For years the thing that held me back from writing, or even starting a book, was the idea that I wouldn’t have enough to say. When I would think about writing a book, the first question that always came to mind was “how?” How do you start with nothing and fill pages upon pages with words that someone else would actually want to read? More than the technical details, I truly agonized over how to organize and fill hundreds of pages with well-thought-out content.
Eventually, I did start that book and I learned something about inspiration for content generation that will stick with me for a long time, I hope even forever. I learned that there’s a balance between taking in and pouring out. This shouldn’t have come as a surprise because ever since starting my first company at the age of 25, this idea of balance has come back over and over. Just short of banging me over the head, I’ve come to learn that so much of life is about balance.
For many, balance is a peaceful term — it’s expected and maybe even a little boring. It’s not particularly thought-provoking or controversial. It’s safe. Most people are on board with balance. Balance in life, in diets, in relationships and balance in time. But I’m not a balance type of girl. I’m an all-in, black or white, in it to win it, throw caution to the wind, totally unbalanced by nature type of girl. I don’t measure risk with reward, I follow what I love, what lights me up and I throw everything I have into loving life and enjoying the ride.
I didn’t want balance to be my thing. I wanted extreme to be my thing, but balance would not release me. I write about my journey in my new book, “The Balanced Entrepreneur: A Guide to Creating a Purposeful Life and Living it Unapologetically.” I share about how pursuing balance in everything has been the cornerstone to my entrepreneurial journey for the past decade. It was in writing this book that I came face to face with the balance between consuming content and sharing content that builds and sustains inspiration. Inspiration is not a one-way street. We aren’t simply inspired by what we take in, read, hear and see that lights us up. We’re inspired by what we give as well.
Inspiration is a two-way street. Inspiration is both what we receive and what we offer up. It took me a year to write the book, writing an hour every day at 6:00 a.m. before my girls came plodding down the stairs each morning to start their days. I learned that it was important for me to write, to pour out before I poured in, to create before I consumed.
Consuming content is my lifeline. I chose to write a book because I wanted to give back to the vast community that has given me so much. I’ve learned how to knit, paint, parent, garden, lead, cook, grow, meditate, stay married, organize and even start and grow numerous businesses by reading books. Books teach me, inspire me and push me to become more, do more and give more. Books were my main source of inspiration until I learned that there’s an even greater well that I can dip into anytime, that’s even more accessible than a book on a shelf. That well is me.
That well is you too. We have many of the answers we seek living right inside of us, but too many of us don’t take the time to listen and allow these ideas to flow. Inspiration is a practice and we’re the active participants.
When we look to the outside world for inspiration, we should also look within ourselves. When we build a habit of reading daily, listening to podcasts or audiobooks, watching TED talks or taking a stroll through nature to find inspiration, we should also develop the habit of sharing with others and ourselves.
Inspiration is an action, it’s a choice and it takes balance. When we only consume, we feel full; when we mostly give, we feel drained. It’s when we navigate the delicate balance between consuming and creating that we find the harmonious, inspiring flow that we seek. So, the next time you find yourself craving some inspiration, instead of picking up a book, pick up a pen. Journal and listen to your voice before looking for something or someone to pick you up. I have a hunch you’ll discover what I’ve been blessed to learn: You have so much to give.
Article featured in Women Magazine HERE.
The book, “The Balanced Entrepreneur: A Guide to Creating a Purposeful Life and Living it Unapologetically” is available for purchase through Amazon.