Bright sparks list: 5 sources of business inspiration

I’m often asked what I use to keep on track in my business, how I stay productive when it’s really just me running this joint or asked for advice on great business books and blogs. I share loads of great articles with my Twitter peeps daily – I love to learn from others and get recommendations of great stuff – just like you do.

So, it’s time to share some of the tools and resources I’m using in my business with you here. The stuff that’s keeping me motivated, helping me plan and inspiring me this month and right now.

1. Anything You Want: 40 lessons for a new kind of entrepreneur

Anything You Want - Derek SiversWhen someone I admire recommends a book, I listen. I download it to my Kindle immediately (or save to my wishlist depending on how many books I’ve got backed up). That way I’m never left wondering what to read next…

Anything You Want by Derek Sivers was one of those recommendations courtesy of a conversation (a teleseminar to be exact) between Tara Gentile and Brigitte Lyons.

I read this book in 90 minutes one night curled up in bed. It’s Derek’s story of building – a business he started by accident and sold for $22 million 10 years later. Derek openly shares the good, the bad, why he chose his OWN path; following his heart + common sense rather than conventional business advice. He got it right (most of the time) and the lessons he shares about his experiences are golden. I won’t say any more other than: read it.

“Even if you want to be big someday, remember that you never need to act like a big boring company”

More on Anything You Want here


2. Prinstagram desk calendar

Prinstagram desk calendarIf, like me you forget what day it is at least 5 times a day and you use Instragram (the camera and photo app for smartphones) then you’ll LOVE this desk calendar.

Practical and fun, every day my personalised block calendar reveals a photo taken by me. Magically printed on the perfect weight card with a date and bound together so I never forget what day it is. Each one a cherished memory. And when the day is done I tear it off, pin it to my board, use for a must-keep note or send to a friend with a love message. Aaaah.

Visit Prinstagram here to see their range of products.

3. The Desire Map ~ Danielle LaPorte

The Desire Map - Danielle LaPorteFor 2013 I turned my goal-setting INSIDE OUT using Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map.

The Desire Map is a delicious multimedia program to help you identify your core desired feelings. A combo of downloadable e-book; worksheets for scrawling on; audio book (this is my favourite. Danielle has the most soothingly hypnotic voice, eva!); a series of audio contemplations to start your day off right; music playlists for working and dancing to; an app; a Facebook community and 12 weeks of emailed inspiration to help you make desire-mapping a true practice. Plus…PLUS…a PRINTED book and workbook.

Not just for business goal setting, The Desire Map takes every aspect of your life into account.

“Because knowing how you actually want to feel is the most powerfully creative thing you can do with your life…”

Soooo much more here (affiliate link)

4. Seize The Year 2013 wall planner

Seize The Year wall plannerI’ve never owned a wall planner despite being BIG on planning and strategies, until now…

This month I’ve realised just how gratifying, motivating and incredibly valuable seeing my year mapped out in front of me is. It’s got me wondering how I ever live without one.

Luckily for me I found one that I enjoy looking at (have you noticed that most wall planners are really uninspiring?) – the name gave it away: ‘Seize The Year’ and that’s precisely what I plan to do. Having this boldly printed on the top is a useful reminder when I’m feeling overwhelmed.

It’s got big blocks to write in each day and the months flow from one to the next just like in real life! The weeks aren’t cut off midway just because the month has ended so you get a more realistic picture of timescales.

My handy husband mounted my planner on foamboard so it’s more portable and versatile, then I got to it with coloured pens and post it notes.

Seize the year here (there’s still time!), and in Europe, here

5. 31 Must Read Social Media Blog Posts – Social Media Examiner

Social Media Examiner must read blog postsLast on my list of bright sparks for this month wouldn’t be complete without this little mention.

Social Media Examiner’s list of 31 must-read social media blog posts compiled by their writers. This round up article has some really, really fab content. I especially love #2: Content Marketing Manifesto; #10: The Night I Stopped Marketing On Facebook (you’ll love it, trust me); and #18: Did you know you can bookmark your tweets to use as social proof? by meeeeeee!

Read them all here


What about you?

What’s inspiring and motivating you in your work right now? What’s keeping you on track? Share your resource in the comments below…I’d love to know!