24
Mar

How to Maintain Motivation

When you first started your business, it was probably a roller coaster of ups and downs…good, bad, terrible and bad again. Honestly, it can feel crazy–we know. But it can also give that adrenaline rush that makes you so productive, and it’s new. The whole process is challenging and exhausting, but also exciting!

You most likely sailed through all of this due to your adrenaline pumping; due to the novelty, and due to your determination that your work would produce profitable results. However, once your business was up and running and on track for steady profitability, you may have found your motivation and drive fading away.

Why is it that once we “get the ball rolling”–I.E. the money is coming in–that we become bored, less than passionate, stale?  While you have the money, more than money needs to be in place to keep up your love of the work.

Here are some ways to get your motivation up and running:

People

You probably talked to many advisers, peers and industry experts when you were in the dreamy early phase of setting up your company. If you’re like most business founders, you got busy and stopped having the time to interact with these early influencers. Those who have been down the path you are on are not only invaluable for  their wisdom gained through experience but also their encouragement.  They are a shoulder to lean on, a friend who gets the crap you’re going through and stream of new perspective and ideas.

Clarity

If you don’t come up for air you will sink. Stop and really assess how you are spending your work time.  Identify or ask for help identifying time saps; tasks you can delegate and activities you can drop — even if it’s only one. And make sure not to jump on other new difficult tasks that could be delegated. Instead look for creative outlets. Studies find that having a creative outlet is correlated to boosted work performance.

Pacing

If you’re too tired to think, too booked to enjoy, money alone is not going to do much for you.  Delegate, drop, or streamline any process, system, to-do list, task etc that is in your power to simplify. If you need help doing so, get it.

We recommend outsourcing processes that do not need your direct involvement–this can also save cash as it can be less expensive than hiring an employee. Other time savers you can include are using Amazon for your product fulfillment, signing up for automated book – keeping or getting a virtual assistant.  Note that it is the tedious, repetitive tasks that are ideally delegated or outsourced; you do not want to hand over the reins of your business to someone else.

Celebration

Remember when you first started how every achievement called for a celebration? Acknowledging and getting excited about what you accomplish revs you up to produce more and better.  Take larger goals for your business and break them down into smaller daily or weekly tasks that you can and will actually do. Then, as you complete them, acknowledge that you are making progress and enjoy that– maybe even throw a party.

Newness

Day in day out same-o same-o.  Bored to death? Any innovation in your business can bring back the same zeal and enthusiasm you had when you first started out.  It is your business– go for it!  Try a new product line, shake things up a bit. Have fun! Why not go one step further and identify a new niche? If you have a clothing business, try including fashion accessories. If you have web design firm, you may want to branch out into social media management.

The Clincher: Take Responsibility for Your Experience

Treat yourself as an employee

Employees have a pay check to look forward to, they are also expected to work for the hours originally agreed upon and are often compensated for over time. While being a business owner does not always allow the same perks, it is your job to set in place rewards and boundaries for yourself.

Cultivate Joy!

Take some time and engage in the components of your company that actually interest you: Hang with your team or even your customers.  Test a trending marketing tactic.  Vamp up one of your products. Take time to remember why you started in the first place and remember how far you have come.  Most importantly take some time for yourself.  Pick up that hobby you dropped, do something crazy.  Catch up on sleep– chill.  Tending ourselves recharges us and goes a long way in producing momentum and results in our companies.
Yes, maintaining your books and going through employee performance reports is important. However, doing nothing but the daily grind is sure to leave you disinterested– just like in a relationship. Want your engine to rev? Take the time to fuel up.

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