Motivation at a minimum? Stuck in a creative rut? Struggling to strategise and grow your business? You’re not alone. It’s common to fall into regular patterns of working, which can make your workday feel monotonous and unproductive. But what if you stepped back at regular intervals to get a fresh take on things, turning the daily grind into more of a productive flow?
Even if you’re at the top of your game – stay inspired and ensure joy remains in what you do. The happier you are – the more energy you’ll bring to your business, giving it the rocket fuel it deserves to be a success.
Here are 42 free resources to inspire and energise your business in 2022.
2. Motivated Mornings – A website that offers accountability, community and productivity coaching to help you start and finish work projects. You even get a motivating coach to kick off every weekday morning!
3. Follow Entrepreneur magazine on Instagram, Facebook (all the usual places!), designed to inspire, inform and celebrate entrepreneurs. Inspirational small business founders are featured across its platforms – what could be more inspiring?
4. Speaking of Entrepreneur magazine, here are its 10 Tips to Help Entrepreneurs Get Motivated, which includes setting a personal mission statement, starting with a routine and staying positive.
5. Eat well and get moving. It’s a classic suggestion but take care of yourself physically and you’ll quickly feel both the physical and mental benefits when it comes to renewed energy and a positive outlook on the next steps for your business.
6. Be mindful. Ensuring good mental health is equally important. Examples include giving yourself regular breaks from your screen (could you attend a yoga class in your lunch hour? In person or online?), switch off from social media before bedtime, embark on hobbies that feed your soul in some way, have a bath! – Anything that feels like TLC.
7. “Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start being excited about what could go right.” – Just one of many motivational quotes from @motivational on Twitter. Sometimes a mental pick-me-up on your morning scroll is the energy boost you need for the day.
8. Alternatively, have inspirational quotes delivered daily to your phone (even with a wallpaper option!) via the free Quotes: Daily Inspirations app.
9. Strides app helps users stay motivated and on track via digestible charts and flexible reminders.
10. Transform your New Tab page into a focused, productive and inspiring dashboard with Momentum. Add to Chrome for free!
11. Is your brand identity in somewhat of a rut? Inject some energy into your business with a ‘lick of paint’ on your logo and brand collateral. There are lots of free logo generators available online, which provide a good starting place. Check out our tips on how to create a strong business brand.
12. Canva online graphic design tool. Can’t afford a designer? Don’t let that affect your content. Create social media graphics, logos, presentations, posters, documents and other visual content for free, or pay £8.33 for up to 5 people (yearly plan). Free trial available. Some fantastic templates and colour palettes to draw inspiration from.
13. Pinterest is an image sharing platform and social media service that lets you save and discover images on the internet (as well as GIFs and videos) and allows you to ‘pin’ them onto your ‘pinboards’. It’s a great place to build a base of your favourite inspirational content online.
14. Stay up-to-date of trending stories in your industry, which you can take inspiration from for your content creation. There are a number of free websites available that can do the hard work for you – such as Buzzsumo which gives you the trending content and shows you how well it competes against other content, (free 30-day trial available), while Google Trends displays trending searches in real time.
15. 43 free marketing ideas (and some low-cost ones) courtesy of Informi 😉
16. Seth Godin is one of the most well-known names in marketing today, and his blog is one of the most trafficked on the internet. Here are his top 100 blog posts. Sign up to receive his posts for free directly to your inbox.
17. Fresh out of college, Gary Vaynerchuk took his father’s wine business and grew it from a $3M to a $60M business in just five years. Now, he runs VaynerMedia, one of the world’s best digital agencies. Gary hosts a helpful Q&A called #AskGaryVee, where he answers interesting topics about social media, startups, and entrepreneurship. His other show is #DailyVee, a vlog that follows Gary’s life as a businessman and CEO of VaynerMedia. He also hosts inspirational events, podcasts, writes a blog, makes Instagram videos… the list goes on!
18. Read The Drum online for the latest big marketing, advertising, design and digital news.
19. TED Talks. A list that’s dedicated to inspiring and energising yourself wouldn’t be right without a few nods to TED Talks. The TED app is free to download and features more than 2,000 TED Talks from remarkable people, designed to help inspire, motivate and teach those who want to learn and be inspired. Here’s some of our favourites:
20. Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are – Amy Cuddy is a professor at Harvard Business School, where she studies how non-verbal behaviour affects people. Although almost a decade old, her infamous TED Talk teaches how to ‘power pose’, which influences how others see you and how you see yourself.
21. Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts – Extroverts do not have all the power in the world of business. Cain is a former corporate lawyer and self-proclaimed introvert who believes in empowering the quiet and thoughtful instead of wasting the talent they offer. Whether you’re an introvert or work with people who are – this is a must-watch for bringing out your / their best to boost the energy levels behind your business.
22. How to Succeed? Get More Sleep – According to Arianna Huffington, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post. It’s time to start sleeping your way into smart decisions and productivity.
23. Brené Brown: The Power of Vulnerability – Really connecting with one another can be a challenge – and even more so when we’re connecting online. This TED Talk provides a kit of new communication tools that will impact your business for the better.
24. Staying on the subject of Brené, her Unlocking Us podcast series explores many themes including courage, creativity and trust.
25. Tap into insight from both experts and amateurs by joining Facebook groups that are relevant to your industry / niche. For example, members of Woodworking UK support each other with queries, while also posting photos of their recent makes, inspiring the community at the same time. A great way to network, too!
26. Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead book by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Meta Platforms and one of Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women in Business.
27. LinkedInformed Podcast by “Mr LinkedIn’ Mark Williams, who has been a LinkedIn trainer since 2008. His popular podcast covers specific topics to inform and inspire LinkedIn users, while also looking at wider topics such as predictions for 2022.
28. LinkedIn Learning offers over 17,400 courses and Learning Paths, from time management to personal effectiveness. A one-month free trial is available.
29. Facebook provides free tools for your small business, from increasing awareness online to connecting with your customers.
30. Download Informi’s Digital Marketing On A Budget ebook for free, which identifies what we think are the most effective digital marketing tactics from the quick-wins to the long-term strategies.
31. AAT Comment is a great finance blog by the Association of Accounting Technicians.
32. The Marketing Meetup runs online events and webinars for marketers. Subscribe to its newsletter, which ‘makes you a better marketer’, while connecting with other marketers within its community.
33. The Squiggly Careers podcast helps its listeners ‘be their best at work’, covering topics such as time and distraction downfalls and building up your self belief.
34. The Prince’s Trust helps young 18 to 30-year-old entrepreneurs living in the UK turn their ideas into a business reality with training, funding and mentoring support via its Enterprise Programme.
35. Gov.uk has a helpful section designed specifically for growing your business.
36. Nothing beats a good case study to draw inspiration from. The Marketing Examples website and newsletter collates real-world examples of advertising, web design, copywriting and much much more into short snappy visual nuggets of inspiration.
37. Business Insider has a great YouTube channel and we’re particularly fond of the Rise and Fall series which tell the cautionary tales of brands such as Blackberry, TGI Fridays and Blockbuster.
38. Need help working out how much tax you’re going to pay? OK, not exactly an inspiring topic but getting clued up is only going to help you. Check out Informi’s self-employed tax calculator, limited company tax calculator and dividend tax calculator.
39. Over 40 million people have watched Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address in which he urges graduates to pursue their dreams and see the opportunities in life’s setbacks.
40. You’d be forgiven for thinking Dragon’s Den has had its day. But with the addition of Steven Bartlett, co-founder of Social Chain, the show has got its bite back. As much as anything, you’ll find plenty of examples how to perfect your business pitch… or not.
42. Wondery’s Business Wars podcast looks at the heated competition between the big players of the business world. Hear the tales of Burger King and McDonald’s fighting it out over breakfast, the Pepsi Challenge spooking Coca-Cola and the time Napster nearly took down the record industry.