This month, our team has been reflecting a lot on how we find inspiration and translate that into our client work. I’ve also been thinking about how entrepreneurs can be inspired to make positive change, whether by creating new products, changing their business model, setting new goals or growing in another way. How about you; do you feel stagnant in your business? If so, are you looking for how to find inspiration? Here are some tips for entrepreneurs in this situation.
Focus On Yourself
When a business owner feels stuck in the status quo, it can be difficult to know how to get out of it. They might look to external sources of inspiration, like successful entrepreneurs, friends or public figures to get an idea of how others went from Point A to Point B. This is fine, but it also takes their focus away from an extremely rich source of insight: their own journey.
I encourage entrepreneurs to review all of their own past successes and failures, and derive inspiration from them. I do this all the time. By regularly taking stock of the times in which I’ve made the wrong decisions (e.g. how I handled the recession of 2008) as well as the times in which I’ve made the right ones (e.g. how I handled the pandemic in 2020), I learn and grow. I also give myself the time and space to celebrate all of it.
After all, running a business is like one great big science experiment. If you’re striving to be innovative, you’re going to have more failures than wins as you test your hypothesis. For example, my team and I recently screwed something up in our company. Instead of torturing ourselves about it, we embraced it and then looked at it as the next thing we need to tackle. This is the only way to get growth and achievement, and you’re missing out if you don’t draw from your own experiences for inspiration.
Go Even Bigger
When I take the time to look back at all I’ve learned through the years and what I’ve done well (and not so well), there’s a theme that always surfaces: I wish I would have set my goals even bigger.
A questionnaire I recently filled out reminded me of this. It was all about my effectiveness as a leader, and asked me to rate my performance across a variety of areas. At the end, I felt like I was crushing it. But then, I was asked to redo the questionnaire against the backdrop of my big, five-year goals. In light of those? My scores reduced dramatically.
The takeaway is this: don’t measure yourself against your current progress or your stepping stone objectives. Always set the biggest goals you can and gauge how you’re doing according to those. Go big. Be your own inspiration. It’s the only way to become innovative and great, rather than average or good.
Being inspired by other people and things is important, but don’t lose sight of all you can learn from yourself and your own experiences. You are an endlessly rich source of inspiration that you will always have access to.
Want to work with a creative partner who seeks inspiration and pushes boundaries? Give us a call!