It is very common that most business owners at some time will feel uninspired as a leader; that feeling of no longer being excited by your business.
You might be demotivated and tired because of the constant grind. Or perhaps current circumstances with lockdown have led to a drying up of product lines and opportunities. Or maybe your team doesn’t share the same passion and vision for the company’s growth?
Yet, you started a business because, what? You were inspired!
Cambridge dictionary defines inspiration as ‘someone or something that gives you ideas for doing something’ or a ‘sudden good idea.’
To start a business, something or someone must have inspired you into action. You might just need a fresh wave of inspiration. How can you get back your ‘mojo’ and re-motivate yourself to show the qualities of a good business leader?
Here are our top seven tactics to feel re-inspired:
Give yourself space to get inspired
When you’re spending all your time firefighting or responding to emails, you can only see the smaller, short-term picture. To feel inspired, you need to widen your frame of vision – to see the big picture. Often, that means taking a step back and taking time out.
Make a deliberate choice to schedule time in your diary for ‘inspiration’ activities. Here are a few ideas:
- Go for a long walk; there’s nothing like the outdoors to help clear your mind and take you away from your everyday tasks.
- Try new things to inspire new ideas; it might be a new hobby like playing chess or roller-skating. Who knows!? Just giving yourself that much-needed ‘time out’ might be the space you need.
- If you work better with others, schedule time for a ‘blue-sky’ thinking session.
Use the time to do ‘business-related’ things you wouldn’t normally have time to do:
- Listen to a podcast. Here is a list of podcasts every entrepreneur should listen to.
- Attend a webinar about a topic you’re interested in. TAB Worldwide has a good selection of webinars to choose from.
- Read a book, white paper or article. It might be the latest in a blog you follow or a chapter of a book. An example could be our white paper on Easy Ways to Improve Your Company Culture.
Don’t have the time? It might be that you need to delegate more responsibility. Read our article on delegation and why it is so important for your business.
Train yourself to be creative
Especially in these uncertain and competitive times, business owners need to be more innovative, and by finding creative ideas, you’ll be inspired to take action.
As detailed in our article, 8 ways to become a more creative entrepreneur, brain scientist Robert Epstein says there are 4 key elements to creativity:
- Capturing– preserve new ideas as they come to you and do so without judging them. Writing down ideas and notions in the moment “hijacks the inner-censor” and they are not lost after they first come to mind.
- Challenging– embrace tough problems and situations – multiple behaviours that ensue competition and their interconnections create new behaviours and ideas. The most creative entrepreneurs are much less discouraged than others when there is no immediate enthusiasm for their ideas.
- Broadening– simply continue to learn new and interesting things. The more diverse your knowledge, the more interesting are your interconnections. Creative entrepreneurs have lots of ideas that do not work, but the point is they have lots of ideas.
- Surrounding– the more interesting the people and things that you have around you, the more interesting your own ideas become. Creative entrepreneurs will surround themselves with diverse influences, through the people they spend time with, the books they read and the experiences with which they engage.
Have an open mind
Another way to feel re-inspired by your business is to have an open mind.
If an employee comes up with an idea or makes a point about a challenge in your business, don’t dismiss it. You might find that a comment which at first sounds irrelevant might be your next source of inspiration. Carry a small notebook with you, or always have it at your desk, so that when on a call and somebody says something new or off-piece, note it down and have an open mind that you could be inspired by it later.
Remind yourself of your personal and company visions
Why did you start your business in the first place? What inspired you to do it?
When you need to be re-inspired, you must return to your personal vision; how you wanted your business plan to impact on the personal, long-term vision of what you wanted your life to be like.
Maybe it was a dream house or boat, or retirement in the country. Whatever it was, when did you last think about it and maybe it’s changed? Return to your personal vision statement, and if you haven’t got one, here is our guide on how to write a good personal vision statement. By reminding yourself of what you’re doing this for, you’ll refill your tank and be inspired to soldier on.
As your personal vision should be aligned with your company vision, re-visit that too. Has COVID changed the shape and direction of the business? Spend some time on refining your company vision to help inspire and push forward that personal vision of success.
Share your business direction with your team
How often do you share business performance and direction with your team?
Not only will this allow you to spend time with your team on the business strategy and direction but will help them feel more inspired about what you’re all working towards. And let’s face it, if your team is inspired – it will be contagious through the entire culture of your business.
Check out our white paper on motivating your employees for more top tips.
What are other businesses (including your competitors) doing?
This is another great way to feel re-inspired in your business. Keep a look out for what your competitors, similar businesses, or even completely different businesses are doing.
The best place to look for this is on social media but also do some online searches and utilise your business networks. On seeing these ideas, have a think about what you like, what you don’t like, and how they might apply to your business. It could inspire a new marketing campaign, product line or market to tap into. The first step is just looking and being inspired.
Get an outside perspective
Probably the best way to feel inspired is by surrounding yourself with other people. As suggested in our ‘be more creative’ tactic, hearing from other people is essential for us to think up new ideas and act.
It might be you get inspired by your friends down the pub (when you could do that sort of thing again!), or by your family around the dinner table. Whoever and whenever it is, make sure you are listening and receptive to what you hear.
Here at TAB, we know that our members, who participate in our monthly peer board meetings are constantly re-inspired by their fellow board members.
“On the boards everything comes together, and each person has an angle that allows them to step back and see your own challenge in a way that you cannot. I was not ready for how much being part of one of Rick’s [TAB Facilitator] boards would change my life, and the way I view myself.” Nicole Windley, Broadoak Studios
“We have stripped down and rebuilt my understanding of the business I’ve run for the last 20 years – taking me from a frustrated and overwhelmed ‘business operator’, to a confident ‘business owner’ with a plan!” Adam Partington, Press Green Ltd
“Running a business is a challenge, but today’s new problem is something someone else has already dealt with, this week’s craziness is next week’s learning, and tomorrow’s insight is sometimes the inspiration another needs. So it’s about being part of a community who can share, support, and guide and celebrate. We are all individuals but together we are strong.” Simon Hudson, Kinata Ltd
So have a go at these tactics to get that much-needed fresh wave of inspiration!
Interested in an advisory board? Find your local board or read about why business owners need a peer advisory board.