When was the last time you felt inspired? Really. Take a second to recall a time. I’ll wait. Maybe it was a book, a movie, someone you follow online, a news story, a brand, or a nonprofit?
Being inspiring is a pillar to getting people on board with your message or idea, and so I’ve been thinking about how one does it -be inspiring. I thought it would be helpful to reverse engineer the process.
My source? My “personal trainer” on YouTube, GrowingAnnanas. This might sound like an unlikely place to find ideas to get traction for your vision, but we often find the best ideas in sectors and places unrelated to our work.
I found Anna one day this past June when I desperately needed a home workout solution for my strength training. Last September, we had moved 30 minutes outside of town, and driving thirty minutes to my gym wasn’t working. I tried the self-motivation option, but I couldn’t make the habit stick; thus, my search in desperation for a quick home workout and Anna saved the day. Anna shoots her workout videos with beautiful calming backgrounds and attention to detail. Her music is always on point, the graphics on the video perfectly queue up the next activity.
Also? She is so fit; I’m like, I want that body. Her workouts are fun and upbeat, and I look forward to doing them every single morning. It’s a great way to start my day. Plus! She does weekly plans, and you can choose between weights, no weights, and low impact, so if I’m traveling, I can do the no-weights. If my body isn’t feeling it, I can do low impact.
She ends every video with a text graphic that says “YOU SMASHED IT” and some other encouraging message and high fives the camera and ends with a black screen.
I feel like I know her. She addresses us by, “team” and we are Team Grow. “Hey, team,” she’ll ask, “are you team recovery or team active today?” Inspired to know more about her, I followed her on Insta, and she shares tips on nutrition and her day today, but she is always upbeat and smiling.
And I find her inspiring.
So let’s break down where inspiration comes from. Inspiration means you are not only aware of something; you actually do something about it.
In her recent newsletter, friend Rebecca Sutherns said, “Knowing does not reap the benefits of doing.” Knowing is not enough. There has to be action. We work hard to get people to notice us and our message, but it doesn’t matter until we get them to do something.
Using Anna as a case study, let’s figure out how inspiration works.
She has designed an experience for me that is accessible and enjoyable. What does it mean for you? Have you created an accessible experience for your staff, your donors, and the people who are watching you, the people you help? Are you looking at the details? What can you do to shift the focus onto them instead of you? Now, I understand you’re not always going to provide an “enjoyable” experience, especially if your work is in trauma and violence. But, consider how easy it is to find you (when someone has a problem you solve), get to know who you are, and follow along to learn more? People want ease – if they have to work too hard to figure it out or “make a habit of you,” it won’t happen. (Like me driving 30 minutes each way for a workout)
Team Grow is a community. Anna said when she shoots her workout videos, she imagines she is working out with us. She speaks to us as a team and creates a sense of community. I don’t know the others on our team. I have never met Anna. I feel part of something. People want to belong to something.
Aspiration. I want to be fit like Anna. She is the aspiration in this case. I do what she does and feel like I can get there.
People want to feel hope and that it’s achievable. Are you making your idea of change achievable and giving people hope? Are you showing them a world of possibility when they get involved with you?
Accessibility, Belonging, Aspiration
But remember this: Everything is subjective. What some think is achievable and accessible, others won’t. Some won’t like her music and video sets. They’ll find another workout guru. Some won’t care about your thing. They care about another thing.
That’s OK. Find your community and make it achievable and hopeful for the people who do or will care.
I’d love to do know your source of inspiration. Anything to add to accessibility, belonging, aspiration?
Take care out there,
Some ways I may be able to help you and your team:
Need Guidance And Accountability? Take a big leap: I advise purpose-driven individuals who want to make a big change, level up their career, start a new chapter, or launch a thing. I still have a few spaces available in October for my Take a Big Leap Advisory program. Respond here, and we can schedule a time to discuss.
Help Non-Profit Team Members Level Up their Storytelling. In this three-part series, I can work with your team to help you elevate your organization’s communications and storytelling skills. Want more details? Respond here to schedule a time to talk.
Digital Transformation. Need to bring your work online? I’m here to help. Contact me for details.
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