It's been three months. The initial excitement, drive, and motivation of starting a new business have inevitably faded to daily tasks and to-do lists. I could feel it happening. I could feel myself longing for the peak of my professional motivation to stay as long as possible, but it felt that the time had come and gone.
I recently read a great article that stated the importance of ongoing commitment to your goal rather than relying on pure motivation. While I agree with the sentiment as a whole and agree with the long-term implications, I still felt I needed to harness something. I kept reading blogs. I kept working. I kept scheduling and going to meetings, but I was still allowing my creativity and drive to slip. Not to mention that with the arrival of the holiday season also came the desire to cozy up and let the clock run out on 2016.
Then, unexpectedly, I was struck with a creative lightning bolt. I've shared my love for design, but a lesser-known fact about me is my love for skiing. While my in-laws were visiting this weekend for Thanksgiving, we watched “Steep”, a documentary about extreme skiing. I found myself in awe of these athletes who make careers out of regularly risking their lives because they simply could not stay away from skiing. One of the common threads each skier stated when interviewed was the drive deep within him or her to ski because they have to ski. It resonated with me on a few levels.
The first being, why are any of us doing this? What motivates you to own your own business? It's hard. It's stressful. You never stop learning and you can never slack off. Once, I was told the reason people develop businesses is to eventually sell them. While I don't doubt this is sometimes the case, I can't imagine going through the daily challenges and stresses of owning a business unless you were doing something that resonates deep within you. It is important to remember the driving force behind your business because without that, why keep working?
The second thing that struck a chord in me was the source of this deep felt inspiration. Don't get me wrong, I love skiing and I always have; it's what brought me to Colorado in the first place. But the fact that my renewed sense of urgency and excitement about my business came from a movie about skiing surprised me. I learned while watching it how important it is to seek and receive inspiration from any source, even if it is unexpected.
My main takeaways: look for inspiration ALL around you. As a creative, I try to remember this and let it surface on a daily basis, but even with that mindset, I found myself surprised. Don't rule anything out and be open to experiences. They might surprise you. Also, don't wait around. Take action. If you wait for inspiration, it may not come, but if you look for it, when it's there, you will see it.
Dedication is important. Passion is contagious. The reason I felt so inspired watching this documentary was because the passion from the skiers felt tangible. You couldn't not feel excited and in awe of the risks they took just because they had to literally conquer their mountain. Surround yourself with passion and be a purveyor of it! Use it to fuel yourself and your business. So how do you find success? Seek it!