Inspiration feels like catching a genie in a bottle — elusive and sometimes unreal. But when you tap into it for yourself, then you find a new kind of motivation. In an inspired state, every impossible question has an answer. You were probably inspired when you started your business. And if you’ve inherited something that you never wanted, then it’s time to discover the parts of the business that set you on fire — so to speak.
You Get Inspired
In fact, the first way to inspire your team is to inspire yourself. People are drawn to passion and focus. Your drive and excitement will drive and excite your team. Of course, it’s their job to do what you paid them to do, but inspired people can and will do more. Plus, inspiration does wonders for the attitude.
But if you find yourself uninspired, it usually comes down to doing the wrong work, doing the right work the wrong way or a downtime deficit. If you find your team uninspired, it could be the concerns above or a communication issue on your end.
What Hat Are You Wearing?
Doing the wrong work feels like you’re trying to wear somebody’s hat that’s two sizes too big or small. When it’s too small, no matter how many times you pull and yank it, that tiny hat just won’t stay. When it’s too big, it swallows you up.
It’s like the boss trying to be her own secretary, that hat will eventually become too small for an idea person. The owner needs to be free to strategize, network, build teams, discover the latest industry changes so that they steer the company in the right direction.
Likewise employees have to wear the right hat too. Trying to turn your secretary into the vice president — under a different name — without proper training or a demonstration of core ability can quickly burn him out. There’s no emotional or financial reward in doing a job that swallows you up. You don’t get the chance to master or excel at it. And success is a major player when it comes to abiding inspiration.
How Do You Do What You Do?
Doing the right work isn’t enough. You have to do it the right way. There’s tracking your finances and then there’s tracking your finances a smarter way. There’s communicating with your team in the field, and then there’s having a communication system that works fast and efficiently.
If you are constantly overwhelmed, if your team is constantly overwhelmed, then it’s time for a systems audit. Doing things inefficiently causes you to hire more people than you need. No matter how many people you hire to help you juggle, an inefficient system will eventually break. Instead of waiting for the break, let’s update. It’s about finding the right tools for your company, as well as the right training for using and setting up those tools.
Sometimes a lack of inspiration can be cured with the right vacation, a weekend sleeping instead of working, good laughter with great friends. You may find your best ideas and creatively solve your biggest challenges with a little down time.
In Creativity Happens When You Least Expect It, Psychology Professor Dr. Sian Bellock says,
“…what we think of as our optimal time of day, may not be optimal for everything. Recent research confirms this idea.In a paper published last December in the journal Thinking and Reasoning, psychologist Mareike Wieth and her colleagues found that when people have to solve “insight problems” that require a high degree of creativity, solvers are much more successful when they tackle these problems at the time of day in which they are least alert.”
In other words, it’s possible that your creativity works better off the clock. But if you never take a break, then you don’t get a chance to live the rest of your life and make those crazy connections that just may solve your problems.
I get the best business ideas in the car on the way to drama rehearsal and in the middle of my workouts. I can kill an extra hour at the gym just trying to capture everything that seemed to effortlessly dance across my mind.
For long term inspiration that can last the life of a business, you need down time. And it needs to be consistent, fun and rejuvenating to you.
Speak The Language
Inarticulate passion is a problem. You have to understand the people you’re working with, the place they are coming from and the language they use. You and your managers have to bridge the gap between the world that your employees live in and the world that you are trying to create.
Discover their passions. What do they love or enjoy doing? What do they hate? Once you know, then it’s easier to frame your training and ideas in a context that they relate to. It’s also easier to assign responsibilities that might excite them.
Besides, an inspired team member tells a better story and shoppers are driven by their personal experience and the stories they hear.