Are You Holding Inspiration at Bay?
Dear Nurtured Entrepreneur,
We’ve entered the time of year in the northern hemisphere (mid-September to mid-December) with the shortest days and longest nights. Traditionally a time of more inward-turning activities, I’ve been thinking about where you and I could turn our attention to deepen the nurturing of our entrepreneurial selves.
Skipping over any yucky “should” activities (e.g., clean out file cabinets, prep for taxes, write e-zine article), let’s ask the question another way.
“What would bring you pleasure during the winter days and support your entrepreneurship?”
The key word here is PLEASURE, for two reasons.
Reason #1: Pleasure in our tasks is nurturing. We all have aspects of what we do in our work-with-passion business that truly bring us pleasure. Not activities with or for our clients, but just for us. These are the deeply satisfying activities that you’d love to do, but keep putting off. (Pause now and write down at least one activity that comes to mind – quick!).
For example, a software tool you’ve wanted to learn to explode your creativity, a book you’ve been eager to read to strengthen your knowledge on a favorite topic, or a project that is dear to your heart waiting for you to pick it up again, something that you know will feed your entrepreneurial spirit. Not only will giving yourself this gift nurture you, but it will absolutely support all of your other entrepreneurial activities.
How can I know that?
Reason #2: Pleasure in our tasks brings inspiration to ALL areas of our business. One of my entrepreneurial heroes, Dan Pink, career analyst extraordinaire, gave a TED talk about what motivates us. Social scientists have found that regardless of culture and other factors, tasks requiring out-of-the-box, creative thinking are not improved by monetary rewards; in fact, performance worsens. Study participants needed all of their creative brain power focused on playing with the solution in order to solve it.
Pink cites a couple of companies with their own out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to fostering creativity in their employees. One company gives their engineers 24 hours off each week to play with anything related to, but outside of, their current tasks. When everyone comes back together after that play time to brainstorm on product issues, solutions flow easily and effortlessly.
“Appreciation and self-love are the most important tools that you could ever nurture.”
So. What’s your pleasure? Spend time on an activity that nurtures the passion you have for your business and I bet you’ll be pleased to see what starts growing next spring.
Until next time …
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