As a business coach, I get asked about motivation a fair bit. In fact, I was asked again only the other day on Facebook and thought – that’s my next blog! Keeping positive, motivated and driven is not always easy. Actually, the word ‘motivated’ can mean so many things – driven, inspired, moved, enthusiastic and more. Are we motivated and positive? Are we motivated to take action? Are we motivated to even get out of bed? Are we motivated to excel?
Here are some thoughts on a few ranges of motivational areas and how to stay motivated in your business:
1. Know your goals
It’s really hard to be motivated and focussed when you don’t have clarity around where you are heading. Motivation can drop for as simple a reason is that you’ve ‘lost your way’, unsure of what you should be doing or even how to do something.
2. Know your ‘why’
Sometimes when you’re working long hours, or slugging away at a complicated proposal or just knee deep in a mundane activity (debt collecting comes to mind), we can lose motivation. Remember why you are doing what you’re doing? Why are you in business? What do you want to achieve? It might be for family, for lifestyle, to own a lovely home, or go on exceptional holidays. Maybe you do what you do because you’re motivated to help others. If that’s the case, and motivation is waning, maybe even a quick read of the testimonials you’ve received, saying how much others have helped you will be enough of a bolster to get back at it.
3. Stick to the Plan / List / Schedule
Sometimes having so much to do can be overwhelming and we lose motivation. Instead, have a short action list for the day and just do it. Be sure to not overschedule so that your list is not achievable, but just give yourself 2 or 3 things to action every day and work on it. Crossing those things off is always very inspiring and guess what … things are being done. A string of little things adds up and before you know it – a goal, project or plan has been achieved.
4. Eat the toad
Motivator and Time Management expert Brian Tracy has written a book “Eat the Frog”. Now for those of us in Queensland (familiar with cane toads) what is worse to see on your plate than a frog is a toad. The concept is that if you have a frog (or toad) on your dinner plate (representing something you don’t like doing in your work day) then rather than look at that disgusting toad all dinner, eat it first. Get the distasteful out of the way and then you’re free to do all the other things in your day. If you have a ‘toady’ task to do – do it first. It’s really uplifting to knock that one off the list.
5. Pace yourself
I find as a business coach, particularly new business owners go ‘bullet a gate’ and try to do a million things at once. Treat business like a marathon (versus a sprint) and pace yourself. You don’t have to achieve all your goals in month 1 (or 2 or 3) … but rather just keep moving forward and achieving one thing at a time. If you burn yourself out early, then that will surely have an adverse effect on your business.
6. Book a holiday
Having something to look forward to (holiday, trip, party) allows us something to look forward to, but it always means we have somewhat of a deadline. If you’re going on holidays, then you always work more effectively in that period leading up to it. Plus … there is this wonderful reward on the horizon (possibly even a Caribbean horizon?)
7. Reward yourself
Likewise having a reward might be motivational. If you finish a task early, you can finish the day early. Or perhaps if you reach a sales target, you can get those new shoes / bag / golf clubs you wanted.
8. Set a deadline
Deadlines are very effective. I know with my books (six now written), after finishing the first on 10.10.10 I decided book two would finish 11.11.11 and book three 12.12.12. I met every one of those deadlines. But guess what, the next book had no deadline (there is no 13.13.13) and that book took almost 2 years to do. Setting yourself a deadline absolutely does work.
9. Share your goal
For some of us, we really do care what others think. Some of us are competitive. If you are one of those people, then what would happen if you told all your friends about a goal you have set? Would you make real sure that you achieved that goal because you don’t want to lose face, fail, be seen as failing or disappoint them? If this can work to motivate you, then use it. Every person is different. For some people, that would add too much pressure and would not be a wise option. However, for some, that is just the ticket to get something done.
10. Get an accountability partner
This is one of the reasons coaching is so effective for business owners. Sure you have someone experienced to bounce ideas off, get education, get a plan, pick their brain, but also it’s having that accountability partner. This is the person who asks if you’ve done this week’s activities or have completed the first objective. As a coach, if I see a client constantly missing a deadline, or not action a task, then I dig deeper to find out why. Often we end up talking about a fear. It might be fear of failure, or fear of success, fear of losing money or a multitude of things. If we can work out the fear, change the mindset, then we can get back to getting the relevant task completed.
11. Find inspiration in other persons
Whether it’s reading motivational expressions, or a biography or something exceptional, or perhaps listening to an audio around motivation, or simply going to a networking event with like-minded and positive people, it’s about finding inspiration and motivation and positivity in others.
12. Take a break
At times, whether you’re working, writing a book, painting an art piece or working through a long and draining task, it might be time for a break. Even just a 15 minute stand up, walk away, go for a walk outside or chat to a friend – a break sometimes makes all the difference. If you’re experiencing a creative block (writing/art) then even a longer break may be needed. If work is just not motivating you, and it’s been ages since you’ve had a holiday, maybe it’s time for a holiday. If you work 7 days a week in your business, then maybe it’s time to implement a ‘green day’ where you don’t work, don’t get on a screen and get outside for some fresh air.
So you can see, staying motivated in business (or life or work) can at times take a bit of effort. If you see your motivation waning, or just not getting done what you need done (especially if you’re a business owner) implement some of the above strategies. A business coach can also assist you with motivation, as well as strategy, advice, education, ideas and assistance. If you’d like to know more about my coaching services, call me on 0411 622 666.
Make a spectacular day! (Notice I said ‘make’ not ‘have’).