Any entrepreneur can tell you about a time that they felt the spark in their business dim a little. It can be all go in the first stages of building a business, everything running on adrenaline and passion. The hard work begins when the glitz and glamour of being your own boss starts to waver and you deal with daily concerns of money, pitching and creating your product / providing your service.
It’s natural to feel lost at times; to find it hard to push through that brick wall and keep your end goal in sight. There are ways to keep yourself inspired and to pull yourself out of a funk when it gets hard.
Look after your health
We hear it often, but one of the best ways to feel motivated is to simply feel good about yourself. To be the best you, you need to nurture your body and mind. Feed it with wholesome foods yet indulge when you feel like it. Move your body but listen when it says it needs rest. Allow yourself the time for sleep and wake up with a fresh start each day.
Schedule time to step away
It can seem impossible to imagine time away from your business when it has become entire world. Yet one of the best ways to break away from a lack of inspiration is to literally step away for bit. You don’t have to take a month’s holiday – although no one would blame you! Plan a weekend escape, turn the phone off and divert your emails. Two days will not be the ruin of your business! Instead, it will give you time to re-set, recharge and get back in touch with you. When you return to work, you will look at it fresh a fresh pair of eyes and the fire reignited in your belly.
Surround yourself by the right people
This might sound odd, but there are friends for different purposes. You might have someone who you turn to when you simply need a good laugh; someone who gets your creativity flowing; somebody who helps you feel grounded; someone who inspires you to reach further heights. Knowing what you need at any given time and surrounding yourself with the right people can make a world of difference.
Switch up your environment
While it’s good to step away from the workplace every so often, you can create new and fresh energy simply by switching up your environment. Adding a new plant, shifting your office around or changing your desktop wallpaper can help inspire you and your employees. Alternatively, if you know you will be dealing with emails or writing a proposal for the next hour or two, why not head to local café for a change in scenery?
Set your goals
Goals might seem cliché after all the hype about setting them recently. However, thinking about what you wish to achieve is so important in staying focused and motivated. It’s not just about having an end goal – set big and small achievements. You might have a goal for the end of the year as well as each week and month. Setting yourself targets, and achieving them, shows you how far you’ve come and reminds you of where you are going.
Targets and successes mean nothing unless you recognise and celebrate them! Whether you have just made your first sale or completely smashed your profit targets for the third month in a row, you have every reason to enjoy your success. Rewarding yourself and your team for the hard work that got you there is important and keeps you inspired to keep achieving goals.
Find a mentor
Even if you think you’ve got this whole ‘business thing’ in the bag, everyone can benefit from a mentor. Not only do they have a wealth of knowledge which they can impart on you, they can also hold you accountable and help you remain focused. Perhaps most importantly, they can also relate to you when you feel lost, uninspired or frustrated. Sometimes you can stumble upon a mentor without meaning to, either in a friend or at an event. Other times you might need to source someone out whom you feel has followed a similar path to you. Contact them and ask if they would be interested in chatting with you and perhaps providing mentorship.
Read other’s stories
Sometimes all you need is an inspiring story to get you motivated and back on top of things. Reading biographies of successful entrepreneurs who have overcome adversity can spark that fire in you again (think Richard Branson, Janine Allis and Steve Jobs). There’s also a wealth of articles and magazines (our fave is The Collective) out there which consistently offer inspiration and advice for entrepreneurs.
Visualise it all
Don’t underestimate the power of positive reinforcement. Many entrepreneurs swear by this practice; consistently focusing on an image in your head or repeating a sentence out loud can help bring your vision into reality.
Visualise yourself in the scenario you wish to be in. The key is to be specific; don’t just picture it but create the full image in your head using all of your senses. Notice details and make it as realistic as possible.
Perhaps your ultimate goal is to have an established business where you can relinquish some control and have the freedom to see friends when you like. So picture yourself walking into your workplace in the morning and greeting your employees with a coffee in hand and smile on your face. See yourself sitting at your desk and seeing to the pressing matters, questions your team has for you before popping out for coffee with an old colleague.
Maybe money is your biggest motivator and your visualisation involves leaving work in your dream car and arriving home at your ocean-front mansion.
On the other hand, you might visualise yourself surrounded by your team celebrating the sale of your 100th item in a quirky office and turning up your workplace ‘victory song’.
There is no right or wrong way to do this, but by continually ‘putting’ yourself in your dream scenario, it will not only seem more achievable, it will help drive your passion to achieve it.
Surround yourself by your vision
When you’re not lying in bed visualising your goals, surround yourself with them in other ways. Many people find having a vision board by their desk helps to remind them what they are working toward. Words, quotes, places, people and the like can all rekindle your inspiration while you’re working. You can switch them up regularly to keep things fresh. You might use your computer’s desktop as another source of inspiration – use an inspiring quote or an image of your next travel destination to keep you going every time you sit at your desk!