Entrepreneurs and solopreneurs sometimes have a hard time staying motivated. You don’t have a boss to stay accountable to, but you do have yourself to be accountable to/for. If you aren’t moving your business forward and finding and nurturing clients, you won’t have a business. Do you ever wonder how to stay motivated when it seems you’re going no where?
When you work in your business each and every day — many times doing the same tasks over and over — you could feel like you’re just banging your head against a wall. How can you stay motivated and engaged, even when it feels as though you’re not making progress?
How To Stay Motivated
I’ve put together my top three ways to stay motivated even when you feel like throwing in the towel! Keep in mind, at the end of each day, your success wiull be measured by the time you put in (and by the dollars in your bank account and the satisfaction you feel):
Write down your goals. If you don’t have goals written down, you won’t truly be able to measure success. If you don’t know what you’re striving toward or for, how will you know when you arrive? Set goals that are realistic and attainable. Don’t set a goal that is simply too difficult, or impossible to meet. An audacious goal is ideal IF you chip away at it. If you set this huge goal and cannot achieve it, you will suffer setbacks that will emotionally grind you down.
Failure is inevitable. No matter if you fail small or if you fail big, chances are you will fail. Plan for it. Prepare for it. When it happens — it probably isn’t as epic as you imagine it is — pick yourself up and start over. Look at your failures as an experiment — scientists don’t give up when an experiment fails, do they? No.
Get into your groove. What I mean by this is set up a routine — whatever works for you. When you set up a routine and set up habits you will be better prepared for the day and that will be motivating. One small thing you can do as part of your routine is to write down your to-dos for the following day before you close the office door at night. This helps set you up to jump right into work the next day and it also helps you focus and make progress toward your goals.
Are you motivated? What makes you lose your motivation? If your motivation is flagging, leave us a comment — we can help.
Business owners probably lose more sleep worrying about money than the average person. Where is your money going? It’s a question that an entrepreneur needs to be able to answer with clarity. Knowing where your money is going will also help you sleep at night and will help you realize whether you need to make changes, where and how quickly.
Businss owners need to understand income and expenses. You may not need to do all of your own bookkeeping, but you do need to know your profit margins and you need to know the bottom line on income and expenses. You should never be clueless as to how well — or how poorly — your business is doing.
Where Is Your Money Going?
You need to be fiscally knowledgeable. Ask your bookkeeper or accountant to explain your business finances to you and understand it — even if only on a surface level.
Here are items you need to know inside out to be a successful entrepreneur.
Who is responsible for your finances? Have you spoken with your bookkeeper or accountant recently? If not, you should make a plan to do that as soon as possible. You need to know who has his or her hands in your bank accounts, what is going on, who is being paid, who is paying you and whether you’re profitable.
Do you have a financial cushion? If you suffered an income shortfall, could you bounce back? Do you have the financial resiliency necessary to continue forward in a difficult month or two? Do you have a financial advisor who will alert you if you need to course correct in the event of a financial crisis? How will you keep the lights on?
Spend time monthly reflecting on the previous month’s income and expenses. What is your cash flow? Do you need to drop prices or increase prices to keep up with increases in costs from your vendors? Is your budget too tight for comfort? If one bad month will lead to your business’s demise, you need to make some changes as soon as possible. Your budget is a living, breathing entity into which you need to have clear insight.
Bottom line: You are responsible for your business and its success and its income and expenses. This means you need to know what is going on. Don’t shut your eyes to your financial responsibilities.
Are you new to entrepreneurship? Do you want to up your leadership game? Are you a new graduate seeking your way in the business world? Is standing out in your own business or in your employment something you’re seeking as a way to advance? If so, you we have 6 leadership skills you need today.
There are many ways in which you can learn to be a leader –books, a mentor and others, but here are our favorites to get you started.
6 Leadership Skills You Need Today
Know how to converse. If you’re meeting new potential clients or interacting with colleagues, you need to have the art of conversation. You need to know which topics to avoid (politics and religion usually fall into that category) but you need to know how to converse about more than the weather. Listen to what the person you’re speaking with is saying then react. Find current event topics and sprinkle that into conversation. Talk about a best selling book. Ask the other person what he or she is interested in.
What does your body language say? Body language says a lot about you. If you’re crossing your arms across your chest or standing with your hands on your hips you are sending a clear — I am not approachable — message. Look at the person with whom you’re speaking. Practice your handshake. Be relaxed. Mirror how the other person is standing or placing his hands.
Hone your business writing skills. When you send a business email you are not texting a friend. Don’t use shorthand text speak. Understand that professional writing and punctuation and spelling is a must. If you’re professional in your writing you will make a great first impression.
Have an opinion. If you’re asked a question or to give your opinion on a business matter in the workspace. Have one. Be informed and state your thoughts in a reasoned manner.
Know your tech. Many of today’s college graduates aren’t using Microsoft Word or many of those other traditional platforms. They may not even know how to use any keyboard other than the one on their phone. You should learn to type. You should learn to use a Word, or a Google. document or a spreadsheet. Know the hardware and software your employer uses and know which hardware and software you will need in your own business.
Be a lifelong learner. Entrepreneurs know that they need to never stop learning. They learn outside their industry and they keep up with industry trends within their niche. Take classes. Attended conferences. Read books. Watch videos. Speak with colleagues. Stay informed.
How are you planning to hone your leadership skills this year?
Raise your hand if you want the next morning you wake up and/or walk into the office to be incredible. I see a lot of hands! I believe in practicing mindfulness and getting physically as well as mentally active each and every day. I have found there are five things to do to make your next day brilliant.
The attitude with which you wake up, will color your entire day. The attitude with which you fall asleep plays a role as well. Whether you want a better day at work, with your family, on vacation or in any aspect of your life, here are some actions I take.
Five Things To Do To Make Your Next Day Brilliant
What is your bedtime ritual? Are you watching news? Dramas? Are you on social media getting worked up by the posts you’re reading? Are you reading a book you love, sipping a glass of water or tea and sitting in a dimly lit room with relaxing music playing? Which ritual do you think will help you better fall asleep? Food for thought.
Take a walk. When you walk at night, it’s calm, the glare of the sun has gone away and the sounds of nighttime are typically more relaxing. Walking in the moonlight will help you destress and might help you sleep better.
Unplug. If you’re looking at your phone or watching television or listening to talk shows on the radio, you’re not able to relax. If you’re reading in bed, read a good old-fashioned paperback book. The light from our devices interrupts our brain waves and makes us more tired. Also, if you’re checking email before bedtime, you’re bound to get an email that stresses you out and will make you think about what you will have to say or do to address that message in the morning. If you’ve read a message that is causing you stress, you should simply get up and address it so it won’t be poking at you all night.
Is your bedroom comfortable? Is it dark enough? Is your bed comfortable? Does your pillow contribute to your sleep or make it harder to get to sleep. Is your room cool enough? A warm room makes it harder to get to sleep than a cool one. Do you need white noise to help you sleep better? Get a sound machine or turn on a fan.
Plan your day before you leave the office. Write a to-do list. Get your priorities in order and write them down. That way you will take the stress of “what am I doing tomorrow” out of your thoughts and getting it down on paper. You’re also making it easier to jump back into your tasks when you walk in the following morning.
Write in a journal. Before you fall asleep, write down the days successes and what you’re grateful for. Read that before you get out of bed the following morning and you’re bound to have a great day!
What rituals do you have to make the next day productive and happy?