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Chasing your business dreams is an adventure. There’re bends in the path, forks in the road, and rocks you might stumble over.
One of the biggest pitfalls is losing the excitement and desire to work hard and pursue those dreams. And unfortunately, it’s often an easy path to find yourself on.
Motivation is what gets you from point A to point B. It’s essential to the success of your business because it sustains you along the trail to your X’s on the map.
Today’s blog post is for the times you experience a lull in your drive for your creative business (or if you just want to give your motivation a boost).
Dive into 10 ways to stay motivated and help you spring into action each day.
1 // Know your tendencies.
Identify where you need motivation the most. Are there certain tasks that zap your excitement? Do rainy days keep you from jumping out of bed and getting work done?
Figure out where you tend to get stuck in a rut. Once you’ve identify the struggles, you can be prepared to combat them before they wear down your motivation. And, when possible, you can avoid them altogether.
Determine where your motivation comes from, too. If you notice methods, patterns, or things that increase your drive, you can turn to them when you need a little boost.
2 // Define your overarching “why” and your “big” goals.
It’s easy to lose motivation when you’re not sure what you’re working towards and what you want to achieve.
Think about the passion you have behind your business. Look back to the reason you started your brand in the first place. What made you take action and pursue creative entrepreneurship?
Write down the purpose behind your business, and keep your overarching “why’s” in sight so you can refer to them each day.
Pinpoint your “big” goals, too. Brainstorm and map out exactly where you want to go and each large step that will take you there. Keeping your big dreams in view will help you stay motivated to keep going.
Get my workbook for setting, planning, and reaching your goals:
3 // Simplify your business.
Nothing tramples your work drive like tackling too much at once.
Juggling more than you can handle will have you running all over the place. It often leads to feeling overwhelmed or failing to get it all done, which halts motivation in its tracks.
If you tend to chase too many ideas at the same time, find ways to cut back. Put all of your efforts into one venture instead of five different ones. It’ll be much easier to stay on track and to get things done, which will help you stay excited about the work you’re doing.
4 // Set smaller goals, and see more progress.
Set small, achievable steps. There’s no comparison to the motivation that comes from reaching goals and checking items off your to do list.
The feeling of accomplishment makes motivation surge. Each you make progress, it boosts your excitement, which helps you continue to work hard while you make it to the next goal. The more you get done, the more momentum you gain.
The best way to take advantage of this snowball effect is to set smaller goals and steps so you can experience more successes along the way.
Each time you reach a goal, take a moment to celebrate the results of your hard work.
But remember to take it slow and to give yourself room to learn and improve. Instead of getting discouraged with tasks you struggle with, turn them into opportunities to build excitement as you become better at them day by day.
5 // Boost your productivity, and get more done.
Strive to work with speed and quality each day. There’s nothing more discouraging than “working” all day without much to show for it, so avoid working slowly or inefficiently.
Boost your productivity level by learning how to work faster and get more done in the same amount of time. Take a look at how you spend your time. Make sure you’re working on important things that yield results, and avoid time-wasting habits. Streamline your processes, and stay focused while you work.
Tip: Keep in mind that productivity is a skill, and it takes time to master. Don’t expect overnight results, but instead, get a little better at it each day.
The two main methods that have helped me be more productive are to . . .
Follow a routine.
Creating and sticking to a routine is a great way to get more done.
When you consistently wake up at the same time and carry out your day in a similar structure, your body and mind are able to get into a rhythm.
A daily routine will streamline your day and help you develop productive habits so you can get more done. Try scheduling certain tasks at the same time each day.
It might be hard to get into the swing of it at first, but once you adjust, following your routine will begin to feel more natural.
Perfectionism slows you down big-time and can pose a huge motivational struggle.
Figure out where your perfectionism kicks in, and try to pinpoint why.
Work on overcoming it so you can get more work done and see more progress.
Give yourself time to improve in this area, but make sure you stay alert to any perfectionistic tendencies and to resist the urge to get hung up or use precious time on minor details.
6 // Use your strengths.
What do you do best? For most people, working within our strengths naturally helps us stay motivated.
We enjoy doing the things we’re good at. And when we do what we love, we often see better results. This boosts our excitement and keeps us going.
To take advantage of this, use your strengths in your business as much as possible--especially when it comes to your routine or continual tasks.
Think about the skills that energize you, and try to include more of them into what you do on a daily basis. For example, if you want to consistently create content for your blog but enjoy talking much more than writing, consider having a podcast instead.
7 // Schedule breaks throughout the day.
Running a creative business is hard work--even when you love what you do.
Make sure you take breaks throughout the day. Schedule them in your planner if you tend to forget.
Short, regular breaks help keep your mind sharp while you work. It’s helpful to include a longer one somewhere in your day, too.
Get some exercise and fresh air, or treat yourself to your favorite fancy coffee or drink for extra incentive to say motivated. When I know I have a break coming up, it helps me push through--especially when I’m working on a task I don’t particularly like.
8 // Refresh and rekindle your business passion.
Has your excitement for your business dwindled a bit? If your motivation level is down, you might be in need of a little break so you can rekindle your passion again. A few days off can be just the ticket to get your drive back.
Take time away from the daily grind, and look at what you’re doing and why. Get excited about your goals again. Look back to the reasons you started your creative venture. Use this as an opportunity to be refreshed and to rekindle the fire you once had.
You’ll likely make back the time you invest into your little vacation, too, once the motivation kicks in.
Returning with a new perspective can also help you grow and develop your business in new ways.
9 // Find fuel, encouragement, and inspiration.
Seek out things that give you a motivational spark and get you up and taking action.
Follow along with someone who inspires you to reach your goals. Read others’ success stories. Turn to resources that fuel your motivation. Talk about your business with a friend. Find an outlet that helps you keep going.
Part of why I started Ponder Trail was to inspire and encourage other creative entrepreneurs and to share what I’ve learned about being a small business owner. (Maybe that’s why you’re reading this blog post.)
For more inspiration and free, helpful content, check out the Blog Archives or sign up for the Ponder Trail Newsletter. You’re always welcome to reach out to me with questions on my contact page, as well. I’d love to hear from you!
10 // Just do.
Sometimes you just have to start doing. Taking the first step and getting started is often the hardest part. But once you take action, you’ll probably find that motivation comes your way.
If there’s a barrier dragging you down, take the necessary steps to move past it.
Do the research, get the supplies, learn the skill, hire the expert, or just ask for help. No matter what’s holding you back, start doing what’s necessary to move forward.
Once you get started, make it a priority to keep the momentum going.
11 // Get an accountability partner.
If you have a hard time keeping yourself on top of things, or if you keep getting stuck, consider finding an accountability partner to help you stay on track.
Whether it’s your mom, sister, husband, or a fellow business owner, having someone who checks in periodically might be the incentive you need to stay motivated in your business.
If there's one thing you take away from this blog post about motivation, it's this:
The key takeaway:
Always avoid waiting around for motivation to strike; be proactive, and seek it out instead.
Get my workbook for setting, planning, and reaching your goals:
What lags your motivation and makes you struggle to pursue your goals? Have you found ways that help you stay motivated on a daily basis? I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions! Leave a comment below.