Running a business can be hard work. There are constant fires to put out, constant changes to workflow practices, and seemingly no end to the day’s tasks. The nonstop monotony can be hard to deal with day in and day out, especially during the early days or slow seasons, when profits are lean and it seems like there are other, more profitable ventures, out there for you. But whatever it is that is sapping your motivation, here are 7 tips to help you stay on task.
Get Organized – By staying organized, it is easier to accomplish the day’s tasks and handle changes as they come. A lack of organization is the quickest way to lose motivation.
Use Your Resources – Whatever it is that is distracting you, find a resource to help combat it. This can be a CPA who can help you see the end of your slow season, a TV or internet block to help eliminate distractions while you are working, or the internet itself to help you find a solution to your issues. Think outside the box and look for help if needed to get back on task and stay motivated.
Have a Support Network – This can be a friend, relative, spouse, support group, or even business partner. Have someone (or, preferably, several people) who can help you when you get distracted or negative. These are not resources, like a CPA, who will help you fix a problem, but instead are sounding boards who will let you brainstorm a solution, or simply listen to your issues and help you stay positive.
Remember the Why – Why did you start this business? Why did you take the risks and work the long hours? Try to remember why you started, and it will motivate you to keep going. If you used to enjoy it, but don’t anymore, find a way to bring the fun back. If you saw a path to financial independence, get back on that path and push through.
Set Goals – These should be both short and long-term goals. Setting short-term goals will help you feel accomplished and will motivate you to hit your next milestone. Long-term goals will remind you of where you are going. The more detailed the goals, the better. And remember to keep your goals SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
Set Aside You Time – Personal time is important. This can be time alone doing a hobby, time with the family, or time out with friends. But getting away from the work for a while and enjoying yourself can put everything back in perspective.
Reward Victories – Did you finally land that client you’ve been chasing for six months? Did you launch a new product? Did you clean up your office like you’ve been saying you would for a year? Whatever your accomplishment, reward it. It will bring the motivation back, and get you focused on the next task. Rewarding yourself can break up the monotony and help you remember why you are doing what you are doing.
Every business owner out there will tell you about a time he or she had trouble staying motivated and on task. But the successful ones push through these moments and find their motivation. Use the tips above to help, and keep working to bring your business to the next level.
Frank S. was a significant contributor to this article, his lockout procedure business has allowed him to build a successful business based on these precepts. Thank you again, Frank, for giving us your insight on staying motivated.