As every entrepreneur will tell you, working for yourself is not easy, it’s often extremely demanding, stressful and downright exhausting. It can also be a struggle to maintain your motivation levels considering every hurdle and setback that you may experience. Self-motivation however is a key driver for any business owner. As the saying goes:
“Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others
as what he does from day to day to lead himself.”
Without this inner drive, your business simply cannot succeed. Which is why it’s important to know yourself and to know what best motivates you. Of course, it’s important to acknowledge that everyone is different and what works for one may not do the trick for another. However, let’s explore a few starting points – places to begin when you feel the familiar sluggishness or self-doubt creeping over you.
Revisit and Revise Your Goals
At the beginning of any new venture, we are all determination and gusto, ready to face nearly any challenge! This is also the time when most business owners have created some goals and milestones. These goals are a great way to keep motivated, you have your sights set on a point in the future and now you can work toward it. What we need to remember, is that these goalposts are not forever fixed. Quite often, as you change or your business grows, these goal need to be reviewed and often revised. It may seem obvious to some but many forget that outdated goals have little or no ability to keep you on track, on target and sufficiently motivated. Your goals are a moving target that should be constantly redefined to better match where you are right now and where you want to be.
Reward Yourself and Celebrate Successes
Goals may change but that doesn’t mean you haven’t achieved any milestones. In the frenzy of maintaining a successful business, we may forget to acknowledge how far we have come and what we’ve achieved so far. Make a point of celebrating these moments of achievement any way you like. Taking time to chart your progress, may be just the motivation you need to keep pushing forward.
Take Time out
Most entrepreneurs would agree, this is one of the hardest things to do – taking a well-deserved break. However, it’s also one of the most important. Taking some time to climb off the hamster wheel of your life and look around, can benefit you in a number of ways. Your body and mind are just like machines, they get worn out, they need repair. Unlike machines though, a break from the daily grind with some added rest and relaxation may be just what we need to get back to work even stronger than before. You can use this time to reflect, to meditate to explore something new or just veg-out. Another added benefit – amazing innovators such as Albert Einstein, Brenda Ueland and Steven Spielberg have noted how some of their best and most creative ideas came to them at times when they were not working or focused on work.
You have a million things to do but you have spent the last fifteen doing nothing because you can’t find your phone/car keys/lunch/insert annoying object here. This is something we can all relate to. So much so, that quite recently, a whole industry has developed to help us deal with our disorganised, haphazard lifestyles. Organisation or the lack of it, can affect every area of your life, especially your business. Messy workspaces, disorganised filing, missing appointments, lack of communication – all of these can contribute to your lack of motivation and feelings of helplessness. To guide you toward better structure and more productivity, find online resources like the Home Business Magazines “Get Organized” section. Alternatively read books like “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free Productivity” by David Allen or “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey.
Surround Yourself With Support
It can be rough, the road may seem long or obscure and you might encounter many closed doors along the way. No one should attempt this alone. Develop a support network of people who share your beliefs, your passion or simply can’t wait to see you succeed. When your own motivation falters, it’s great to have others who can remind you why you chose to do this to begin with and why it’s worth carrying on. Colleagues, friends, family, peers, mentors – nurture and cultivate these relationships because they might prove to be your greatest asset.
You are the only one who can make your business dream a reality. Without your commitment and will to succeed, you have no business. Motivation therefore is not just a ‘nice to have’, it’s as essential as any aspect of your business so make sure you take time to maintain and sustain your passion for what you do.
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