Becoming an entrepreneur requires a certain amount of drive and enthusiasm. If we didn’t believe in ourselves and our businesses, we would still be working for someone else. But when the going gets tough, it’s easy to lose sight of why we started in the first place. This can cause us to become unmotivated, and it could be the demise of the business we’ve worked so hard to build if we’re not careful.
Businesses are like relationships: commitment is an absolute must if they are to succeed. Here are some tips for staying focused and pulling through the hard times.
* Write a mission statement if you haven’t done so already. It should concisely detail the purpose of your business and its key philosophies. Many entrepreneurs neglect to do this unless it is required to obtain funding. But a mission statement can help you remember why you wanted to start a business in the first place.
* Set goals. If you don’t have something specific to work toward, it’s hard to stay motivated. By setting challenging yet attainable and measurable goals, you increase your chances of succeeding whether you meet them or not.
* Don’t overwork yourself. Starting and running a business is hard work, and it’s easy to get caught up in a cycle of endless 16-hour days. It’s rather ironic that this commitment to your business can result in burnout, which can leave you without the energy you need to keep going. While it may not be feasible to take a vacation when your business is just getting off the ground, it doesn’t hurt to take a day off every now and then. Taking a breather will give you time to regroup and remember why you chose the path you’re on.
* Outsource the tasks that bore or frustrate you. Small business owners often fall into the trap of thinking they must do everything themselves. Sometimes they are on tight budgets and don’t feel they can afford to hire help, whilst others are unwilling to let go of the total control they have. But if you’re suffering from a lack of motivation, outsourcing can get you back on track by allowing you to focus on the things you love about your business.
* Evaluate the state of your business. If you’ve hit a rough spot, perhaps a change of plans is in order. You may need to focus your offerings more tightly, rethink your marketing methods, or invest in better equipment. By isolating and solving the problem, you can get back to business as usual.
Sometimes it’s hard to maintain the level of commitment that we have in the initial phases of a business venture. By doing what it takes to remain focused and remembering why we chose this path in the first place, we can keep ourselves motivated. When we reach our goals, we will realize that it was all worthwhile.