There’s no doubt that whether you run your own business or not, one of the keys to success is having the right mindset and a huge amount of this is down to motivation. When you run your own business there’s no one else to come along and gee you up, so you have to do it yourself. This is not always easy, particularly if you’re going through a tough time in your business, but approaching managing your motivation as a priority will soon start to pay dividends.
The first thing you need to think about is exactly what motivates you. You need to understand this fundamental before you can actually move on with motivating yourself. This is something unique to YOU. Your key motive may not necessarily be the first thing you think of. For example, a lot of people may say they are motivated by money, but dig a bit deeper and you realise it’s usually not actually the money but what that enables you to buy, be that the ability to spend more quality time with those who are important to you, perhaps it’s being able to afford that dream house. Whatever it is that you dream of for your life, that is what you need to focus on.
The next step is to set yourself goals, both personal and business goals. These goals need to be big, but at the same time realistic. Think about where you want to be in 5 years’ time in your personal life. What would you need to achieve in your business to enable that? Once you have a long term business and personal goal, you then need to break these major goals down into smaller goals and milestones for both business and personal achievements. Read more about setting SMART goals and how to break them down into actionable steps here.
Every single day you need to understand why you are doing what you’re doing and how that fits in with the overall strategy. Spending an hour out of your day today sending a marketing email may seem completely unrelated to buying that farmhouse you’ve always dreamed of, but if you understand how it fits in to the bigger picture and how these tiny steps will ultimately lead you to your goal then all of a sudden the smaller tasks feel a lot more exciting.
Creating mini milestones along the way is crucial. These mini milestones help you to both ensure that you are on track with achieving your ultimate goals and are cause for celebration in their own right. Decide on key milestones and what you should do as a celebration when you achieve them. Make sure you reward yourself properly. These celebrations act as incentives in their own right to spur you on to achieve the next reward and the next. They also drive you on and ensure you keep moving towards the ultimate goal as well as having some enjoyment along the way. Uplifting moments that cheer you up have a massive impact on motivation, so allow yourself to enjoy your successes.
Whilst it’s important to keep progressing towards your goals it’s also important to acknowledge that there will be setbacks along the way, probably quite a lot of them. Managing motivation when things are going well is one thing, but it’s a lot more difficult when things don’t go to plan.
This is where you really need to remember your ultimate motivation and why you are doing what you are doing. You need to understand the importance of overcoming the obstacle in front of you and how that will take you closer to your goal. The more you start to think in this way the easier it becomes to develop the right approach to these situations and deal with problems quickly. Solving a problem, however small, can in itself give you a boost and feed in to your motivation.
It’s really important not to fear failure. If you do this you will never move outside of your comfort zone and progress personally or professionally. Thomas Edison famously had over 10,000 attempts at creating a lightbulb before he got it right, but in spite of these ‘failures’ he continued to innovate and still motivated himself. He considered each of his earlier attempts as another method he had learned of how not to make a lightbulb.
Having someone else to help you with your motivation and helping them with theirs is a massive spur on. For one thing making a commitment in front of someone else about what you want to achieve is an extra incentive to progress and work towards your milestones. Helping them to achieve success as well, or even just seeing them succeed and knowing it’s been part of them following their own plan is also hugely motivating.
It’s important that you surround yourself as much as possible with positive people who will also encourage, motivate and inspire you. Try to steer away from negative people who will bring you down as they will certainly have a counter productive effect on your motivation.
The most important thing, as with most aspects of business is to get on and do it. Realising at the end of the day that you have taken another step towards achieving your goals will certainly compel you to do the same tomorrow.
Feel free to share if you know anyone who could do with a burst of motivation to help them achieve their goals.