For those times when you feel like you’re losing the will to live, want to give up or just need a little nudge to feel re-energised and positive about your business….
1: Remember the ‘WHY?’
As you’re building the business, you can often get entrenched in the day-to-day activities of running it, delivering work and just getting by. Often without feeling like you’ve made huge amounts of progress and really moved the business forward. We can find ourselves asking ‘why on earth am I doing this?’, ‘what’s the point?’ and on the really low days…’why am I even bothering?’.
It’s on these days, that it’s the MOST important to take time out to remind yourself why you started the business in the first place.
Whilst money is often what others out there think – it’s generally not the main reason most of you started a business. Often, it’s for bigger reasons – you saw something that you wanted to change, do differently, better, bigger or more unique. You wanted to help others or give something back. Or simply, you wanted a different way of life and one that would fulfill you in ways you hadn’t experienced before.
- What’s your reason for going into business? What motivated you to start?
Whatever your initial motivation was for setting up, it’s important to remember, so on the not so great days, you know there’s a bigger reason that keeps you going and on track. It can even help to have this somewhere you can see it regularly- so acts as a visual reminder on the tough days.
- So, what’s your WHY?
2: Get YOUR people around you – Build a strong network
Build a strong network of people you love, value and want around you. You’ll benefit from having a mix of both personal relationships and business orientated ones. Friends, partners, family members that can give you the large glass of wine, beer or hug after a tough day! Those that listen, empathise and help you get things off your chest and have a rant when needed.
But you also need the others…the less or non-judgmental ones. Those that don’t just listen to your woes and sympathise, but challenge, question your thinking and decisions. They inspire, encourage and push you forward.
This can be a real mix of people and groups and it can change over time too. You need to decide and choose whatever works best for you. Be it a mentor with years of experience in your industry, an independent coach, networking groups, meeting others in similar situations, attending speaking events from successful businessmen and women you admire. You can also get invaluable support from books, magazines, forums and online communities – it’s about getting the most valuable support for you and in a way which works for you.
We often try and do everything on our own, but it’s not worth it and there’s plenty of people and resources out there to help. Get them around you to support you, encourage you, challenge you and ultimately help you and the business move forward.
3: Have a YOU plan, not just a business plan
Think about what you want out of the business; from both a personal and business point of view. What kind of life do you want and by when? Do you want to be working 3-4 days a week or happy to work 7 days a week if it means the money is rolling in.?
Having a plan for both what you want from a lifestyle point of view and business helps you to map things out which are in line with both your business goals and personal aims.
If you know hitting that financial target, securing the new client or rolling out a new service will help lead to something bigger and achieve something you really want in your personal life, then it will become a strong motivator for you during the ups and downs.
Don’t worry about the plan being an in-depth 100 page business plan, it can be something on one side of A4. The important thing is to have one and that you’re clear about what you want to achieve; your goals, aims, visions, ideas and thoughts on how you’re going to achieve this.
- Keep it somewhere safe – then regularly review, learn and revise.
The plan can change but if you don’t have one in place, you can easily get swayed by every new idea you have and each seemingly great opportunity that comes your way and before you know it, you have half baked great ideas all over the place but no extra money in the account.
Without a plan, it’s difficult to know if you’re on track and making the kind of progress you really want to make.
4: Celebrate the wins
When you’re running at everything; winning new business, delivering the work, building great customer relationships, networking and marketing your business, it’s easy to overlook the achievements you are making. Like a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners who are driven and ambitious, you can be great at setting goals and high standards for yourself, but as soon as you achieve these, you automatically ask yourself:
- Great….so what’s next?
Before you know it, that massive goal you originally set and now achieved, just seems like a small stepping stone compared to the big ones you’re now planning and moving on to.
It’s important to recognise what you achieve and celebrate that. Whether that means party time, bottle of champagne, time out for lunch or simply a cup of tea or glass of wine outside in the sunshine. Whatever it is, take that moment to enjoy the achievement, take stock to measure your success, BREATHE and then move forward again.
Because if we’re not enjoying the journey, then really…what is the point of all the hard work, effort and emotional and time invested in running the business?
Taking that short space of time out will help you be more energized to put all your efforts into the next part of the business.
5: Look after you
Some may think this one is woolly and wondering why it’s even worth mentioning…
Because the reality is that it’s the most important step of all. It’s essential to look after yourself, both physically and mentally, in order to be successful in growing your business.
If you’re burn’t out and mentally fried, then your ability to make clear and insightful decisions, create and deliver plans and gain any insight on problems are all impacted. Not being able to think clearly and make the right decisions at the right time for your business can have a serious, detrimental effect.
Whether it be eating properly, making sure holidays are booked, having time to go the gym, or simply spending some low key time with family and friends, you need this time in for your own health, sanity AND success of the business. Scheduling this time helps you take some time out to focus better, think clearer, make more effective decisions and really start moving your business forward…
- What can you do to look after you?
- Do you need to do something daily, weekly or monthly?
What are your thoughts? What helps you stay sane