The Digital Glue Podcast

EP: 4 - The Inspiration Grid …!

December 08, 2020 Episode 4
The Digital Glue Podcast
EP: 4 - The Inspiration Grid …!
Chapters
The Digital Glue Podcast
EP: 4 - The Inspiration Grid …!
Dec 08, 2020 Episode 4

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

Welcome to Episode 4: The Inspiration Grid!

By definition inspiration is the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.  And as such, being entrepreneurs and building a business from the ground up, we require an endless well of inspiration. It’s a huge part of what keeps us going, giving us the ability to think outside of the box, pivot and adapt when we need to, create original and attractive offerings and have fun while we do it. 

Here's what we will be untangling in this episode ...

  • How to recognize when you may need a boost of inspiration
  • Different mindful and FUN activities to renew your creativity
  • How to be kind to yourself and allow for inspirational breathing room
  • Taking what you learned and making it work (business + life)
  • How to effectively send your creative work out into the world


Are you ready?
Pop in your awesome earbuds and let's dive in!

Show Notes Transcript

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

Welcome to Episode 4: The Inspiration Grid!

By definition inspiration is the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.  And as such, being entrepreneurs and building a business from the ground up, we require an endless well of inspiration. It’s a huge part of what keeps us going, giving us the ability to think outside of the box, pivot and adapt when we need to, create original and attractive offerings and have fun while we do it. 

Here's what we will be untangling in this episode ...

  • How to recognize when you may need a boost of inspiration
  • Different mindful and FUN activities to renew your creativity
  • How to be kind to yourself and allow for inspirational breathing room
  • Taking what you learned and making it work (business + life)
  • How to effectively send your creative work out into the world


Are you ready?
Pop in your awesome earbuds and let's dive in!

By definition inspiration is the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.  

And as such, being entrepreneurs and building a business from the ground up, we require an endless well of inspiration.  It’s a huge part of what keeps us going, giving us the ability to think outside of the box by removing it completely, pivot and adapt when we need to, create original and attractive offerings and have FUN while we do it!

People have probably told you that when you love what you do, that energy comes through in your work and your vibes and it attracts people to your own personal magic.  

Being creative and inspired gives us the boost we need to project that happiness and excitement into our craft. And it makes people WANT to work with us.  

So, where can we find inspiration?

How do we recognize when we’ve have hit a slump and need new invigorating ideas?

And are we going to be kind enough to ourselves to allow us to take a minute and breathe in order to get that boost?

There are a few clues that our body and minds give us when we really could use a good shot of inspiration. We commonly feel physically tired, unmotivated, unexcited, and frustrated. Our brain block creates a cycle of frustration, fatigue, and mood shifts, and not the good kind.  

Now, you’re probably wondering … 
How can one clear the “mood fog” and feel excited again?

Our team here at Virtually Untangled has uncovered a handful of things that help us lift the mood, clear through the fog, invigorate our souls and get those glorious creative juices flowing.

And the very FIRST thing on the list is REST.Honoring the need for rest is counter intuitive to how we have been taught a hard-working person exists. In our day ‘n age, if you are not going full speed with 24 hour a day accessibility, then you tend to feel quite lazy and unaccomplished.  

But … The positive swing on that pendulum is that the importance of self-care and mental health is so prevalent in society now. Some of my very favourite authors and teachers have written books that will change your mindset and your life on this topic. 

They have certainly been game changers for me.

One of my absolute favourite people in the world is author and journalist Elizabeth Gilbert who always says: “Don’t abandon your creativity the moment things stop being easy or rewarding, because that’s the moment when interesting begins”.

So, what can we do to physically and mentally rest?

Feeling creatively blocked will strain our physical selves and our mental state as well.  The first on the list is sleep!

You cannot pour from an empty bucket. And sometimes just getting the basic human need of good ol’ fashioned solid REM sleep will help turn the tides.  

Next up is doing our very favourite things list, like a much-loved movie marathon, a good hearty meal and a chat with your bestie. That will give you a shot of endorphins and put more tools in your well-being toolbox.  

A great tip during this time is to turn off the sounds your digital devices when people are “scratching at your door” to get access to you. It can even inspire something inside of you to change the boundaries you created for yourself and your working life. Maybe you are running yourself too ragged and that may just be what the doctor ordered to get you inspired … MORE TIME to just quietly be.  

2020 created a lot of demands on businesses to adapt to circumstances we’ve never seen before. And oftentimes businesses had to completely recreate themselves. However, it has also provided something we have never been offered before -- the downtime to be in the quiet and hear our thoughts. It’s a time of reevaluating our lives, our goals, our dreams, and what we want our future to look like.

So, for all of the tremendous loss and challenges the pandemic presented, on the brighter side of things we have seen a shift in how the working world has said “okay, maybe it’s time to slow down and create better balance in our lives”.

The rebranding and recreating of businesses are allowing for so much creativity to flow.
(And I truly LIVE for that DREAM. Not only for myself, but for others too!)

Sometimes it’s because the businesses were on the ropes and had to shift QUICKLY to stay afloat. That leads us into our second strategy for inspiration which is taking a look at what other people in your industry are doing.

What’s new? What’s interesting? What’s trending? Who’s inspiring?

Asking your creative friends what they are up to is also a fantastic way to hear new ideas that may light a spark within. These strange times have taught us that people are incredibly resilient, creative, accommodating and always on the lookout for what can make a work-life balance more successful. 

Seeing what others are doing and creating, and how they are saving themselves is inspiring in and of itself. To see people happy, living their dream, and adapting so well to hard times that the new face of their business works even better than before. 

That positivity will get you excited and ready to hop on that happy train.  

So, if you are now excited about some new business ideas its likely time to learn something new! Take a virtual class and dip your toe into the wide world of knowledge! 

It can shift your brain to new ways of thinking and that will inject a ton of creativity and inspirational moments into your life. 

There have been countless times I wandered around my favourite bookstore … Picking up books by author’s I have never heard of just to give something NEW a try. And then, some of that specific book changed my life forever!

Planting thought seeds shifts the way we think. And that will inspire a person to see things differently and maybe even walk a new path without all the fear. 

The effect of that life-changing book then became a series of books that landed in my life quite organically without me seeking them out. This then created a flow of energy that inspired so much of the creative sources for my business.   

Books are POWERFUL and have the ability to transform us from the inside out.

One of my very favourite quotes is by Dee Hock is, “Clean out a carrier of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it”.

Another way to get inspired is trying something new -- a hobby, an experience, a recipe …!  I am a very avid at home chef and baker. I’m truly a foodie by all accounts and something that really feeds my soul is learning about that subject.  

I also love to paint, create art ... and not just digitally!

So, watching an online class or reading about fun techniques is something that truly feeds my soul and gets me excited about my artwork a passion from my personal life that literally infuses into my business. I feel mentally inspired and that resonates into everything I do here at Virtually Untangled. Gives everything a fresh new feeling.

It sometimes even takes me down a new creative path that I never explored before.

So, sometimes when we are disciplined and hardworking, we forget to give ourselves little nuggets of “soul food” in our days. You know … The things that we feel in our hearts that we truly desire but may feel guilty taking the time to do.

As the fabulously brilliant Glennon Doyle says “If you feel something calling you to dance or write or paint or sing, please refuse to worry about whether you are good enough. Just do it. Be generous. Offer a gift to the world that no one else can offer: yourself”.

Okay …

Now let’s talk about giving yourself a simple change of scenery – which is our FIFTH tip.

A quick trip in the car, a walk in the woods, or maybe even an entire weekend away can give you just the rest and quiet that you need to allow the new thoughts to flow. 

Most days we just sit in our workspaces … Day in. And day out. Then we fall into routines that are comforting but stale. We find ourselves going through the motions of our day without even realizing we are feeling STUCK!  We get bogged down with all the “busy work” of our days that we forget to stop and create something new.   

And then when a client comes to us and asks for work that demands creativity … We must put on our inspiration hat – even when we are just not feeling it.

So, sometimes that just means a desire to leave the “normal day” behind for just a little while and see if we can find something new that sparks our attention. And hopefully that spark leads to new thoughts, which turns into jaw-dropping ideas.

And that accomplishment alone will create happiness.

And we all know what happens when we are happy working people!  

Another tried and true method for becoming inspired is journaling. 

Keeping a notebook at our fingertips at all times to scribble down thoughts that we have or that just come to us “in the moment” can be a powerful resource. 

Sifting through those thoughts later can flick a switch inside our souls and start a train of thought that you may have forgotten you had once upon a time. It is super helpful to have an ideas notebook, even when you know you don’t possibly have the time or resources to jump into that project now. It’s a great way to always keep a hold on your dreams and ideas.

I am an admittedly overly organized person – And feel that organization is one of my love languages. It brings me peace and order which then can shine through in my work.  

Making lists is another way to quiet the “busy work” and shift that cluttered brain space leaving room for new thoughts and ideas. 

The very habit of jotting down these inner conversations cleans out room for new thoughts. I feel it makes me more concise in my tasks and clear in my conversations with others. I think it’s an extremely healthy habit for people to adopt.  

This also goes hand-in-hand with my next thought on inspiration …

Vision boards!

Think about what you want for your life and start envisioning it. 

Collect pictures, quotes, colours and words that depict this life and bring them together all in one place.  

This can be a collection of every aspect of your life even beyond your business, like hobbies, travel, food, education, people you admire.  

There is a very cool virtual vision board phenomenon called Pinterest … Yes, we have all heard of it and love it! I myself am a huge lover of all things Pinterest and when someone sees my virtual boards, I feel like it presents a very good snapshot of me and what makes me tick, what I love, what I want create myself into – or just create -- and what I want to do.  

So, when I need inspiration -- whether personally or professionally -- I pop in there for a quick looksie and let the inspiration take over!

There are millions upon millions of ideas in there. Consider it your virtual playground for sparking that bright shining light on the projects you’re working on or even your daily routine. Even if you have a desire to create something new and exciting for a client! The opportunity for NEW ideas is endless. 

And you even have the luxury of curating your very own collection of these ideas to help you remember your thoughts and dreams in moments of great inspiration.

When we work within deadlines sometimes, we don’t have the luxury to be as creative as we’d like. We just need to get the work done, on time and within the limits presented.

So, what if we decided to work on a project that had no deadlines and no pressure? 
Just for the sake of creating and to see what inspires us?

Well, it’s simple … You can set aside some time to sit with your materials, experiment and create whatever comes to mind without the pressure of those dreaded time crunch deadlines. This process of experimentation is liberating, exciting and can spark some truly beyond amazing ideas. You may even come up with new processes or templates to help you with future projects.

And truthfully, you could discover a better way to present new work to your clients and have the pleasure of being creatively inspired at the same time.  

It’s TIME for you to do what you love and make it even better. To just enjoy the love of the work .. Without the pressure of a hard-driven timeline.

And lastly … circling back to reading a new book.

Often, I have often been encouraged to read the classics. And there is a reason they are called just that. As the mere simplicity in that itself can foster peace and new waves of thoughts …

“Maybe this can be simplified, maybe it doesn’t have to be so complicated, maybe my work can be just as good and fulfilling if I approach it from a simpler view”.  

Simple, reliable, constant, classic -- these concepts hold a lot of respect and elegance just by being themselves. Having that kind of confidence in your work will also attract people to want to work with you.  

Reading a classic book is almost the opposite of the warp speed of life that we find ourselves in, in our current business world. There is information coming at you from all directions at a speed and steadiness that is hard to keep up with. And even hard to process at times.  

One of the biggest factors in the way the world now works is the use of social media, which brings me to my final idea … What can seem like endless platforms to navigate, endless messages to weed through, and the assumption that we should be available at the *PING! of a send button.  

This virtual overload tends to be a huge barrier to creative thinking and causes us to seek inspiration in order to quiet the noise.  

So, how can we switch the story around, make our work unique all the while making social media work for us and bringing us joy-filled inspiration instead of brain fog?   

The upside to this enormous well is that there are boundless amounts of good content out there. And exciting people to follow that can give you snippets of happy, love, light goodness to surge the “drag of the day”.

So, take a few moments every single day to find and follow accounts that align with how you like to live your own life, people who share your hobbies, people who are masters of the things you want to master, and especially folks who make you laugh.   

They will teach you things that will set a steady stream of ideas in motion.

Utilizing the many resources, we have – right at our fingertips -- can change the way we think about our business, those of our clients, the way we work and can even help bring fresh inspirations into our routine-based world!

The happiness from finding and sharing all this inspiration will not only inspire others to do better and be better but will resonate and reflect into what you send out into the world and those around you.

So, take a quiet moment to yourself once and awhile and refill that inspiration bank!