Inspiration is Everywhere: Here's Where to Look For It Sources of inspiration are everywhere in our day-to-day lives...we just have to know where to look for them.
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Just like lightning strikes at random, so does the opportunity for inspiration that can spur your business or further your leadership skills. Whether you are actively seeking it or taking a break to reset your mind, there are always opportunities to revisit what you have experienced and glean insightful takeaways. For example, one of the best pieces of inspiration came from a simple conversation with my 9-year-old daughter. More on that later...
If you are actively seeking opportunities for inspiration, here are some particular ones that have inspired me as a co-founder and CEO.
As an avid reader, I have found a lot of inspiration from books. When you're in a leadership role, absorbing ideas from others not only opens your perspective and inspires you to change the way you work but can also reinforce your intuition and validate your initial thoughts. Some of the standout books that I have read include:
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz — a must-read for emerging and veteran entrepreneurs, this book candidly discusses the pros and cons of running your own business and key lessons every CEO should learn.
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson — this book helps you identify what matters to you. As your company grows, what is the most important to your business, and where can you make an impact? If you stay true to those two values, it helps you filter out the rest of the noise and remain focused on succeeding and bringing your business to fruition.
- The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle — another book on culture, as it is vital to a company's overall success — especially in the current market that we are in today. This engaging book inspires us to transform how teams operate so they can perform together more efficiently.
Related: 3 Books That Will Make You 6 Figures
Sometimes you'll find that inspiration comes when you take the time to unwind. Recently, I sat down to watch some TV with my family, and two documentaries we watched have stayed with me:
- All or Nothing: Arsenal (available on Amazon TV): Aside from being entertaining as it is all about my favorite sport, soccer, watching Mikel Arteta's leadership in bringing his team to the front of the Premier League was inspiring. Mikel doesn't compromise on his or the club's values, and his passion for the sport inspires his squad to perform at the next level. As leaders, we should all proudly showcase our love for what we do to lead by example and inspire our teams.
- Kiss the Ground (available on Netflix): This documentary, centered on finding a solution for our climate crisis, uses compelling data to illustrate how a simple solution — dating back hundreds of years — can help address our climate crisis and create healthier food for people. My takeaway from this as an entrepreneur was three-fold: first, there are always opportunities to evolve and rethink the status quo to devise a solution to a problem. Second, look back to history to see what was successful and why. Lastly, look at the larger picture to ask yourself: what impact are we making on humanity and this planet?
My final note of a place I found unexpected inspiration came from my daughter, who was nine at the time. This image had come up during the workday, and I was looking at it at home and contemplating the correct answer. As it illustrates, are there four bars, or are there three?
She took one look at it and said that both characters in this image were right without hesitating. The answer isn't about who is right or wrong but their perspective and how they interpret it. That simple revelation from her has stuck with me throughout the years: my main takeaway was that communication is essential and, in life and business, many scenarios are not "right or wrong" — the important thing is that even if you disagree with them, listen to the other's reasoning to come to an understanding of their point of view.
At the end of the day, whether you actively seek it or take a break from the hustle of life and enjoy the moment, you can find inspiration everywhere. Take a moment to reflect upon the content you consume or the conversations you have had, and you will become a more well-rounded character.