At some point in their career, every business owner finds themselves struggling to stay motivated. Every. One.
Now, before I go on, let me say this: That should be encouraging to you!
Because guess what? If you’re struggling to stay motivated, you’re normal! And if owners of successful businesses have all experienced this, then the fact that you do too means you’re one of those successful businesses, so you’re not alone! In fact, it probably means you’ve been working your business – so congratulations on what you’ve already accomplished!
BUT, the question remains: When I find I’m headed towards a slump, how CAN I keep my motivation alive?
Consider this: Motivation is intentional. Meaning, it rarely shows up out of the blue, without warning, and without reason. We cannot simply sit around and wait for true, sustainable motivation to happen upon us!
Folks, this is good news! It means that you have control in this situation! Staying motivated simply requires a little intentional focus and some personal discipline!
We could say we don’t NEED to do something about it – we GET to do something about it – and there is a powerful difference there!
I’ve worked with countless businesses over the years, and here are some tips I’ve seen for how to stay motivated in your business:
1. Revisit Your One Great Goal
Why are you doing what you’re doing? This is the biggest motivator you have! Find your “Why!”
If you haven’t gone through the One Great Goal exercise yet, I HIGHLY encourage you to do so. Finding your One Great Goal provides clarity and focus, and it helps you to cut down on the unnecessary busy work you find yourself doing!
In all the work it takes to run a business, it’s so easy for our focus to fall to the less important details. Our eyes come off our One Great Goal, and we lose ourselves in the day to day, which can ultimately take us off track. Our focus shifts – and not always for the better.
See, when you’re working towards your One Great Goal, you’ll tend to feel energized by the work – not depleted! When you’re putting your energy into something that is not the right fit, it will suck the life out of you! But when you’re putting your energy into something that IS right, it will enhance your energy and your life!
So, if you haven’t done the One Great Goal exercise, do that first. If you have, revisit it. Spend ten minutes writing down (with a pen and paper!) what your One Great Goal is and what you want to accomplish!
You’ll find that you had the motivation in you all along – you just needed to be reminded of what it was!
2. Do Something – Anything!
It’s easier to maintain momentum than to create it! But create it you can – and it takes far less actual effort than you may think to do so!
So, even when you don’t feel like it, do something. Whether it’s reviewing your website, looking through orders, checking your goals, making a call, or scheduling a follow-up, doing one small thing can often times open the door for us to do the next thing, and the next thing, and the next.
And before you know it, you’re moving forward! Momentum can be a powerful motivator!
3. Be Intentional About Taking Breaks
This may sound counterintuitive, but let me explain. Now, if you’re simply exhausted from working so much and you always feel like you need a break, slow down. And for a moment, back up. Usually, when a business owner is beyond exhausted in their work, one of two things is happening:
Either they are taking on all of the responsibilities that the business requires and they NEED to delegate.
And/or, they are working towards the wrong goals! Look back up at #1: Review your One Great Goal. I’m certain that your One Great Goal is not to work yourself into oblivion! Once you know your One Great Goal, examine the way you’ve been spending your time. Do the two align? If you’re exhausted, usually the answer is no!
Now, even when you DO have your One Great Goal and you ARE working towards it, you STILL need to be intentional about giving yourself breaks.
Because you see, often times, our minds work for us best when we allow them to rest and come up with the ideas and solutions without us trying to force them. So being intentional about taking breaks is actually HIGHLY productive for your business!
Once you’ve re-energized by being away, you’ll find that taking up your work again to be much easier. And, when you’re intentional about your breaks, you are also taking another step toward being intentional about your work time.
So, schedule everything – including your breaks. I recommend planning ALL your off time – including vacations – a year at a time.
4. Stay accountable
If you’re running your sales and business all alone, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Everyone – everyone – needs an accountability friend in their life and business that can help during such a time as this. Whether it’s your business partner, your spouse, a parent, or a trusted friend, now is the time to talk to them.
A good accountability person is going to hear you, validate what you’re experiencing, speak truth to you, and help get you back on your feet. They will “speak the truth in love” and they will support you, but they will not do it for you.
Now, if the person you have in your life for “accountability and motivation” will tell you to quit, you need a new person! This is another (crucial!) decision that requires you to be intentional!
So which one do you need to do to help you be intentional about keeping your motivation alive this summer?