When you start your own business you are full of enthusiasm, excitement and motivation. However, this will dissipate over time. S0 how do you remain just as excited and motivated over time? Here are a few of my thoughts and tips that I have used on myself and with my clients.
The business entrepreneur will start their business with a dream yet the twists, turns and knocks can soon make them forget about this dream as the struggle just to survive. So tip 1 is hang on to your vision. Document it and put it somewhere you can regularly review (and do it in a way that suits you – a picture, a chart, a spreadsheet etc.)
In order to stay motivated and feel like you are stepping towards your dream you need to set achievable short and mid term goals. If you set smaller achievable goals, you will be able to highlight such achievements and this will inspire you to push yourself farther. Celebrate little goals and use them to keep you motivated.
My 3rd tip is don’t pontificate or believe you don’t know enough to get moving. Yes reading and learning is important but even more so is doing. So when you get stuck, be practical and get on a do something so you feel like you are moving your business forward.
My next tip is to work out when you are most productive and do the hard stuff then. Don’t just sit at your desk finding other things to do that waste time and make you feel bad about your day. So be clear that when at your desk you are working and if get diverted then do something else. You set the guidelines here, there are no hard and fast rules (i.e. you don’t have to work 9-5 like a traditional business, if you don’t want to).
Make sure you celebrate your successes rather than just focus on what you haven’t achieved. Take stock on a Friday PM and reflect back on what went well. Then get yourself organised for the following week (and then have a glass or 2 of wine!).
Get yourself a buddy/mentor. There is nothing like having someone to talk things through with. It doesn’t need to be “lonely at the top”. This could be a coach or a group of like-minded people who are in a similar situation to you.
Finally get clear about the culture and values of your business. You need to articulate and document them. They will help you stay motivated and ensure you hire people with similar values, as you grow. Despite what many businesses say, there is no reason to lose the culture you have as a small business, as your business grows.