Today I was at the gas station getting gas and it hit me: my first blog post of the 100 day challenge should be fueling my blogging inspiration, just like fueling the tank of my vehicle with gasoline. I find inspiration in all kinds of places that I can share with my clients and fellow spa-goers and owners.
How you fuel your inspiration may vary from the way others find inspiration. For example, right now I’m recording this blog post as I drive along the coastal route of southern Maine on an 80-degree day. I’ll share with you my top tips:
- I do my best thinking in the car when I’m driving; I find my mind is clear and I’m able to let creativity in without any outside interruptions. I travel in the car with my cellphone ringer off so that I do not have the constant interruption of text messages and emails coming through on my iPhone. I also generally drive with the music off so that I’m focused on the road ahead of me and fueling my creativity with the scenery as I drive. I come up with my best ideas while I’m driving and do not hesitate to pull over to take notes. Because just as quickly as the ideas come in, they fade away.
- When I lay my head down to sleep after I’ve had the opportunity to replay any events of the day, I clear my mind for sleep and somehow creativity creeps in and I’m able to solve problems and come up with creative ideas that I wasn’t able to do in the office earlier that day. I recommend keeping a notebook by your bedside. I also recommend putting your cell phone away and not allowing it to disturb any part of your sleep and relaxation when you go to bed.
- I let our world and environment inspire me. I’m fortunate enough to travel to some of the most beautiful places in the world, and specifically in our country. I personally find the ocean inspires me, maybe it inspires you too? I often just sit by the sea with a notepad and a clear mind and let the flood of creativity come over me, jotting down the even craziest of ideas. Sitting on the back porch enjoying a sunset, flying to a faraway place or hiking up to my knees in mud, I find all of these places serve my creativity well.
- I let others inspire me. Many of my most successful ideas for my clients have come from snippets that I hear throughout my travels from spa providers, spa receptionists, a general manager or a pool attendant. I find the ideas that others are unable to cultivate especially spark my creativity. This is rooted in my desire to help them take their ideas further.
- I fuel my creativity by trying to maintain a healthy mind, body and spirit. I exercise regularly, try to eat healthy by eliminating processed foods and sugars from my diet. And I do my best to meditate as often as possible. I find that a rested and healthy mind, body and spirit helps clear the way for my creativity.
- I often feel very creative in nature. I believe wholeheartedly in writing treatment menus and seasonal specials that are indigenous to an area, so I let the natural surroundings of the region that I am in inspire me to create them.
- I believe in farm-to-table dining whenever possible. I let the fresh, delicious food and bounty inspire me when I’m at a restaurant where a chef that has created a seasonal menu utilizing local fruits and vegetables. I let that beautiful meal and the creativity of the chef inspire me. I ask myself what I can take away from the experience and how I can transition some of these ingredients into the spa. I love to incorporate local fruits and vegetables into treatments and the overall treatment experience!
- I let trade publications inspire me. Whether it’s American Spa, Conde Nast Traveler or Organic Spa, I let ideas jump off the pages. What better place to get inspired than where our industry shares its ideas with one another?! (A word of advice for your spa business as related to the latest trends: always be progressive but never trendy! I recommend that you give your clients what they are asking for in a way that maintains your spa’s philosophy, mission and integrity.)
- I also find inspiration at the various trade shows that I’m able to attend, like the ISPA Conference, The International Esthetics, Cosmetics and Spa Conference, Spa Tech, Live Love Spa, and Global Beauty and Wellness Summit. I feed off of the ideas and the energy of the people there to learn and share. And while I may not use a particular brand or recommend the exact treatment I’ve seen at a conference, with some additional thought and creativity, I’m able to tweak a treatment and make it a client’s own, so that they can be unique and stand out in a world of amazing spa opportunities.
We all have the moments and places that fuel our creativity. You probably know many of yours if you think about it for a moment; the times when those sparks are flying, your mind races with ideas and you may even get chill bumps from the excitement of it all. If you don’t give yourself the time to get to this amazing and inspirational place enough, I invite you to rethink why not. It’s the source of the greatest ideas and most successful businesses, and often, of one’s own bliss. If you need a nudge in the right direction, see if any of these sites provide some help:
Ali Brown: “entrepreneurial guru” for women
Elephant Journal: a site dedicated to the mindful life
MindTools: ideas for developing creativity and decision making