What inspires you to get up every day and dedicate your life to your big idea? Is it the promise of financial freedom, passion for a cause, or something else? We all have different motivations for starting a business and for sticking with it, even through the bumps.
Inspiration is a deeply personal thing. What inspires you may be different from what inspires someone else. But how do you tell a fleeting interest from a driving, defining force? How do you ensure that your go-to source of inspiration is always pushing you forward? And what happens if your vision changes?
Ahead, explore sources of inspiration, learn strategies for staying inspired, and discover the spark that moves you to dream, create, and stay the course.
What is inspiration?
Inspiration refers to anything or anyone that gives you ideas, energy, and excitement. It can be a person or a place, and it can be as simple as one line from a song or as complex as an entire genre of film. Inspiration provides mental and creative stimulation that causes you to act.
Moments that inspire are often referred to as a “flash” or a one-time event that sparks a great idea. But inspiration can also be a sustained source of energy and motivation, such as living in a beautiful surrounding atmosphere.
9 ways to find inspiration as an entrepreneur
Have you ever been asked in a job interview, “What inspires you?” or “Who is your greatest inspiration?” only to be left grasping for a good answer and swimming in self doubt? Many people don’t actively consider this question in their daily lives. To find new ways to feel inspired, however, you need to assess the things that motivate you to achieve your goals and overcome challenges.
1. Audit your lifestyle
Start by making a list of the things you spend your time doing during an average day. How do you feel before you do each thing? How do you feel afterward? Take note of the things that leave you feeling energized and the places where you show up as the best version of yourself.
How do you limit those things that do the opposite? Maybe your focus wanes midday and you find yourself doomscrolling through Twitter, only to feel even less motivated to work. Eliminate these productivity-killing actions in favor of pursuits you find inspiring.
2. Optimize for joy
After you’ve audited your day-to-day activities and leaned away from the things that don’t inspire you, increase time spent on things that leave you feeling energized, excited, and creative. Set aside dedicated space for these activities in your schedule, and chase that feeling as you explore new hobbies and ideas.
3. Remove fear
Let’s consider the example of the aspiring entrepreneur. Your day job may be the antithesis to what inspires you. What if it’s the thing really holding you back from launching your new career path as your own boss?
Weigh the fear with the upside. While it’s scary to give up a steady paycheck to go all in on your idea, consider that leaving the corporate world could give you a rush of adrenaline—and inspiration—to finally chase your dream.
4. Surround yourself with inspiring people
Run the same audit exercise with the people you interact with. Who inspires you? A friend, a family member, a person in your network? Do you have a role model in your life? Prioritize time with friends who bring value to your conversations, ask the right questions, and give you honest feedback. If a specific person inspires you, seek mentorship from them.
5. Embrace change
Inspiration can come in many forms: books, documentaries, the people you follow online, a favorite hobby, a run around the block. If the things you consume, follow, and do aren’t inspiring you in the way they used to, try something new. Shaking up a mundane routine can give you a new perspective—and inspire you in ways you didn’t expect.
6. Upgrade your environment
If you’re looking to achieve big business goals, you’ll likely be spending most of your time at your desk or workspace. As you work hard to reach those goals, pause and be present in the moment. Does your workspace inspire you? If not, upgrade it with colors or objects you find inspiring. Alternatively, give yourself space to seek an occasional change of scenery. Try a co-working space or a hike in the forest.
7. Immerse yourself in creativity
Get inspired by your medium of choice, whether it’s film, music, painting, or books. Making time to take in the works of others can help get your own creative juices flowing.
Stroll through a gallery, update your skills through an art class, or catch the latest blockbuster. Busy entrepreneurs can often neglect leisure in order to get things done, but in doing so, they’re leaving valuable inspiration on the table.
8. Think outside the box
Explore new film genres or cook recipes from other countries and cultures. Try a different type of fitness class. Visit a new part of your city or country. Doing things outside your normal routine will expose you to inspiration you may not have felt before.
9. Create inspiration
When you find something that inspires you, find ways to engage with it every day. In some cases that may mean actively creating it. You may have found an external source of motivation to kickstart your project, but your ongoing success can lead you to be self-inspired.
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This article partly refers to: https://www.shopify.com/za/blog/what-inspires-you