Every Entrepreneur Needs Inspiration: Here's How To Find It
One great idea can change the world.
Bill Gates once had the vision to have a computer in every home. Now, most of us carry our computers in our pockets. Reed Hastings returned a video late one time, so he thought of a better way to rent videos. Today, Netflix has more than 117 million subscribers worldwide.
WRITTEN BY: Marc Hardgrove
As entrepreneurs, we often believe that our ideas will be the next big thing. Why else would we quit our day jobs to bring them into being? Some days though, inspiration can be a little hard to find. Instead, we binge watch Netflix on our laptops, joining in with Hasting’s and Gates’ dreams instead of letting those dreams inspire us.
As CEO of The HOTH, a big part of my job is mentoring my employees. How can I expect my staff to stay inspired if their tribe leader is just going through the motions?
We all need to hold on to the spark of inspiration that drove us in the first place. Here’s how I find it.
Meet With Others
You’re not the only business owner to fight against a lack of inspiration. Every entrepreneur has been in your shoes. Many of them have even overcome it.
For me, industry trade shows are a great way to meet individuals that can inspire me. Some of The HOTH’s most valuable partnerships originated from these introductions. Passion is contagious. When I meet someone at a show and they are pumped out of their skull about their work, it gets me excited about my business. Their energy reminds me of how I got inspired in the first place.
These trade shows are also a great place to ask other entrepreneurs how they stay inspired. But even if you don’t have anyone you can ask in person, the internet is saturated with these stories. Look through the Ted Talks library or browse through Ask Me Anythings (AMAs) on AskReddit.
Let Yourself Fail
Entrepreneurs have a reputation for being fearless. After all, it takes guts to strike out on your own. But there’s one thing that we’re all afraid of: failure.
We’re afraid that if we make just one mistake, our company will fail. We’ll have to crawl back to The Home Depot to beg for our old jobs. But in reality, a single screwup won’t bring our businesses crashing down to the ground. Our fear of failure does far more damage than failure itself.
Perfectionism can be paralyzing. If you try to avoid failure at all costs, then your productivity will take a dive. You’ll miss deadlines and push back launch dates because things aren’t perfect yet.
My company has a huge team of remote workers. We have a talented development team that built a web environment for those workers to create content. And if you’ve ever worked on a software before, you know that bugs are everywhere. Our backend wasn’t immune either. But if we had waited until every issue was ironed out, we’d still be waiting to launch.
Making mistakes allows you to learn from them. The lessons you learn from one product failure will give you valuable insight into the next round. And, you might even stumble upon something you weren’t looking for. Remember: the microwave oven, chocolate chip cookie and X-rays were all invented by accident.
A Change Of Scenery
We are creatures of habit — which isn’t a bad thing. Having a set routine can help keep us from slacking off. But sometimes, our regular routines can land us in a rut. We churn out bad content and make design mistakes because we just stop caring.
To give your passion a shot in the arm, make some adjustments to your routine. Leave the office and go to a coffeehouse. Take your laptop to a coworking space and work with like-minded individuals. For serious cases of inspiration loss, you’re going to need something stronger. Take a few days to go on a retreat. Retreats allow you to detox from the day-to-day doldrums and clear your head. You’ll get to take a break from the tedium of emails and memos and meetings to refocus on the big picture. You might even remember why you started your own business in the first place.
To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to hustle. When most of us need to hustle, we try to sustain pedal-to-the-metal productivity, every minute of the day, every day of the week. That might work for a few days or even a couple weeks. But eventually, you will burn yourself out.
Give yourself the freedom to daydream a little. Build some time into your day to get away from the grind. Spend time on hobbies. Let your mind wander. Instead of stressing yourself out in your office, trying to think of your next great idea, go take a hike or play a few rounds of golf. As you let your thought process roam freely, your mind will subconsciously circle around the problem you’re trying to work out.
No matter how smart you think you are, you can always learn something new. You don’t need to stick to one discipline, either. Learning about new things keeps your mind active. When you add skills to your repertoire, your mind starts to apply those new skills to what you’re already doing.
Continued learning is a big part of our culture at The HOTH. Our employees are encouraged to spend time learning new subjects and honing new skills. Not only is it good for that employee, but they bring their fresh perspectives to the firm. It’s a win-win.
You may have tried some of these tips before, but they didn’t work for you. That’s okay — everybody’s different. But what isn’t okay is allowing yourself to stay bored and uninspired. Find some practices that will help you recapture the spark that set you on this path in the first place. Because if you aren’t inspired, then what’s the point?