One challenge many entrepreneurs and small business owners face is staying motivated. There are so many things that demand our time that it’s easy to fall into ruts, to get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of doing business that we begin to lose the drive that led us to go into business in the first place.
I’ve certainly experienced this in my own life, both as the owner of a small business and even as a pastor. It’s easy to hit the wall even when you’re doing something you really love, and if there isn’t something to help you push beyond that wall you can easily become stuck.
There are many things you can do to remain motivated, but I’ll just touch on two of them today. One is to surround yourself with positive people. There are two kinds of people: upstairs people and basement people. The basement people always want to pull you down where they live. They talk about all the bad breaks they’ve had and why they can’t get ahead. It’s all gloom and doom with basement people. It’s true that misery loves company, and these people are miserable and want lots of company. As long as they are surrounded by people as miserable as they are they don’t have to be responsible for their negativity.
Upstairs people are positive and upbeat. They face many of the same obstacles as the basement people but they view those obstacles as opportunities to grow and improve, not as excuses for why they can’t succeed. They are going somewhere in life, and they are more than happy to take you with them. The more time you spend with upstairs people and the less amount of time you spend with basement people the more motivated you will be to push forward and succeed.
Another thing you can do is to attend motivational events. For several years I attended a motivational conference that would include people like Zig Ziglar, Colin Powell, Tom Hopkins, and a host of other wonderful speakers. A person couldn’t attend such an event and not leave convinced that he or she could do anything they set their mind to. Some argue that the effects of such an event wear off rather quickly, and that’s true, but these events offer many resources that can help one stay motivated. Attending these events was something I looked forward to each year.
A third thing you can do is to listen to motivational speakers in your car. I download several podcasts and listen to them while driving. Yesterday as I was driving to various activities I listened to a podcast by Dave Ramsey talking about how to win with money, one by Zig Ziglar on how to be more productive, and a sermon by a favorite apologist I enjoy hearing. Believe me, this is much more motivational than listening to the news or some radio host.
Finally, a coach can help you stay motivated. I’ve had the opportunity to coach several persons, and at some point in the coaching relationship the persons I’ve coached have struggled with motivation. As the coach I can help them identify what triggered that loss of motivation and some steps they can take to recapture it. In virtually every instance, they have recaptured their motivation and, with it, the joy of doing what they are doing.
What do you do when you feel your motivation is slipping away?