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4 ways to stay excited about your job

Julie Smolyansky, CEO and President of Lifeway Foods. Julie Smolyansky, CEO and President of Lifeway Foods.
Julie Smolyansky, CEO and President of Lifeway Foods. Photograph by D Dipasupil — Getty Images

MPW Insider is one of several online communities where the biggest names in business answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for: How do you stay excited about your job? is written by Julie Smolyansky, CEO and President of Lifeway Foods.

In business, we often hear about the importance of climbing the corporate ladder and how managers play a crucial role in motivating their team to do so. But how do you stay motivated about your work day after day, year after year when you’re at the top and there is no one else to give you these pep talks? I have been at the helm of Lifeway for almost 13 years and just like anyone else I have my moments when I feel tired, unmotivated, and just down right bored. Below are a few ways I work to stay inspired on some of my toughest days:

Take a break
When I am in need for inspiration at work I get outside and go for a run. The endorphins and blood flow combine for a motivational and creative boost. Or I throw on a TED talk about creativity, passion or another topic of my choosing and bam…problem solved.

Seek out your competitors
I read business magazines and industry journals to see what other leaders and companies are doing. I then assess my own short-term and long-term goals and try to think of ways I can get closer to reaching them. For my bigger inspirational and creativity needs, I spend time on the trade show floor both domestically and internationally. I usually come back re-committed and boosting with product development ideas. Our newest product, the veggie kefir, was actually inspired by a trip to Germany where I saw a plethora of veggie juices at the world’s largest food show. I thought to myself, how could we combine the love for my mother’s Beet Borsht with our plain kefir? Bottle them together. This led to our first savory kefir line.

Be open to new ideas
Simply being around other passionate people is contagious, regardless of the sector so I try and build in time to attend certain summits and conferences. While it can feel daunting to add these events into an already full calendar, I always come back inspired with lots of new ideas to integrate and new networks to collaborate with on projects.

Never lose sight of passion
I always go back to passion to help me find motivation to get through the toughest times. I reflect back on the mission and purpose of Lifeway Foods. It becomes a lot easier to push through these slumps when you go back to the purpose of your organization beyond hitting financial metrics. I spend time thinking about the customers who’s lives and health have been improved by our products. When you look at the bigger picture it’s always easier to keep on chugging through.

Read all answers to the MPW Insider question: How do you stay excited about your job?

Why being bored at work can be good by Robin Koval, CEO and President at American Legacy Foundation.

How to stay excited about your job? Be your own superhero by Pascale Witz, Executive Vice President of Global Divisions at Sanofi.

Don’t get comfortable by Deanie Elsner, EVP and CMO of Kraft Foods Group.

Never take a job you’re qualified for by Liz Wiseman, President of Wiseman Group.