5 Ways to Find Inspiration When You Work for Yourself

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Finding Inspiration in Personal Growth and Development

Whether you’ve just successfully launched your business and signed your first client or are an old pro in the contract-consulting world, it’s easy to feel like a lone wolf out there. You probably spend the majority of your time in corporate environments helping others solve their problems, leaving little time to work on your own personal development. Without a inspiration, disconnection and personal growth and development, it’s hard to maintain the passion in any job especially a solopreneur.

One of the most important things we can do for our future success is to invest in ourselves and our own development. I know firsthand what it’s like to invest your energy and effort into others, so I also know that looking for new ways to inspire yourself and up your game is a must.

Develop a support network

Having a network that encourages, questions, supports and inspires you is vital. It can be online or in person as long as the people help you grow and make you want to become better.  From a group of peers on Facebook to a monthly happy hour with other independents, just having some time to let your hair down, learn and talk to your others who understand your line of work can be refreshing and motivating.

Listen to podcasts

Your time is a valuable asset. There’s no other type of work were that translates so clearly than with independent consulting. At the same time, you only have so many hours in a day, which is why learning how to make the most of that time is key. Listening to podcasts can give you hours of professional development time each week just from your car, over lunch or as you’re getting ready for the day. I love gaining inspiration from podcasts and consider it to be one of the best kinds of productivity hacking.

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Keep a journal

Whether it’s a handwritten journal or an audio journal using one of my favorite apps, DragonDictation, a journal helps you work through opportunities, challenges, and situations. Having a way to brainstorm independently becomes so important as your business grows and as you develop. Journaling can also become a hub for all your future ideas, questions and thoughts to live, providing a written record. As a bonus, it also helps you maintain your sanity when things get hectic.

Meditation

If the word “meditation” makes you think of dimly lit yoga studios, it’s time to reframe what you know about it. Sure, it has spiritual roots, but meditation can also simply mean quieting your mind for a few minutes a day. Daily meditation helps you implement positivity in a non-cheesy way while focusing on what’s most important and grounding yourself. Start or end your day with just five minutes of quiet time to feel relaxed and renewed.

Learn Something New

The best way to exercise your mind is to find a hobby, a passion or something to get you out there and away from focusing on your business. Trust me when I say that a little fun is a good thing. Step away from your laptop and put down your phone for an hour (at least) each week just to do something for you. My current hobby of choice is machine pilates. You’ll probably find that you’re even more productive when you come back to it.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell
Jessica Miller-Merrell is workplace technologist and marketing strategist. She's the founder of Blogging4Jobs.com and proud member of the independent workforce 5 years and counting. Follow her on Twitter, @jmillermerrell.
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