Running a business is no joke. Launching a business is no joke either, but sometimes it can feel like the spark that prompted your start-up dreams is slowly fading underneath the plethora of big-deal decisions, red tape, financial concerns, and worries about success that have collapsed on top of you.
How do entrepreneurs stay motivated? You’ve got to find some ways to make the here-and-now a place you want to be. Feeling overwhelmed and taking a few strategically-planned vacations to power through the slump isn’t going to keep your fire burning for the long haul.
Here are a few ways to rekindle inspiration.
Surround Yourself Wisely
From the employees you carefully hand-pick (or trust your other hand-picked and wise employees to select) to the location and design of your office space, make sure your business is somewhere you want to be.
Hire smart, honorable, and motivated people who are voracious to learn about your industry and sculpt your products and services. If you sense negativity, take action. Find out what the root of the problem is and consider new and novel options to solve the issue, careful to protect what you already have working for you.
Pick colors, plants, and layouts that you like and find inspirational. And query your people: see what makes them feel creative, inspired, and engaged. Don’t shy away from non-traditional perks, either. Dog runs, office workout spaces, and meditation rooms are just a few ideas that help keep everyone refreshed day-by-day.
Cultivate A Distinct Identity
It can be hard to know what you’re fighting for if you haven’t yet established your company culture and identity. The voice and story of your brand is something that is always evolving, yet having an aim can help you make decisions and instill even more pride – in you, your employees, and your clients.
Use helpful tools like social media, creative departments, and company events to start building a real company identity. Layout your website and choose your logo wisely. Mirror the personality there in everything: products, SWAG, décor, email blasts, sponsorships, whatever. Seeing your business as a person can help you notice new things you might want to add or changes you might want to make, and it can help keep you motivated. It can also enhance a sense of community – and help you reach out beyond your walls to the outside community with volunteer work and other team building activities.
Step Outside Of The Box
It can be easy to get locked into a routine, especially if that routine has worked for you for awhile. Launching your own business can sometimes have the propensity to make you feel slightly superstitious, thinking that if one way has brought you certain success, it might be the only way.
While it’s probably not wise to abandon effective methods, it’s also not wise to never try anything new. Think of risks you can take that won’t bring you more stress, maybe smaller ones that don’t require a lot of resources. Test these out and see what happens. It’s likely you had to take risks when you were starting out, so don’t forget what potential stepping out of your boundaries can have. At the very least, you can learn what doesn’t work – and help boost your creativity.
Think Like An Olympian
There are a lot of cues for success to be taken from professional athletes and Olympians. The glory of their painful, no-excuses training methodologies are enough to make anyone bow down a bit in reverence, and a lot of good can come from modeling some of your habits from them.
Stay consistent. Train. Prepare. Do the hard work beforehand, knowing that it will pay off. There are no easy roads, but that’s what makes success so rewarding.
And don’t shy from competition. Use it to make you stronger. Most athletes know, and remember, what it’s like to lose – and that keeps them even more motivated. The nagging sensation that follows defeat can spark you to prepare even more, work even harder, and come back to win it.
Don’t Get Cynical, Stay A Dreamer
This might get a little new agey, but don’t forget what got you here. Keep dreaming, pushing the envelope, fighting to solve whatever problems your business is designed to solve. Do whatever it takes to give yourself enough space – both physical and mental – to drum up some big (but smart) pie-in-the-sky plans. Figure out what you need to realistically make them happen.
And then? Make them happen.
Photo credit: EladeManu