The initial thrills of opening your small business or buying a franchise can be intoxicating and highly motivational, especially if your first days are a success. But what happens when those thrills begin to wane? When the stress and monotony of your day-to-day work and personal life eat away at your motivation and confidence in what you’re doing? Many new entrepreneurs quickly find themselves working too much in the business rather than on the business and not maintaining their personal lives. Stress, boredom, and lack of motivation are recipes for disaster for your new venture.
When you go out on your own, you no longer have people above you to create the motivation for you. No one sets the goals, deadlines, and rewards for you, and without proper planning, ability and willingness to step into this role for yourself, loss of motivation occurs quickly.
There are a lot of ways to keep and revamp your motivation, but the number one way will always be the desire to achieve goals and succeed in your venture. You may already know, or think you know the best techniques to keep yourself motivated, but always keep an open mind and willingness to shake things up and try a new way. Routines are useful, but too much repetition creates boredom.
Other necessary steps for maintaining motivation include:
- Set personal goals outside business goals
Every business needs an attainable goal, and every entrepreneur needs manageable goals to stay motivated and moving in the right direction. If you set your goals too high, you’ll become disheartened when they are never reached, or reached slowly. Several small targets with a well thought out plan on how to achieve them keep you encouraged as they are met, and allows you to monitor your progress. Personal goals also work on your personal development as a business leader.
- Make personal time
Even entrepreneurs require a healthy work/life balance. If you allow yourself to become overworked, you’ll find yourself overstressed, unhappy and putting your personal life and family on the back burner. Set aside time each week to de-stress. Don’t bring your work home, and leave the work-talk at the door.
- Start every morning on the right foot
A fantastic morning routine involves positivity and self-care. Wake up, play some music, eat a healthy breakfast and read something inspirational. Implement all, none or a combination of these things. It doesn’t matter what you do if it puts some pep in your step and moves you out the door with excitement to start the workday.
- Use a half-smile
The half-smile is a Dialectal Behavioral Therapy technique designed to create a calm sense of happiness. Happiness is a choice, but sometimes the ability to make that choice is hard to manage. Using the half-smile technique right when you wake up allows you to inject some happiness into your day before it begins. DBT Self Help writes, “the half-smile is a soft, almost imperceptible smile. The half-smile starts with relaxed lips which turn slightly upward, and a loose jaw and the eyes are soft and relaxed. Then half-smile spreads to the whole face as your scalp and neck relax and your shoulders drop.” The half-smile can be used at any time of day, whenever you need a pick-me-up.
- Buy a planner
The planning phase of your business doesn’t stop after it’s opened. Plan out all aspects of your business, going so far as to invest in a decent planner. Find one full of inspirational quotes, and write your personal goals in the margins or notes pages. Planners are perfect for marking progress, following your time management, and working on self-discipline. You can also put everything in your phone. Put appointments in the calendar, set alarms and use a notes app to keep track of everything else.
- Incentivize yourself
With no one above you to set incentives for goals met, find small rewards to keep motivated. If you find your rewards are mostly work-related, consider finding a more personal reward. If you want the new mystery novel that just hit the shelf, find a goal that rewards you the book.
Are you interested in reading more? Check out of blog Building a Sustainable Business