Six tips for staying motivated after the ‘new business honeymoon period’ is over
Finding motivation for starting a new business can be easy to come by, but as time passes these feelings may begin to fade. So what do you do when motivation is lacking?
The buzz and excitement of all the things a new business owner discovers each day, coupled with the joy of being your own boss can make it easy to bounce out of bed while things are getting underway.
At this stage, motivation for your business is high – but chances are it won’t remain this way forever.
For many business owners, the buzz and drive may remain for years, but then one day you no longer have that level of excitement in your belly and you may begin finding it hard to jump out of bed.
It happens to all us at different times and for different reasons. So the skill we need to develop is to identify when our motivation is lacking and take steps to build it back up.
A simple definition of motivation
Issues with motivation can’t be solved without first coming to terms with what motivation is, versus what it isn’t.
In short, motivation is your reason for doing what you do. It isn’t your energy levels as such, but rather the ‘why’ behind that energy.
For new business owners, that ‘why’ should be obvious to you. But there are circumstances when it can start to slip.
Why do we lose motivation?
Let’s first look at some of the reasons why we lose motivation.
From my experience, there are three main reasons:
- No challenge – Doing the same thing, while exciting when you first started your business, has now lost its excitement or edge. As business owners we need challenges to keep it stimulating for us. As we gain experience, the challenges we had before become part of everyday business and the ‘same old, same old’.
- Exhaustion – The stress of worrying about business 24/7 and all the things that have to be done can take its toll, particularly if you are unable to have a break from work. There are some great aspects about building business, but it can also grow the workload and cause you to feel overwhelmed. For others juggling the priorities of the business with life priorities can sap motivation.
- Unexpected setbacks – Those surprises that can derail you, such as that job you thought you had not eventuating, or a customer complaint that you didn’t see coming or believe was justified. Ouch! That can take the wind out of your sails. For other business owners it might be the lack of appreciation from clients, an unexpected bill or hurdle with money that makes them lose their motivation.
How can we find motivation once it’s lost?
The longer you have been in business the more likely you are to have experienced some of these motivation-sapping feelings.
The good news is that as business owners we are a resilient bunch and we always find ways to get our motivation back.
So here are six ideas for you to try next time you’re feeling demotivated.
1. Revisit your goals
Understanding why you are in business and what you want to achieve can be a great source of motivation and sometimes we can forget.
Getting reacquainted with your purpose for being in business may be enough to reignite motivation.
Revisit those goals and throw any out that aren’t serving you or the business anymore. Set short term goals such as daily, weekly and monthly goals as well as long term goals.
2. Mix it up
Doing something differently can get your engines running again.
It could be as simple as cleaning your workspace or mixing your boring tasks with some of the more fun tasks.
For more inspiration, consider visiting your competitors or going interstate or overseas for new ideas.
Book in to a conference or training workshop. Or, if that’s something you do every year, then maybe consider not doing that this year and go on a holiday instead.
3. Get support
Have a chat about how you are feeling with friends or other business colleagues.
Every business owner at some point in their business journey would have felt the same and talking about it can make you feel better.
4. Reconnect with hobbies
Our business may be our life and where we put most of our energy, but we do need outlets other than business.
Shifting the focus from work for a day or on a regular basis can help you put things in perspective.
Choose a hobby that you love and that brings you joy and spend a little time doing that. It might be taking a day off to play golf, play music, read a book, catch a movie, bushwalk, surf, yoga, shop, gardening or going for a bike ride. Whatever helps you feel accomplished and takes your mind of work.
5. Have a holiday
Take some time out.
If you can’t take a holiday this year, then book one for next year. Knowing you have a holiday coming up can be extremely motivating. We all need to recharge our batteries.
6. Challenge yourself
Identify ways you can improve your business.
Seek feedback from customers or a business coach and make a plan for improvement. You might also consider setting a new business stretch goal that is achievable but challenging.
Throughout your business lifecycle you will have times when your motivation is low. The key to being successful in business is to be able to identify when you need a boost.
Try one of these six suggestions and I’m sure your motivation will be back before your next BAS is due.