As a business owner and entrepreneur, you are daily presented with the task of coming up with creative and new ideas to keep your business thriving and your team motivated.
However, we all know how very challenging it can be to stay inspired and motivated day in and day out in the business world. We can all fall victim to those seasons when we struggle with complacency and feel stuck in a professional rut that we just can’t seem to get out of!
First of all, you shouldn’t feel guilty or overly discouraged by this; it’s a very common symptom for all business owners and professionals. Even the most innovative and creative entrepreneurs sometimes feel “stuck” when they are trying to come up with fresh, new ideas that will catapult their business to that next level of success.
So the question remains: What do you do to climb your way out? Let’s take a look at a few helpful tips to boost your inspiration and productivity when you’ve hit the business blues.
Step out of your comfort zone
It’s time to push yourself to think outside the box! One highly effective way of doing this is by spending time with professionals from different industries. You can achieve this by signing up for various events or seminars covering topics you’re interested in but that don’t necessarily pertain to your specific business. This will open up a whole new world of insight and original ideas that you would not have been privy to otherwise.
While you’re at it, take some time to learn how professionals in these other fields are solving problems and challenges corporately, as well as approaching concerns and suggestions from their customers. By doing so, you’ll get some fresh thoughts on how to move your own business forward. Plus, you may meet some potential clients you wouldn’t ordinarily have encountered. This is also a great opportunity to look into new trends happening in these other fields and to consider how they might relate to your industry—giving you innovative ways to kick-start your future marketing efforts.
Take a look back before looking forward
Sometimes in the chaos of your day-to-day activities, you can become so focused on moving forward and just “keeping up” that you forget to sit down and take some time to reevaluate your original goals. The goals you set for yourself are meant to act like a map to help guide you on your journey, both professionally and personally. Sometimes, however, you can fall into the trap of focusing entirely on your business goals and forgetting to step back, take a breath, and make sure your personal purpose is in alignment with your business. Taking a little time to assess why you do what you do will help you to identify the changes you need to make in order to break out of the rut you’ve found yourself in.
For example, if you discover that you have strayed from your original plan, you can compare your personal goals to the direction your business has taken to determine where you have gone off-track. If you find that you have drifted off course from your initial vision, it may be a good time to establish some new goals.
Take time to discover what inspires you
Often times, being stuck in a rut goes hand in hand with feeling tremendously uninspired. And, quite honestly, it’s difficult to jump-start any sort of innovation in the midst of feeling discouraged. So, in order to ignite some inspiration, try looking for something to focus on that sparks your creativity and drive.
For example, look for some activities outside of work that help to relieve stress both physically and mentally. Whether it’s attending a new workout class or learning a new skill like painting or playing an instrument, unleashing your creative side can help inspire you. You can then take that renewed energy and outlook back into your workday.
Learning something new or taking on a challenge is a great way to break free from a rut. When you focus on something you have always wanted to do, especially if it’s outside your comfort zone, it will help reignite your motivation and serve as a reminder that you can truly accomplish anything when you put your mind to it!
Ask for feedback
Asking for feedback from those around you, whether it’s employees, co-workers, or even customers, is another effective way to spark fresh ideas and approaches to new challenges. Schedule some brainstorming sessions with your team members and colleagues, or ask customers to share inventive ways they’re using your products or services.
In this day and age, brands are trying harder than ever to appear authentic. One of the best ways to do that is to find out how customers are really using your products. For instance, fashion boutiques might ask customers to post photos of themselves wearing their favourite pieces. This helps fans and potential customers see what current users like and what you’re selling. Customer responses may even help spark some inspiration for future products.
Take a time-out
It may seem trivial, but simply changing your surroundings can trigger new ideas. Instead of locking yourself in the office and not leaving until you figure things out, take a time-out and go for a walk outside, meet someone for coffee, or grab some recreational reading to just allow your brain time to reboot! Sometimes, all you need to do to kindle inspiration is to look at things from a different angle—and a different place.
Continue your education
Whether it’s listening to a quality podcast about up-and-coming trends in your industry or attending a webinar to learn some new best practices in the world of marketing, continuing to expand your education encourages you to look at things with a fresh perspective.
There are so many great resources available at the tip of your keyboard, so take advantage of them. You might be surprised how helpful a simple sixty-minute podcast can be at spurring you on to your “aha” moment!
It’s important not to get too comfortable for too long in any phase of your business. Before you know it, you may settle into a safe routine where you no longer strive to improve and grow, and this can lead to you missing some very valuable opportunities. Take the time you need to stay intentional in both your personal and professional growth. When you do, those mucky ruts of complacency will become fewer and farther between as you navigate each bend on your journey.