Where do you find your inspiration?

As I write this I’m on a train to Montreal–watching the passing shadows of trees framed by a glistening canvas of white. Sometimes it doesn’t take much effort to see things in a new way. Just a little change and BAM–the specific challenge you were facing with your business can seem rather like an interesting puzzle that brings you closer to your vision.

Entrepreneurs thrive on change, yet it would be nice to recognize when you’re wanting change for change’s sake versus when it can make a real difference in your business. Yet often you can’t know this until you try something new, then another thing and another thing. You might go back to the original thing you had or decide that the change you made was moving in the right direction.

I often look for inspiration for my business from art. On this trip to Montreal I’m hoping to catch Peter Doig’s new show called No Foreign Lands at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. I read a recent Globe and Mail article about him and discovered that he has similar issues with his painting as I do with growing my business.

“I’m looking at the paintings for solutions for what I’m making now, for tips, really, for what I can resolve,” says Doig. “Because, as is the case with many of the paintings you see here, they’re started and then they’re left and I get stuck and I go back to them. If I know it’s a completely useless effort, I’ll paint over it. Generally, though, there’s something there I’ll want to keep going and then I’ll find a way, usually by working on another painting, or looking at someone else’s painting.”

It’s nice to know that one of the most talked about artists whose works sell in the millions also experiences false starts, and times when he needs to go back and redo a painting; times when he comes unstuck from looking at someone else’s work.

So what makes you become unstuck when you have a business challenge you’re grappling with? And where do you find your inspiration to move forward–no matter what?


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