Keep the Fire Burning One of the greatest challenges a business owner faces is Motivating... Themselves! Staying motivated is usually no problem when you first start your business and during the beginning years. But often during years 2 - 3 most entrepreneurs hit the wall of disenchantment. It might be caused by setbacks, or from unmet goals, or sometimes it can result from personal life changes that affect your ability to stay committed and focused on the growth of your business. Whatever the cause, finding ways to Motivate Yourself is a critical piece of successful business leadership.
Through years of business management consulting we have seen that different approaches work for each business owner trying to regenerate their motivation in their role as a business owner. Here is a list of some of the motivational ideas that have worked for our clients:
Think back to the excitement and enthusiasm you felt when you were formulating the plan to start your business and write down the top 5 reasons and read them every day. Remembering where you came from and why you started your company is key to keeping your gratitude renewed for the life changing reasons you started your business. When your gratitude dies, your attitude dies!
Your business plan should include short & long term goals. When you are faced with issues and situations that dampen your spirit review your long term goals and use this reflection to realize how far you have come and to create a new set of milestone that will help you move forward to achieving the long term goals.
Read about others who have achieved their goals as you will be reminded that they also faced may challenges and failures before they reached their goals. Abraham Lincoln; Steve Jobs; Albert Einstein; Michael Jordan to name a few. All faced serious setbacks and often multiple setbacks that would cause many of us to quit. Quitting is the quickest path to failure
Flash back on a time you felt the rush of success. Perhaps as an athlete, or maybe when you graduated from college; or bought your first car. Reminding yourself how good success feels is a great inspiration to strive for the next time you get to feel the rush of success. Set a few short term goals that you can celebrate when you achieve them, allowing you to revisit that success rush.
Get an accountability mentor. This should NOT be a family member or a friend. It is best if it is a business associate who will agree to meet with you once a month to review your goals and objectives, and your progress. Having an external review and point of view will help you stay on track which will improve your focus. They do not need to coach you, they just provide a peer review that will hold you accountable and moving forward.
As your business grows you will find yourself in more routines that can become boredom which can lead to a loss of motivation. Try new approaches to your routine tasks to break up the monotony. You might just find better ways to do the tasks by thinking about them in a different way.
Reward yourself! One of the most overlooked motivations is rewards, especially when it is for yourself. You probably have rewards in place for your employees, ranging from recognition to financial reward. But you probably don't have self rewards built into your goals and action plans. Most often as soon as you are able to check one project or milestone off your to do list you are moving onto the next. What gets you psyched up? Is it music; massage; travel; dinner with friends; shopping; surfing? Make a list of your top favorite things that makes you feel appreciated & rewarded and add them as a reward to you for achieving milestones on your action plan.