Five places you can look for inspiration when you’re a female business owner

Are you struggling for ideas, energy and motivation? Here are five places you can look for inspiration when you’re a female business owner.

I am Daria Leshchenko, and I am a founder, a partner and a CEO at SupportYourApp, a company that provides outsourced customer support for tech companies.

I have been working in the industry for 10 years, and the journey hasn’t always been easy or smooth. Sometimes keeping track of what was going on around me was really hard. But, no matter how hard it got, I kept on working and looking for inspiration. 

Five places you can find inspiration

Over the years, I realised that, whenever I was down, there were some key places I was able to find inspiration – and the energy to carry on.

And, remembering that ‘sharing is caring’, I decided to help other successful women entrepreneurs around the world find some new and exciting ways to inspire themselves by sharing my five go-to places. Here they are.

1) Your competition

Following the competition is not only a perfect way to spot and follow the trends in your industry, but also to see what other successful people are getting inspired by, especially successful businesswomen.

Just don’t get sucked into comparisonitis. It’s one thing looking to your competitors for inspiration and ideas (and even motivation) but don’t allow yourself to waste time and energy worrying that someone else is more successful or better than you.

2) The future

Where do you want to be in one year’s time? Three years? What about five? Knowing where we want to get to – and having a really clear vision of what that looks and feels like – can be a rich source of inspiration.

Think of it as embarking on a journey… having a destination in mind lets you plan the route. Without knowing where you want to get to, you risk running around in circles going nowhere fast.

3) Your hobbies

One of the most obvious places to find inspiration while being a female entrepreneur is your hobby. Whether your passion is embroidering, spelunking, yoga, wind surfing, reading… anything that fires you up and gives you mental space away from work will help inspire you.

Sometimes you’ll come up with ideas directly through pursuing your hobby. Other times the time and mental distance from work will free your mind to come up with creative solutions to tricky problems.

2) Slowing down

For very similar reasons, just slowing down can help open up your mind and inspiration. Often we’re so busy rushing between work and other commitments that we don’t have time to smell the roses – literally!

Taking the time to slow down and notice the world around us can give our mind space, and creativity room to flourish. It also re-energises us and stops us getting beaten down by life and responsibility. If you struggle to slow down, try this easy mindfulness exercise.

5) Yourself

Yes that’s correct – the best place to look for inspiration is within yourself. What excites you? What do you dream of doing or being? What are you good at? What do you find easy? When does time fly for you?

When you tap into what makes you tick and focus on that, you’ll be the very best version of yourself. You’ll love what you do and will have more to give it. So take the time to really get to know ‘you’ and stay true to your passions.

Don’t know what you tick? The Talented Ladies Club Career Audit uses psychological questions and exercises to uncover your skills and passions, and help you discover what you’re good at doing, what you love doing, and set yourself achievable tasks to help you find a direction, business idea or job that is perfectly ‘you’.

Where do I find inspiration as a CEO?

As CEO of my own business, here’s where I also personally find inspiration.

1) The people around me

The people who surround me are a source of endless inspiration. I love meeting and talking to new people to get a new perspective on the world, and discover different experiences and viewpoints.

The more I learn about other people and the world, the more I can ensure that I, as a business owner, are adequately serving my customers and my own employees. By understanding people I can come up with more creative solutions, and it inspires me to be better – both as a person, an employer and a business owner.

2) The books I read

When we were children, reading didn’t seem exciting to me. But as I’ve got older, I have learned to love losing myself in books. Fiction develops our imagination and teaches us lessons, while business books give us the sources and knowledge necessary to be successful and to develop new skills. 

For example, a recent book that inspired me was No B.S. Ruthless Management of People and Profits by Dan Kennedy. We read it together with SupportYourApp management board within the scopes of our monthly company book club.

This book showed me what a really efficient manager should behave like, and inspired me to be better. As a female entrepreneur, it is always interesting to find the new ways to become more and more efficient, even when you think that no more efficiency is possible. 

3) The responsibility

My company will celebrate its 10th anniversary in September 2020. Over this past decade, our team has grown from one person to almost 600.

Now that is a lot of responsibility! And some might have found it too heavy to handle, but not me. Being responsible for so many people inspires me to be better and to grow more, as I see their potential and their perspectives within SupportYourApp. 

Successful female entrepreneurs never stop looking for inspiration

I hope you have found my experience and advice helpful. And please know that, even though sometimes it seems that there you have no more energy or resources to forward, there is always inspiration if you look for it. And with inspiration always comes renewed energy, hope and ideas.

Being able to find inspiration even when it seems impossible is what will ultimately push you forward and bring you success. So as a female entrepreneur, please never stop looking for inspiration.