspiration. If you’re hurt or angry, the right song can inspire you to succeed.
If you have a creative block the right music can open your mind. It has been proven that music is in sync with our brain waves, and when people listen to Mozart before taking intelligence tests they score up to 10 points higher. So if you want to find some inspiration, listen to some great music.
Getting outside, moving your body, getting fresh air and working up a sweat are highly creative ways to find inspiration. When you are at work, your mind is only focused on the task at hand, which leaves very little room for your right brained activities such as inspiration to come forth.
When you exercise, the left brain is distracted by the task of exercising, allowing the more right brained emotions and ideas to come through. Further, when you push yourself physically you learn how strong you are emotionally, and this helps to keep you inspired and believing in your capacities to continue pressing forward.
I can say that when I run, the most creative ideas I have for my business come to mind, so much so, that I bring an audio recorder with me to document them.
Wherever there is gratitude there is a spark of life, wherever there is a spark of life there is inspiration. The more grateful you are for what you have the more motivated it makes you to want to sustain and elevate above your current level of success.
Abundance is a beautiful thing. A great way to practice gratitude is to write thank you on every check and every receipt as a way to remind yourself of how blessed you are to have the abundance to spend the money you spend. When you are grateful you become plentiful.
The feeling of being abundance is inspiring because it is not a feeling you want to lose. You become more deeply committed to all you do when you treasure what you have. There is no room for complacency when you are grateful.
If you lose inspiration, go back to the drawing board and either create the vision of what it is that you want, or be brave and flexible enough in your mindset to reinvent the vision you currently work from to more effectively move forward.
Having a vision is a way of creating a future benchmark of achievement that sits out luminously in front of you; you knowing you won’t be satisfied until you achieve it. A vision inspires the willingness to strive for what you want. It inspires you to live your dream.
Whether you’re competing with yourself, a score, a dollar amount, another person, for a raise, a bonus etc. competition breeds inspiration. Competition inspires you to get to that next level.
It motivates you to prove yourself to yourself and to those others who matter when pushing yourself forward. Getting to that next level will require hard, work, training, and motivation. There is nothing more inspiring than wanting to win. You will naturally do nearly anything to feel that sense of accomplishment.
9Other people’s stories
A great way to find inspiration is to study other inspirational people. Read their biographies, watch movies which touch you. I have always been inspired by Rudy, Jerry McGuire, Gladiator and the Rocky Movies among others. There is something so intoxicatingly inspiring about the underdog having a major comeback or victory.
If you feel low on inspiration take a day to read, watch a film, or otherwise study others who others have made it against all odds.
Emulate in your life, what inspires you about these people and these stories.
When you give and you see the fruits of your labor. Seeing the significance of your impact on the world is so moving it inspires you to work more, and make more in order to give more.
Giving is the greatest gift that gives back. To see that what you contribute to the world makes a huge difference in the lives of others. It is what inspiration is all about.
Part of the problem with inspiration for entrepreneurs is creating a healthier work-life balance. Many entrepreneurs often don’t give enough attention to their physical, mental, or emotional well-being.
They work at all hours, eat whatever is closest to them, and blindly finish tasks under taxing conditions. This type of lifestyle is a recipe for burnout. The state of mind which allows them to find inspiration becomes more elusive if they aren’t addressing their own needs along the way.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
The 5 Gut-Check Questions Confronting Entrepreneurs Every Day
The day you forget why you began is the day you’re done.
Entrepreneurs make an astounding number of decisions daily. They are faced with choosing which opportunities to move on and must solve problems big and small.
By setting up a framework of questions to ask yourself daily, you’ll give yourself some markers to help guide you through these difficult situations. Knowing where you stand on these questions will empower you to make good choices that ultimately lead you to your desired outcome. It will give you a deeper understanding of your motivations and your feelings about your business, and can help you clarify future plans.
Here are five powerful questions all entrepreneurs should ask themselves daily to ensure they are consistently moving toward their goals and making the best decisions for themselves and their business. Ask yourself these questions with an honest and open mind, and see where they take you.
1. Why are you doing this?
What makes this one little question so powerful is that it forces you to examine your desires and impulses, and helps you chart how those motivations change over time. It forces you to look at things from a different perspective. Asking yourself this question every day reaffirms your ambitions and the mindset behind why you are doing what you’re doing. If you don’t know why, you’re in trouble!
Asking this question opens the door to a plethora of other questions that will give you food for thought. What is the reason for launching your business? Why are you passionate about doing this? Are you the right person to run this business? These answers may change over time. At first it may seem difficult to truly nail down the “why” behind your motivations. Maybe there are competing interests that are driving you. But when you really think about it and drill down into this question, there’s probably a simple answer. Just be sure you’re being truthful with yourself.
Why you do something also gives rise to the question: what do you hope to achieve? You need to know what your end game looks like, and what success means to you. Is it about attaining a certain level of wealth? Is it about being the top in your market? Is it about earning respect? Are you looking to rule the world (or at least a niche market), or are you simply hoping to earn a living doing something you love?
Start your day by asking yourself this question and see where your answer takes you. By spending a few minutes pondering this, you’ll gain clarity that will help you steer your career in the direction you want it to go.
2. What is your company’s purpose?
See if you can answer this question in a single sentence. A good place to start is with your mission statement: what are the formal aims, goals and values of your company or organisation? This should be clear and concise – it should get to the heart of what your business is about.
Your company’s purpose is the foundation that all else is built on. It should have enough flexibility to grow and allow for change, but be specific enough to be meaningful and relevant. Ultimately, this question should help you understand what the heck you’re really doing here.
This question should be at the forefront of your mind when making important decisions. Ask yourself whether this new venture or idea would reinforce or logically contribute to your company’s overall purpose. Are you staying true to your calling?
That’s not to say that your purpose can’t change over time. However, if it does, the change should be purposeful and executed with care. Thinking about this will help you identify your long-term business goals and may lead to bigger questions, such as: What do you want your company to mean to your customers, what is your company’s place in world and what is its ideal market?
3. Where is your business at right now?
The goal with this question is to take both an analytical and emotional assessment of your business. This is a chance for you to take a hard look at where your company sits. Is it on the right track? What seems amiss? What is going right and how can that be reproduced throughout your business?
It’s also important to acknowledge your emotions and to be mindful of how you are feeling about your business. What is your gut instinct saying? Are you feeling anxious or excited about the business? Whether you are having negative emotions or positive ones, it’s important to recognise what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling that way.
This will give you a chance to better understand your mental state and how that may be influencing your decision making. It’s also about understanding what kind of vibe you are putting out. Are you feeling clear-minded and balanced? Or are you feeling off-kilter and out of sorts?
Being in tune with your emotions and having a clear view of what’s going on with your business will ensure you’re on an even keel. It will help you avoid overreacting or under-reacting to situations.
4. What lessons are you learning?
Every entrepreneur faces an uphill battle to achieve success. Every day you should be learning and growing, and the best way to do this is through a great deal of reflection on the lessons that present themselves each day.
Ask yourself whether you’re learning from your mistakes. Failure is a part of every entrepreneur’s journey. The question is, will your mistakes allow you to learn and grow? If not, you’re liable to fall into the same pitfalls and missteps. Conversely, are you learning when to jump at an opportunity and when to let it go? This is the ultimate lesson every entrepreneur is trying to learn, and it’s never an easy one.
The next time you’re weighing whether or not to take a risk, try asking yourself: “When I’m 80, will I feel sorry if I hadn’t gone for it?” Jeff Bezos does this as a way to crystallise whether he will regret not taking action on something. In the big picture, it’s often what we fail to do that we see as our biggest mistakes in life.
5. What’s next?
If you ask yourself one question every day, this should be it. As an entrepreneur, you always need to be anticipating what’s next. You need to anticipate what’s coming down the road and formulate a plan to take it on. This is the question that forces you to look up from that pile of work on your desk and think about the big picture and next steps for your business.
What strategies will you need as you keep pushing your business into the future? What trends or shifting interests are coming up that may affect your business? How will new technology impact the way you manage the company?
Disruption will happen in every market because change is inevitable. Businesses that survive see that wave coming and start making adjustments early on. So, in a way, change is predictable because it will always come. Innovation and ingenuity will always be the key to success – and those who seize opportunity will ride the crest of the next wave.
So when you ask yourself “What’s next?” make sure you have your blinders off and are looking at things with a curious and open mind. Make sure you’re staying open to new ideas and embracing creative solutions. Keeping looking for the “wow” factor.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
5 Inspiring Quotes From Madiba To Stir You Into Action On Mandela Day
In honour of Mandela Day, here are 5 of Nelson Mandela’s most inspiring quotes.
“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
25 Bad Words That Make Other People Feel Inferior
If the harshest thing you have to say about someone is partly true, say the other part.
Did you know that in every language, there are more negative words than positive ones? It seems we need lots of words to describe our negative feelings, but we’re content with a handful of positive ones.
For instance, researchers have found that most cultures have words for seven basic emotions: Joy, fear, anger, sadness, disgust, shame and guilt.
That’s one positive emotion, and six negative
It’s no wonder so many of us have a hard time keeping our negative comments in check. Over the past six months I’ve been working on the verbal language that I’ve been using that I don’t even realize hurts others and in some cases makes them feel inferior. I even noticed that I’ve used a couple on my personal and business website. This is a “no-no” that I needed to fix.
This post will list 25 negative words you should avoid…so that you stop hurting, belittling and intimidating those around you!
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