Embrace your business…and love it!

It’s very exciting to set up your own business…if you’ve not worked for yourself before, it’s quite an adrenalin rush. There is so much to do…setting up your ideal working environment, buying the equipment you need and arranging it and of course getting those first customers and interacting with them. Whether you offer a product or a service, you have so many choices open to you. You choose when you go on holiday, what your days off are, what hours you will work, do you wear casual clothes or smart clothes? I guess the answer to most of these questions lies in what you actually do, but you get the gist of it…you’re upbeat, positive and full of energy.

However, after the initial rush fades away, reality sets in. You may still be very positive and proud of your business, but there may be challenges you weren’t expecting. There will be things you don’t like doing, activities that you find deadly dull and there will be some things you find impossible to do yourself. It might be you don’t have a particular technical skill and there may be things that test your patience and clients who you find challenging! But you ARE still doing what you love to do and it’s important to keep the focus on that when times are tough. But there are things you can do to help alleviate the stuff that you hate or find too difficult or challenging.

Delegate activities

id-10040854If you are a creative person, you may find that everyday jobs like email, accounts, taxes, marketing, social media or marketing, a distraction from what you want to be focussing on. Hiring someone to do those jobs for you is a great option, and hiring in an expert gives you peace of mind that everything will be done to a high standard and you can stop worrying about it.

Step back

Take time out, at least once a month, to step back and look at what’s working and what’s not in your business. Can you streamline some of the things you do to make your business more efficient? Take time to plan what’s coming next, add new goals to your business plan as you achieve your old goals.

It’s also important to take a break from your business – when you work for yourself, you rarely take time off as you’re constantly thinking about it. So, book some time away, have a holiday and switch off from work. You will return refreshed and raring to go.

Join groups

heart-3147976_640Running your own business can be very isolating and this can be depressing if you were previously used to working in a busy environment. There are always local groups of small businesses who get together to network, have lunch and generally chat about their businesses. Join some of those groups and meet other people … it’s highly motivating to talk to someone who is enthusiastic about what they do and that energy is contagious and will help you to revive your excitement about your business.

Learn a new skill

If there’s something you’ve been meaning to do, but just haven’t gotten around to, now’s the time to look at it. If you need to learn a new skill, get out there and do it…be it an online course or a short course at college or in a specialised work environment. This also gets you meeting other like-minded people and will bring a new facet to your business.

New possibilities

Is there something new you can do with your business? Is there a new market you can get into or new products or services you could introduce. There’s nothing like a new challenge to inject a bit of excitement and help calm down that restlessness.

Put the spark back

new-years-eve-1283521_640When you’re first in business, it’s like being in love. Exhilarating, exciting, stimulating. Then, after a while, it might feel like your business is losing its appeal, it’s become humdrum and a bit boring, as reality of day to day life sets in. It’s hard work and maybe not as financially rewarding as you hoped…and it makes you tired and irritable.

heart-268151_640So what’s the secret to rekindling the love for your business? Remind yourself of all the good things…make a list of all that’s good about your business, the positive things it brings you. What really matters to you and what ignited that spark to be in business in the first time? And finally, never lose hope, being in business for yourself isn’t a bed of roses, but with a little bit of patience and effort, you can learn to love it again and keep it alive and kicking.

What are your top tips for putting the spark back into your business? I’d love to know, so please feel free to contact me.

 

“I can and I will” – motivate yourself for business in 2016

 

I always try to stay motivated, especially with my freelance work, but there comes a time in all our lives when we seem to lose our mojo for a while, when motivation evades us. How do you deal with that? What can you do to get your mojo back?

How do you start the New Year?

  • With bounding enthusiasm….having planned everything for your business down to the smallest point?
  • Indifference…I’ll deal with whatever comes up when it does. You have a kind of plan but not set in stone
  • Reluctantly….I know I’ve got to get up and get on with it, but I’d rather still be sitting on the sofa watching TV and eating chocolate!
  • Confident….you have a plan, but know that it will probably change and that it’s not perfect, but you’re getting there

There’s no wrong or right way, different things work for different people. For me, I always remember ‘I can and I will’ – it’s a saying I use a lot. When I was working in India a few years ago, it’s the saying that caught on with the team I was coaching about communications. They ended up adopting it for their team when I left…I was quite touched!

So, if you’re feeling like your get up and go, has got up and gone, what can you do to motivate yourself for 2016? Here are some ideas that might help…

Focus

  • Define your goals and how you’re going to keep them (this might be work related or personal goals)
  • If you have too many things on your ‘to do’ list, it will be too daunting, so try and stick to just a few. It makes them more manageable.
  • Research and read about what you want to achieve. Sometimes, typing in what you want into a search engine brings up some great ideas, and sometimes, things you hadn’t thought of.
  • Reward yourself when you achieve each goal – no matter how small – it always feels good to get something in return for your hard work.

Confidence

  • Be positive – surround yourself with positivity. Smile more, even when you’re on the telephone – it shows! Negative people see problems – positive people look for solutions. Try and find simple answers to achieving what you want to achieve.
  • Visualisation – this can work very well – I do this a lot. Close your eyes and visualise what success to you will look and feel like. Visualise how you will get there. This can have a very calming effect.

Maintain your direction

  • Refine your plan – look at your goals and make a list of the activities you’ve been doing to reach those goals. Which ones are working and which ones aren’t? Focus your attention on the ones that are working, tweak them to make them work even better…or break them down into manageable chunks and they won’t seem so daunting.
  • Don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill. We all make mistakes and sometimes we see our problems or setbacks as HUGE. Take a step back – is it really that bad? Acknowledge that it’s there, sulk about it for a minute or have a coffee and a biscuit and feel sorry for yourself for a few minutes. Then STOP! Tomorrow is another day, today’s setback will not stop you getting on with the job in hand tomorrow.
  • Most importantly, stay excited! This links in with positivity – print off some motivational quotes and stick them around your desk. Don’t let yourself get bored – if you are losing interest in an aspect of your business, do something about it to make it more interesting. Chart your progress so you know if you are on track – it can be very motivational to see the progress you’re making, no matter how small.
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Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

And, above all, love what you do. No goal is unachievable if you plan it well.

Why not share what you do to keep motivated? I’d love to hear from you.