You don’t become an entrepreneur just because it seemed like an OK idea and you had a little spare time. You’re an entrepreneur because of your motivation to put in the work and succeed in making your plans reality. To be able to maintain that same drive and keep up the work, you have to take care of yourself. But even more important than staying physically healthy, however, is staying inspired.
Once you lose the passion for those ideas and plans that led you to become an entrepreneur, you’ll start to lose momentum. If you don’t find yourself constantly excited by the next steps, with new ideas keeping you awake at night, consider some small changes to your lifestyle you can make to help you get the spark back. Your imagination should have a momentum of its own. That’s what should be pushing you forward and keeping you going.
The Entrepreneur’s Imagination
Inspiration is what keeps you going, but it’s also the source of new ideas, insight, new creations and new paths. “We don’t always think about it this way, but entrepreneurs are creatives,” says Jason Baril, attorney at the law offices of Ogle, Elrod, and Baril. “Like any other creative profession, artists or writers, you’ve got to give your imagination the space it needs.”
There are a lot of different ways you can feed your imagination and give it time and space to work. New ideas and insight appear seemingly at random – you never know when they’ll strike. The best you can do is cultivate activities that encourage this brainstorming on your part and keep your mind active. And don’t forget to be ready to record the ideas and dive deeper when they do arrive. Let yourself daydream and spend time just contemplating your plans and ruminating.
Not only do you need to give your imagination time to work and keep you inspired and excited, but you should feed your imagination too! For many people that means reading. By reading you introduce new ideas and experiences into your brain, and it gives your brain quiet time to be synthesizing and considering these new inputs as well.
Don’t be afraid to mix up your schedule and shake things up to indulge a whim. Follow the whims if you can and see where they’re leading. All sorts of new and different experiences can be productive for you in keeping you inspired. Seeing new places, building new relationships with people who think differently than you, and simply going to a public space and watching and listening to the people around you can be spectacular fodder for your imagination.
Carve Out Time for Being by Yourself
One of the most valuable things you can do for yourself and your imagination as an entrepreneur is simply find time to be alone. And that doesn’t just mean you need to be physically away from people. To give your brain time to really work and put stuff together, you need to disconnect. You have to spend time not only away from people but away from texting, social media and email. That’s getting harder and harder in today’s world, and that makes it even more important.
Spending time alone can help you recharge and will give your mind time to wander and make the connections you want. Even if you’re an extrovert, finding time alone is essential for brainstorming. Much of the time you spend on random social interactions and chatting can occupy your energy and your mind and distract it from the creative contemplation you need to stay inspired.
That doesn’t mean you should disconnect yourself 100% from social media and the people around you, obviously. It’s about moderation and being intentional with the way you spend your time. Time with people and building relationships is important, whether those are business relationships or the personal relationships that ground you and make the work you do worthwhile. But be wary of all of the time you waste with meaningless social chatter and mindlessly browsing the internet.
You want to keep your mind active and feed your dreams. Be intentional with your schedule and be careful how you spend your idle time. You’re an entrepreneur and inspiration is your fuel, so don’t forget to find time to fill up.