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Bettie Goes Solo: 6 Ways To Get Inspired Without A Single Motivational Quote In Sight

It’s late January. The nights are still dark and the days are still bloody cold. The festivities of Christmas and New Year are well and truly over and it’s been raining solid for what seems like about five years. What a wonderful time to be alive.

I feel bad for January – it’s the Monday of months. Almost everyone is either counting calories, pretending they’re getting their monies worth with that brand-new gym membership or god forbid are taking part in Veganuary. Yeah, cause that’s a thing now. There’s lack of alcohol, sunshine, and general merriment. It’s all gone. So how does anyone get inspired this time of year?

Normally when people start talking about what inspires them, I feel an eye-roll coming on. As I can almost guarantee someone is going to use the word ‘passionate’ and this makes my skin just about crawl right off my body. But when I had a long old think about what it was that inspires me, I actually came up with a pretty good list.

When I was working in the city, my boss used to host sessions in our team meeting that were all about inspiration. We’d each have to come up with an idea based around a brief for a marketing campaign. We’d do this in the hope of not only winning the admiration of the rest of our team, but often a much-coveted prize purchased at Costco. And while the session was frequently pre-empted with a quiet panic taking over the team a few hours before the meeting, it was most definitely where some of our most impactful marketing campaigns were born.

So even if the thought of inspiration might give me a bit of the heebie-jeebies, it’s actually a really important part of keeping things fresh in your business and really stretching the creative part of your brain.

With that in mind, here’s my list of where to go when you’re looking to get inspired.

 

Pinterest: an obvious source of inspiration, even when you’re not planning a wedding

 

Pinterest: an obvious source of inspiration, even when you’re not planning a wedding

I’ve always been a really visual person. I prefer Instagram over Twitter, and can’t even entertain a cookbook that doesn’t have pictures. If this rings true with you, then Pinterest is ideal.

When I was planning my wedding, I spent the best part of 23 hours a day on Pinterest. A few months ago, I mentioned Pinterest to a newly engaged friend of mine. When she said she’d never used it, I had to recommend it with a fairly serious caution. It’s like a digital rabbit hole that will lead to you looking up and realising it’s 1am and you’ve lost the last three hours of your life.

Beyond wedding planning though, Pinterest is still my go-to inspiration site. But you need to use it with a very specific idea in mind. It’ll often be more useful in helping you to execute an idea once you have the bare bones, rather than just going in blind. Think of it as the Google of Inspiration, with nicely curated lists and profiles that you can follow.

If you’re a Pinterest First timer, here are some quick steps to get the most from the platform.

  1. Find some accounts to follow to get your feed populated with some content. If you’re foodie looking for inspiration, here’s a couple of accounts: Poppy Talk, Fake Ginger, and Damn Delicious.
  2. Once you’ve chosen an area or two that you want to concentrate on, your feed will start filling up with a bunch of content for you to browse. Keep clicking on the Pinterest Icon in the top left of the page to refresh your feed with the latest and most popular content.
  3. The best feature of Pinterest is its predictive search. I use it all the time to get a more specific search result. Start typing your chosen area and it’ll come up with some more detailed search terms, profiles and boards that you can look at to get the content you’re after.

 

 

The Pool: the website for women who are too busy to browse

 

The Pool: the website for women who are too busy to browse

I love love love this website. Not only does it cut out all the click bait that you’ll find on other sites, but its content curation is second to none. They send a daily email that gives you five or six really quick snippets of information about new content, that nine times out of ten I want to click on. The way the site is set up, you can often be guided into reading content that you didn’t even know you were interested in and learn something new.

They also have an excellent section called ‘People’ where you can watch videos and read stories of truly inspiring people (usually women). Some of them famous, some of them not so much. Well worth a lunch hour browse.

In navigating the site you’ll notice that they’ve grouped all they content to guide you to where you need to be. Each of the articles it gives an indication of how long it will take you to get through it – love that.

Some areas of note:

  • Pool Pioneers
    A collection of interviews with pioneering people that are making big changes in their respective industries.
  • Breathing Space
    Articles covering everything from keeping a journal to dealing with anxiety.

When I was working in the city, my boss used to host sessions in our team meeting that were all about inspiration. We’d each have to come up with an idea based around a brief for a marketing campaign. We’d do this in the hope of not only winning the admiration of the rest of our team, but often a much-coveted prize purchased at Costco. And while the session was frequently pre-empted with a quiet panic taking over the team a few hours before the meeting, it was most definitely where some of our most impactful marketing campaigns were born.

In the words of Ferris Bueller: Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it

 

In the words of Ferris Bueller: Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it

Before you head to Google and type in “Where to find inspiration” and try to filter through the 14,998,654 results, have a look around you. The people that you surround yourself with, whether friends, family or colleagues are a rich source of inspiration. Not just in a business sense, but from a personal perspective too. 

I’m lucky that I’ve come from a family that is oozing with inspiring humans. My Dad is the hardest grafter I’ve ever met and my Mum has dedicated the last 30 years of her life to volunteering for Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities. Feeling the pressure to live up to their achievements in life can be a little overwhelming, to say the least, but that’s probably a story for an entirely separate blog post. 

One of the most inspiring people in my life is my Sister Cass. She’s a mum of three, small business owner and one of those weird superhumans that get up before the sun to do a Spin class on a Monday morning. Strange, I know. She’s the very definition of the word Hustle. She owns an Aussie Frozen Yoghurt brand, Twisted Yoghurt, that she built from the ground up. In moments that others might have used as an excuse to quit, she’s slayed harder than ever to build a business that is going from strength to strength. So, whenever I need inspiration or business advice, there’s plenty 10,500 miles away on the other side of the planet. 

Next time you’re aimlessly searching for a motivational quote on Instagram, take a minute to look up from your phone. See the people around you and why you’ve chosen for them to be in your life. Each one of them will inspire you in one way or another and the more you can learn from them, the better you’ll become at this whole being a good person malarkey.  

 

 

Nice to see you, to see you nice

 

Nice to see you, to see you nice

OK totally random headline, but it works nicely with this next source of online inspiration It’s Nice That… see what I did there? 

Although a site that’s aimed primarily at those in the creative industry, there’s a wealth of inspiration in this content crammed site. They’re mainly design-led news articles and agency campaigns, but they give great insight into how the creative process works. There’s also some in-depth interviews on interesting topics like the future of the creative industry and how new technology will affect design. 

Might be a little fluffy for some, but I like a good snoop around this site when my creative juice is running low. 

 

 

 

Indie Retail Academy - emails you actually look forward to reading

 

Emails you actually look forward to reading? No, never…  

One of my favourite ever blog writers is Clare Yuille from Indie Retail Academy. She’s the blog writer that feels like your best mate, who will tell you how it is while making sure you have a few laughs along the way. I actually look forward to getting her emails each week. Which is more than I can say for the Burton emails I get every, single morning because I once bought my Husband a pair of work trousers on sale about three years ago.  

When you read Clare’s blog it’s like she’s inside your head thinking your thoughts. She is absolutely my go-to blog when I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with this whole running your own business shenanigans. 

Her site covers everything from 

I can almost guarantee that you’ll have one of those ‘That’s totally me’ moments when reading Clare’s content. Get your email address on that mailing list. You won’t regret it. 

 

 

 

Alexa, play BBC Radio 6 Music…

Every morning, the minute I wave goodbye to the other half these words come out of my mouth. Now yes, you may be thinking “Alexa? Really Andy?… get a grip” but then you’re missing the point I’m trying to make as I sit here surrounded with an unnecessary amount of technology in my front room. What I’m trying to convey is how inspiring the good old-fashioned radio can be. 

Ever since I’ve been working from home I have the radio on all day long. And it’s such a great way to passively soak up a little extra inspiration. While you’re busy building your empire, having a little educational background noise can be a great thing. My noise of choice comes in the form of BBC 6 Music, which mixes a bit of laughter in the morning with broadening my music education throughout the rest of the day. 

They also have great interviews with musicians, critics and your everyday music lover that can inspire a discovery of a new band, or rediscover the love you had for an old classic. I’ve often found cause to dust off a bit of Jeff Buckley after hearing Grace on the morning show. It takes me back to my university days where inspiration mainly came in the form of how to avoid total malnourishment while living on a diet consisting of beer and Super Noodles. I digress. 

Next time you’re in your workspace, ditch the Youtube mixes in favour of a little bit of wireless. 

 

Give me a break

My final little bit of advice is to give yourself a little break every now and again. We have a dog, he’s well cute (see my Instagram for photographic evidence of this). Every day I take him for a walk right in the middle of my work day. It gives me a chance to take a breath, stop worrying about the little things and reset my brain to have a more productive afternoon. 

Inspiration can often come in the form of just doing nothing. Stop thinking about those invoices that you need to pay for half an hour. Shake off that tetchy email conversation you just had with a difficult supplier. Just stop and get outside for a wander about. While I highly recommend a four-legged companion for rambling through your neighbourhood, there’s nothing to stop you from just going by yourself. 

And while you’re out, you never know what sort of inspiration you might come across. Here was my view yesterday on my walk, that I snapped a seriously-on-point-Instagram-story-worthy photo of once I got home. 

 

 

Andy is the owner of Bettie Confetti, a snarky greeting cards line available at Not On The High Street, Etsy and select independent retailers in the UK. 

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