Out of Ideas? 8 Great Places to Find Inspiration on the Internet

December 21, 2014

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If you're a designer or work in some creative capacity and are looking for visual inspiration, there are thousands of websites and resources for where you can find creative inspiration online -- design round-ups, listicles, and so on.

... But what if you're looking for inspiration applicable to your daily work life? Here are some places where you can find real inspiration that'll help get you excited to go to work on days when you don’t even want to get out of bed. (Hey, we’ve all been there). 

1) Reddit & Specialized SubReddits

Reddit isn't just for cat pictures, food posts, and inside jokes -- although you'll find a lot of that on their home page. When you look past that, you'll find the site hosts a wealth of entrepreneurial- and inspiration-focused "subreddits." (Click here to search subreddits for topics that interest you.) There are some great social media marketing, advertising, SEO, SEM, and online marketing communities in there, along with more general groups like the "Get motivated!" subreddit. Sometimes the best way to sort through the issues you face on a daily basis is by reading posts by and talking with groups of like-minded people who are dealing with the same stuff.

2) TED Talks

It's somewhat of a cliché to refer people to TED for ideas and inspiration for new concepts, but all clichés are rooted in truth on some level. Looking through the classic TED videos can be a good way to learn about body language, presentation styles, and other ways that you can improve your skills as an agency account person.

3) The Oatmeal

While the internet memes and insider references can be irritating at best (and downright weird at worst), there is no denying how funny it is. The site will give you an opportunity to laugh at the absurdities of work life -- and, hopefully, motivate you to get back to your task list.

4) Tim Ferriss

The "Four Hour Work Week" might be a dream for most account executives and anyone in a similar position, but the content of Tim Ferriss’s books, podcasts, and the site itself are applicable for people in a variety of professions.

5) Chris Guillebeau

Guillebeau is known for leading the charge for people who wish to lead unconventional lives, which he discusses on his website, "The Art of Non-Conformity." And whether or not you're into the non-conformity thing, his writing could be the wake-up call that inspires you to make a change for the better. After all, anything that provokes you to improve yours and your clients’ lives is a good thing.

6) Meet Advisors

Never underestimate the value of a good mentor who cares about your success. Meet Advisors is a great way to connect with people you may not otherwise run into. Talking with professionals who have experience successfully dealing with challenging issues can be one of the smartest things you do when you feel like you’re stuck.

7) Gaping Void

Hugh McLeod’s site has become a modern classic. The cartoons and artwork are inspiring on their own, of course, but his words might be more valuable. Sign up for the daily or weekly emails for a regularly scheduled, figurative kick in the butt.

8) Your Own Netflix Queue

There is an astonishing amount of good stuff on Netflix, so perhaps the next time you feel like you need a spark of inspiration, check out the suggested documentaries. Even the ones that aren't directly related to advertising or marketing can be relevant and inspiring through the lens of admiring people dedicated to their craft. (I know, this isn’t technically an online resource -- but with the ubiquity of Netflix Instant on every device possible, it might as well be.)

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