This year, my company, the urban element, celebrates 10 years of business. As I look back at all we have accomplished, I am also looking forward and wondering… what next?

I find this is a common mentality for many entrepreneurs. The wheels are constantly spinning and as visionaries we’re primed to keep things moving forward. However, at different stages in a business cycle, entrepreneurs are often left asking “where do we go from here?”

Tapping into new inspiration in your business can be a constant challenge.

Early in my professional career I read a book called the E-Myth, by Michael E. Gerber.

The E-Myth is:

  1. The myth that most people who start businesses are entrepreneurs.
  2. The fatal assumption that an individual who understands the technical work of business can successfully run a business that does technical work.

The biggest takeaway for me was: “work on your business, instead of working in it.”

It took me almost 6 years to put this practice into action. Now that I am no longer a technical “doer” in my company, people are curious how I tap into new inspiration to keep moving forward and growing – how do I maximize my own potential?

I can relate my experience back to three main areas that have helped me grow both professionally and personally:

  1. Adopt the Hustle Mentality (#hustlementality)
    The hustle mentality is a commitment to get ahead no matter what – never give up, even when faced with insurmountable challenges. A hustle mentality takes resourcefulness, creativity, and finding new ways to find success. Hustle is persistence! And it may mean something different to everyone, in how you “hustle” in your own business. Hustle for me meant overcoming the economic challenges of the recession in 2008 – and being a business survivor.
  2. Be a Lifelong Learner (#lifelonglearner)
    I have a natural curiosity for all things food given the industry I work in. Recently I have put a personal development plan in place alongside my business plan, and started pursuing avenues that connect back to my industry to help push me in new creative directions.

    Being a lifelong learner is stimulating. Treat your brain like a muscle – exercise it! Put it to use. Lifelong learning means never stop growing and allow learning experiences to maximize your potential. This can be done in the way of participating in workshops, attending conferences, reading books, engaging in webinars, networking with others  (and especially outside of your technical field), as well as embracing teaching opportunities and speaking engagements. Also, it includes good listening, and having an awareness around you.

  3. Become a Mentor (#mentor)
    This is a big one for me. I had an opportunity to be a mentor to an aspiring young entrepreneur through a mentoring program offered with WBN and Telfer Business School. Spending time with this inquisitive and dynamic woman gave me a new appreciation of just how much we have to learn from one another despite years of experience, different career paths and varying backgrounds.

    And although I was lending my support and expertise to her, what happened in a short period of time – through our in-depth and thought-provoking conversations – I had newfound clarity on issues that I had been struggling with in my own business. This creative young woman who was just starting out in business, had such an interesting and fresh take on the world and it inspired me to look at my business in a whole new light. It was quite the profound experience for me.

    So, take the time – and make the time- to reach out to someone and be a mentor. You won’t regret it!

I hope I’ve left you with some “food for thought.” Best of luck to you all as you find new ways to tap into your greatest potential. I’m rooting for you!