Healthy Business

Where Do You Find Your Inspiration?

To look at something differently, to recognize something you’ve never seen before, to feel for something in a different way, to realize something could be done that was never done before—all of these things can be the result of being inspired. Here are just a few ways people experience being inspired: a sound, a smell, an article, a picture, a lecture, a meal, a sculpture, a piece of wood, a stack of $100 bills, a child being given a glass of water, a cancer victim crossing a finish line, a smile on someone’s face after experiencing you or your business. Being inspired can lead to innovation and action.

When I’m inspired I can describe a problem in a new way, develop new material, create a new service or product, connect with a prospect I never could connect with before, reconnect with old customers to discuss something new. Finding inspiration helps me and those I work with to be fresh, interesting, motivating, engaging and worth other people’s time. Being inspired can be inspiring to others.

I find inspiration in blogs that I follow, websites I watch, people I keep up with in the industries that they influence. Inspiration comes from articles, programs, lectures, books, pictures and the world around me. There’s inspiration everywhere. When I stay focused on one project or task and I don’t take the time to look around in my business, in my customer’s business, in my industry or the industries of my customer’s customer then I find myself falling short on inspiration.

Here are just a few of the many places I turn to for inspiration: Wall Street Journal,, Chris Brogan:, Tech Crunch:, AdWeek:, American Marketing Association:, Social Media Today:, International Erosion Control Association:, travel to new cities and countries, my local museum and parks, talking to my existing customers regularly and reaching out to new customers and learning about their business and industry.

Where do you find your inspiration? What have you done to inspire others? Two great questions you can explore as you grow your business and your customer’s business too!

Let me know where you find your inspiration and how you may have inspired others by posting a comment here.

~Keep the learning going...pass it on!

Finding Your Breath in Business

How far can you swim? In 2010 I learned to distance swim (sure I could swim, but not very far) and completed two Sprint Triathlons, one Olympic Triathlon and one Half Iron Man Triathlon. Before you start thinking it’s no big deal for someone who does this all the time I want you to know I had never participated in a triathlon before. I had also never swum more than a couple of laps. I realized early on that the mechanics of the stroke are easy to observe and harder to practice but it’s the breathing that made all the difference for me. When I relaxed and focused on my breathing I found myself able to learn more, practice more and do more.

After a few months off I got into the pool today and was surprised that even after a shaky two laps at the start; much of what I had learned came back to me and I proceeded to have a great workout. The first few workouts I had in 2010, as I learned to distance swim, were not so smooth. Not being able to swim more than a few laps because of fatigue, swallowing water, hitting my head, water up my nose, rushed strokes and so many more struggles was frustrating to me. I remember back to other activities in my life that caused similar frustration: golf, snowboarding, public speaking and teaching just to name a few. As the year went on it wasn’t so new anymore and I worked on perfecting how I performed. Time and time again I came back to my breathing. The intake of energy and the exhale of waste whether in the pool, on the bike or pounding the pavement drove me, powered me, centered me and allowed me to do more than I ever thought I was capable of doing. No, I wasn’t first…or even in the top 25% of finishers in most of my races, but at least I was conditioned to do things most people only dream of doing.

2011 is off to a fast start and I find myself struggling to find my breath in my business. Calls and e-mails to return, blog posts to get done, social networking updates to be made, new services to develop and sell, marketing to research, billing…and oh taxes too! I know I’m not the only one; I’ve spoken to others and heard similar woes. Today I sat and reminded myself I know how to run my business. There are new things I want to do too and I can add them once I prioritize what needs to be done. I realized I need to take time to breathe and look at our strategy of where we are and where we want to go. Breathe and look at what it will take to get there. Breathe and engage the resources we have or bring in others to get it done. Breathe and measure the effort to show it’s worth the return. Breathe and consider my customers can use our help to do the same for their business.

What can you do to help your customers find their breath? What can you do to help your customer to be successful, sell more, win new customers and show the customers they have why they should keep doing business? You can help your customers grow their business and you can grow your business too. That’s what business development is all about. Finding your breath and helping others do the same.

Share your thoughts on finding your breath or helping others do the same by posting a comment.

~Keep the learning going...pass it on.