Few things are more frustrating than losing sight of what originally motivated you to start your own business, but it happens to all of us.
If you’re not feeling that energy, you’re probably growing bored with your business or getting burnt out from the workload. Sometimes, you’re feeling helpless or unsure what action to take to achieve your desired results. And when we feel badly about our life/business, we tend to not want to engage. We pull back. We don’t network as much or ask for help. These responses cause us to become isolated.
Plus, being an entrepreneur, by its very nature, can be a lonely pursuit – especially if you’re a one-woman show, running everything yourself. All this can cause you to find yourself in a rut, and there’s nothing worse than isolation and a lack of passion for your business.
But don’t lose heart.
This is when we punch things up, and let our commitment to our success move us to take action.
Here are my 6 tips to Stoke your Flagging Entrepreneurial Fire
Use these to help you re-discover the excitement in your work. Refer to them whenever you start to feel you’re running out of steam again.
Read (hear or watch) inspirational stories about other successful entrepreneurs
There’s nearly an inexhaustible supply out there, and reading these stories will always remind you of what’s possible. J.K. Rowling, for instance, started writing the Harry Potter series during one of the darkest, poorest periods of her life, yet it catapulted her to a higher level of fame and achievement than most people will ever experience.
Like audio or video too? How about these awesome resources!
Don’t overstress your lack of a degree
Ease your mind on higher certification – many entrepreneurs who are struggling to succeed start blaming it on a lack of higher education, yet people like Steve Jobs, Harrison Ford, and even Lady Gaga all made it big without a college degree to their name. If there’s one thing we can learn from successful college dropouts, it’s that a Harvard degree is not a requirement to become a game-changing entrepreneur.
Instead, why not boost your abilities in smaller bites with micro skills.
Make a lunch/coffee date with a friend
Part of what bogs us down is the loneliness that inevitably comes with focusing on building our business. Yes, you’ll have to put in the hard work and the long hours to make your dream a success, but to stay motivated, you’ll also need to check in and stay connected with those closest to you. So reach out, arrange to meet a friend, and go. But don’t talk shop, and put your phone down. Engage with your friend, make eye contact, listen to what’s going on in his/her life for a while, and if asked about your work, try to keep your answers succinct. You’re struggling in part because you likely need a mental break. Take one.
Motivate yourself with inspirational stimulation
You don’t have to be a pie-in-the-sky Pollyanna type to appreciate motivational phrases. They work for everyone! (One of my favorites comes from Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling memoir Eat Pray Love: “This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.”) So whether you Google “inspirational quotes” every morning, listen to or read motivational books, or subscribe to a meditation series you can listen to during your commute, get in the habit of starting your day with a verbal dose of encouragement.
Stop fearing failure and start looking forward to success
On your journey, you’ve probably already heard that fear of failure may be the biggest obstacle that’s keeping you from succeeding. And you know what? Many successful entrepreneurs repeatedly fail before they make it big. We learn from our mistakes! Even Wayne Gretzky, one of the greatest hockey players of all time, wisely noted, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” So don’t view mistakes as failure. Re-frame them as learning experiences and press on. You can do it!
Create your vision board and add something new to it each week
Purchase a push-pin board and add inspirational pictures, quotes, cutouts and scenes to it. Print things out, write them on notebook paper, rip them out of magazines – wherever you find inspiration, tack it onto your board. Display it in your workspace so you can see it every day, and when you need a five-second pick-me-up, it will be there to remind you why you’re working so hard.
Building a business from the ground-up is usually a long, hard slog, so finding ways to keep your enthusiasm up along the way is crucial. Remember that this is an ongoing process and there’s always something you can do when you’re unsure about the road ahead, professionally speaking.
To rekindle your entrepreneurial spirit, self assess what you have achieved and all the ways you can put it to work, make it a success, and even help others.
Amy Applebaum is an entrepreneur, business coach, author, media personality, wife and mom of precocious 5 year old. She understands the struggles that come with running your own business, has been there firsthand, and encourages you to not only work these simple habits into your daily business life. “Our coaching services can help you on a more personal level, and we will ensure that you receive all the motivation you need to keep moving forward.”
You can read more about Amy and get in touch through her website.