Burn out is a common topic of conversation these days. Everyone feels it, at least occasionally. But it sabotages success and drains teams if you can’t get past it. You want to get inspired again and again.
So where do you find the inspiration to keep going? Keep reading.
We’ve compiled a few creative ideas from entrepreneurs who find sources of inspiration. Let these ideas help you continue to do the important work you do for your chamber of commerce and your community.
Manicures Aren’t Self-care
Before we get into strategies to help you get inspired again, it’s important to talk about a hinderance to inspiration–burn out. While inspiration can pull you out of the beginning stages of burn out, once you’re seven layers deep into it, an inspirational idea may be too little, too late.
One way to avoid burn out is by making time for self care. But when we talk about “self care,” we’re not talking about mani/pedis or massages.
Those are relaxation.
Self care is an ongoing commitment to your mental health. It is not one activity. It is a way of reframing and committing to your wellbeing. A massage or pretty toes will make you feel good, but the minute you return to the office, that relaxation is gone in a telephone call from your resident curmudgeon.
No, to avoid burn out, you have to make self care a priority. That means making good decisions about what is best for your career, your mental health, and your loved ones. It’s knowing that putting your own needs first doesn’t make you selfish. It’s mental maintenance for you to be able to make it in the long run.
You don’t think of your car as selfish when it needs a tune up to stay in top condition. Give yourself the same grace.
Now, let’s talk about inspiration.
What Do You Need to Get Inspired Again?
There are multiple sources of inspiration.
- Other chambers are great sources of ideas on programs or things you can implement to help your members.
- There are inspiring people or stories that help you want to make changes in your own personal or professional life.
- There are stories of woe that inspire you to make a change.
But when you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s hard to feel inspired. All these ideas might just bring you down even more.
You need to take care of yourself and get in a good place with work/life balance. Once you do, those inspiring stories, ideas, and people will find you because you’ll be open to their messages and able to take action.
Here are some of the best ideas from entrepreneurs on how to get inspired again.
Find a Professional or Personal Lifestyle Mentor
Before you start bemoaning your inability to make time to find a mentor, I’m not talking about approaching a leader in your community for weekly coffee. Nor am I suggesting that a quick inquiry will lead you to find someone who teaches you life-changing lessons in the guise of learning to “wax on, wax off.”
It’s easier than that.
Find someone online whose life or path is something you’d like to emulate and follow them with the desire of learning from them.
This is not cyberstalking and mimicking their every move. Instead, focus on how they got where they are and then adopt those lessons into creating a life of your own. You are learning from them so that you might weave your own personality into what they have done.
For instance, a child who wants to become a singer may parrot the way Adele sings at first, learning from her breath control. But once they master the technique, they sing in their own way. Or you may want to study how Elon Musk divides his day or how Tom Brady cleaned up his diet so you can follow his regimented lifestyle.
The internet has made this type of learning incredibly easy and free. The only price is your time doing research.
Take “Mindset Vitamins”
Heidi Neck, a professor of entrepreneurship at Babson College said her mindset vitamins “…take the form of quotes, introspective questions, affirmations, suggested actions, lateral thinking exercises, or riddles.”
Sharing favorite quotes or stories can be great “mindset vitamins” to help everyone feel connected and boost their morale in the moment. While this won’t fix long-term burn out issues, it could give everyone enough energy to push through in the moment.
Prepare for a Professional Hurricane
I’m in Florida and we’re used to hurricanes, but there is a large amount of preparation involved when you decide to stay and ride it out. When I know a hurricane is headed for us, I don’t continue to work at unimportant things like forwarding emails. I give myself a break from administrative tasks and prepare for what’s coming.
Get inspired by preparing for your professional hurricanes as if it’s the most important thing coming toward you right now.
If you know you have a big event or planning session coming up, give your staff time to focus on that. If possible, give them a few hours off with the understanding that they will focus their mindset on the upcoming whirlwind.
Emily Tyree, founder of Gallant Collective, said “If something big is in the pipeline, I’ll encourage the team to take the rest of the day off to go do something for themselves. That way we all feel energized and inspired when it’s go time.”
I’m not suggesting you give employees a day at the beach because that can be difficult for chambers, especially ones that are short staffed. Instead, clear their deck (temporarily) to allow them the mental focus they need to be effective at this large undertaking. Give yourself the same.
Start Your Day Off Right (for you)
It’s the age old battle between introverts and extroverts but it needn’t be a battle at all. One isn’t right, one isn’t wrong and neither of them require medication, no matter what the other side may tease them about. But there are big differences between the two.
Therefore, do not start your morning off with a rousing rah rah session or fast-paced “all hands on deck” meeting. Extroverts are energized by this, introverts are energized from within which requires quiet and contemplation.
Instead, try something that works for everyone. Give introverts an hour to organize their day before scheduling meetings.
Encourage staff to create a morning routine that helps them clarify their focus.
For some, that’s listening to an organizational or inspirational podcast. For others, that might mean time around the office coffee machine for spontaneous brain-storming.
Safeguard the first hour of the day and encourage people to spend it in a way that energizes them and inspires their creativity.
Get Out There and Listen to the Stories
Stories can be very inspirational and they’re much easier to remember than stats. If you need inspiration, get out on social media or visit some businesses. Listen to their stories. Encourage people to share with you. Ask good questions.
Being around inspirational people is inspiring in itself.
Finally, a really great place to find inspiration (or sounding boards) is the Chamber Pros Facebook group. From exchanging ideas to blowing off steam, the group of nearly 10,500 chamber pros provides a lot of ideas and stories. You’ll find plenty of fuel to get inspired again.