Staying motivated when running a business is important, in fact, it’s vital. Without motivation, it is going to be next to impossible for you to push your business forward and achieve any of your dreams. Staying motivated though does take discipline and hard work. Staying in a positive and motivated mindset can be tough, so I’d like to run through a few techniques that can help.
Establish Your Whys
The first thing you need to do, in order to motivate yourself is to establish your whys. By this I mean, why do you want to achieve your goals? You might want to make 100K this year, but why? What is so important about your goals? Why must you achieve them? Maybe you want to earn enough money to send your kids to a particular school. Or perhaps you want to retire your parents so they don’t have to work. Maybe you have your eye on a particular car or more expensive area to live. Staying motivated is not just about having goals, but understanding why these goals and your overall vision for the future exists.
Create a Vision
This one is a little philosophical, but believe me, it’s important. Staying motivated requires more than just goals, it requires a vision. Your vision of the future is what will drive you, rather than what you need to get done in the next x months. Your goal might be to earn x this year, but your vision is the kind of life you want to get to, the kind of life that earning x will get you. It’s important to set out a clear vision for your future, so you are able to mentally step into that vision.
Practice closing your eyes, and literally, imagine you are already living the life you are aiming for. Visualize yourself living the life you want, and try to imagine what that feels like. Next, try to hear the sounds, smell the smells, don’t just visualize, mentally experience what it would be like to have achieved your vision. This is actually a form of meditation. Doing this for just a few minutes every day before you start work, will put your vision fresh in your mind and help keep you motivated.
Write Down Your Short Term Goals
This one is pretty simple but extremely effective. Write down your short-term goals. When I say short term goals, I don’t mean your daily todo list, I mean what you want to achieve in the near future. A good idea is to set yourself yearly goals, such as a financial benchmark. Your short-term goals are specifics or benchmarks you need to achieve in order to reach your overall vision. When writing down your goals, be specific, write down what you need to achieve, how you are going to achieve it, and why you must achieve your goal.
If your goal is a financial goal, think of something you’re going to purchase when you have reached your target and write it down. Keep it fairly short, no more than a couple of paragraphs. An example could be “I am going to get 100 new customers this year. I am going to do this by doing xyz. I am going to use the extra income to purchase a new car and take the family away on holiday”. It is also important to write the date you set your goals and the due date for when you must have your goals completed.
Make Your Goals Visible
Now, if you have a smartphone, take a picture of your goals, and set this picture as your lock screen. Then, place your goals in your wallet or purse, in front of your paper money. Now every time you take a look at your phone or grab some money from your wallet, you are going to get a brief glimpse of your goals. You’re not going to read them every time you use your phone or wallet, but you will be reminded that you set these goals and that the clock is ticking. This will keep your goals at the front of your mind, which in turn will help you with staying motivated.
Staying Motivated Is Difficult Around Naysayers
Naysayers are the people who tell you to stop dreaming and attempt to drag you down. I’m not talking about people who offer you constructive criticism, all naysayers do, is flood your life with negativity. You know the people I am talking about – “stop dreaming”, “get a steady wage”, sound familiar? The best thing you can do is lose these people’s phone numbers and cut them out of your life completely! Believe me, at the heart of every naysayer, lies 2 things, self-doubt, and jealousy – They doubt you can achieve your goals because they don’t think it is something they could do themselves. They are also jealous, that you have the ‘get up and go’, to actually take a chance and reach for something worthwhile, as they are too paralyzed with fear to even attempt such a thing.
Staying motivated is hard enough, without other people dragging you down. If possible, cut these people out of your life altogether. If you cannot do that for whatever reason, then you will need to build up a thick skin, confront them and tell them that you need support. Tell them that you welcome constructive criticism, but this is not that!
Push and Pull Motivation
There are two main types of motivation, push and pull, and it is important to understand and recognize your own push and pull motivation. In order to establish and understand your push motivation, you need to think of what failure would look and feel like to you. To you, failure might be having no money, no financial freedom, or not being able to provide a good life for your family. You need to have a clear image in your head, of just how miserable life could be if you were to fail on your goals. Being aware of the pain that failure would cause you, will help push you towards achieving your goals.
In order to establish and understand your pull motivation, you need to envision what life will be like after you have successfully completed your goals. What pleasures will you experience, and what pain will be a thing of the past. Success might be having financial freedom, a fancy car, being able to provide your family with a nice place to live, or perhaps professional respect. Being aware of how awesome life will be after you achieve success, will help push you towards a motivated, and confident mindset.
Focus On The Good
Staying motivated can be made easier by simply focusing on the good, and the small successes you get on a daily basis. Every business has headache areas, and not everything always goes to plan. If you focus on the negative areas of life, your overall mood and outlook on things will change. You will start to lose motivation. If you focus on the good things, however, and really appreciate every win you get, you will start to developer a more positive outlook on work and your business, which is a key factor in staying motivated.
In short, staying motivated can be difficult, but just like any challenge, there are ways in which this can be achieved. I am by no means an expert in motivation, but these small tips have helped to keep me moving forward and to stay motivated and focused on my vision. I hope you’ve found this article useful, and if you have any tips or advice on staying motivated, please let me know in the comments.