If you’re new to running a small business, then you might be finding this whole being in charge thing a lot more challenging than you originally imagined it to be. And if you’ve been running your business for many years now, you may have lost some of the steam you had in the beginning.
Either way, it’s easy to lose motivation when it comes to anything: eating healthier, going to the gym, swapping a bad habit for a new one, and of course, running a business.
The secret is — when you feel like throwing the towel in, just keep going. Staying motivated will give you the light you need in your times of darkness, and keep you optimistic and driving forward on the rainiest of days.
If you lack motivation, it can have a harmful effect on your confidence, which will reduce your chances of succeeding in business. The more motivation you have, the easier you’ll find it to tackle challenges and ambitious goals along the way — and the more goals you reach, the easier it’ll be to set even bigger goals and face those, too.
So, here are our top tips to stay motivated while running your small business.
Re-focus on your WHY.
There’s a reason why you started this business in the first place. What was it?
Remind yourself of your why. Are you doing this to help others? Are you doing this to create a better life for yourself and your family? Are you trying to make a real change in this world?
Whatever it is, write it down, and spend some time returning to this often. It’s that passion and drive that will keep you going when things get tough along the way — which they will.
Research success stories in business.
If you’re looking for a bit of a boost, research some famous success stories from entrepreneurs. These will remind you that nothing in business ever goes smoothly, and there will be hiccups, failures, and disasters along the way.
The key takeaway here is that in spite of all this adversity, these entrepreneurs still managed to succeed, and didn’t allow anything to hold them back from their dream.
Whatever you’re trying to accomplish, there are many others who have walked a similar path to you already, and emerged triumphant.
What can you learn from these stories? What can you take away that’s going to help you with some of your current challenges?
Remember how far you’ve already come.
In business, we often have so many goals and targets we want to hit in the future, that we turn a blind eye to everything we’ve already achieved.
When you feel like you’ve still got a mountain to climb, take some time thinking about everything you’ve done to get to this point, the obstacles you’ve encountered and overcome, and all the success you’ve had along the way — no matter how small or insignificant it seems.
Reminding yourself that you have already succeeded might be just the thing you need to jump over your next hurdle.
Pump yourself up!
There’s an abundance of inspiring books, videos, music, TED talks, podcasts, speeches, films, and documentaries you can devour, and use as a valuable source of inspiration when you need it.
Maybe you create a playlist of some songs that you find particularly motivating, and listen to it each morning before you begin your work. Maybe you allow yourself an evening off each week to watch an inspiring movie. Or maybe you find a great podcast to listen to as your drive to your office.
Find out what motivates and uplifts you most, and infuse your days with more of it.
Set goals, and remind yourself of them.
Having a goal (or set of goals) is a great way to keep yourself motivated in your business. But, if it’s too big, you may not believe you can achieve it, and you might avoid working towards it altogether.
A great way to prevent this from happening is to break down big goals into a series of smaller, manageable ones. Give yourself daily, weekly, and monthly actions to take, that will get you closer towards achieving this big goal. The more things you tick off along the way, the more motivated you’ll be to keep moving.
Mix things up.
Routines can create boredom for some people, which will eventually lead to a loss of motivation — and entrepreneurs are likely candidates for this.
So, if you’re currently bored with what your days look like, and they’re all blurring into one — it’s time to shake things up!
Is there a new, more fun way you can do a routine task? Is there a task you find really tedious, that you can delegate out to someone else, and swap in something that will be more exciting for you? Can you change your working environment a couple days each week?
Remember, you are now your own boss — which is what you always wanted — so make the most of it, and do what you need to do.
Get an accountability partner.
Running your own business can get lonely sometimes, especially if you don’t have anyone to share your highs and lows with who truly understands what you’re going through.
This is where an accountability partner comes in. This might be someone you find at a networking event, or a social media business group, or even a coach you’ve hired.
An accountability partner will be there to encourage, support, and challenge you — which will help you stay motivated along your journey because you don’t want to let them down.
Even if you’ve still got a long way to go in building your business, it’s important to celebrate your achievements along the way.
And guess what?
We’re all TERRIBLY BAD at doing this!
When we mess up, we’ll think about it for days. But when we do a great job, we’ll revel in it for about ten minutes, before moving on to the next task.
It’s important to start rewarding yourself for all your accomplishments, no matter how big or small they are. This will not only feel amazing, but it will also motivate you to continue working and striving towards your bigger goals.
What gets YOU motivated?
At the end of the day, we’re all wired differently, so it’s on you to figure out what gets you pumped up and in the zone.
When you figure this out, you’ll have discovered your personal motivation secret, which will be there for you to call on any time you hit a roadblock.