It’s so important to take a step back and make sure you’re still enjoying your business because if you don’t enjoy it then you won’t be motivated to succeed. It’ll become a chore, you’ll become unhappy and you won’t want to put as much work into it that it really needs.
Luckily for you, I’ve been there and done that and have 24 ways that’ll help you to reconnect with your business and regain your business motivation.
1. Schedule in “me time” – Sometimes you have to back off a bit in order to bounce back. Meet some friends, have a day out, book a holiday, read some books, book a beauty treatment… Make time for yourself to do something relaxing or fun that’s completely unrelated to your business.
2. Speak to a qualified professional – Whether it’s a counsellor (yes sometimes business stress takes it’s toll that much!) or a business coach, speaking to someone who is qualified to help you get over your problems, or see where to improve your business, is very valuable.
3. Book a business advice session – This is kind of the same as talking to a business coach but sometimes you can get business advice sessions for free. Research a bit in your local area. If you happen to be in Essex in the UK, look up Ignite Business or Colbea.
4. Review your business plan – What was your ultimate goal or reason for starting a business? Do you have the same goals now or do you want to go in a completely different direction? Think about it, brainstorm, draw diagrams then update your business plan with your new views.
5. Think about what your favourite things are in your business and spend a day doing them – Do you just love making new products? Or designing, drawing, even admin…just do those tasks. Have a day getting non-important jobs done just because you love to do them. You’ll still be getting work done but it’ll be a nice, easy day because it’s all things that you love doing but may not always get time to do.
6. Join a Facebook business community group and share your struggles – Other people are probably going through exactly the same thing as you! It’s good to share that you’re struggling with business motivation and to get feedback or even just chat with other business owners who understand the stress of running a business.
There’s loads of Facebook groups out there that aren’t useful and are just used as promotional groups, however if you look carefully you’ll find some that are really valuable. The one group that I absolutely love is Nadia Finer’s Profit Pack. We’re like a little family, always helping each other, making sure we reach goals and getting advice from the business guru that is Nadia Finer!
7. Do something life changing – What do you want to do in your life? Think of something completely unrelated to your business if you can and take steps towards making it happen.
8. Get rid of horrible clients – Chances are you started a business to be able to create a life that you loved and so that you can be your own boss. It’s insanely heartbreaking when a client pulls you down and makes you dread doing your work. If they’re not your dream client or they’re extremely difficult to work with, advise that they work with someone else for future projects. Don’t worry about turning away money if it’s putting your happiness at risk. Plus, you won’t be doing your best work if you don’t enjoy working with them.
9. Outsource work to others – Is there anything that you dread doing in your business or anything that you simply don’t have time for? Delegate it to other employees, sub contractors or virtual assistants. It doesn’t have to be expensive and may even save you money in the long run.
10. Review your to do list and remove as much as possible – If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably got a HUGE to do list with ideas, silly little notes and things to look up in future. Go through your to do list and use the Eisenhower Matrix to determine what is actually important to do, urgent to do and not even worth doing. Go through and get rid of tasks that aren’t important or urgent, or move them somewhere else such as a document called “future plans” for ideas that may become important in the future.
11. Get a part time job or volunteer – Sometimes the paralysing stress of running a business is the fact that you’ll never know how much money is coming in each month. A part time job where you can work even just a couple of days a week can help by giving you some regular money and a place to escape your business.
I used to work part-time at a fabric shop while I was building my business and I absolutely loved it and felt a lot less stressed about how much money I was making in my business. An alternative to another job is volunteering, for example at a local charity shop where you can chat to people and keep busy without worrying about your business.
12. Change your desktop background – Make a desktop background for your computer that features a motivational quote, an ambition or something funny. Every time you turn on your computer to work, it’ll give you a little boost.
I’ve got around 10 different desktop backgrounds that change each day on my iMac with motivational quotes such as “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion” and “Sometimes I feel like giving up, then I remember I’ve got a lot of mother*rude word* to prove wrong”. Or my favourite, “Get sh*t done”.
13. Write a diary – Each day write down your stresses and problems, really rant about it, but also write about at least one good thing that happened, particularly in your business. Sometimes it’s good to get your business stress out of your head and on to paper (or a computer screen!), and sometimes it can make you see more clearly. Maybe once you’ve written about your loss of business motivation, you’ll see a pattern of what’s causing it and you’ll be able to fix it.
14. Sort out your office – And I mean truly sort it. Take everything out, rearrange, repaint, put up some fairy lights…anything to make the space more exciting to work. If you don’t have an office space, make one! Did you see my post about creative work space ideas for your small home? Read it here.
15. Figure out if fear is holding you back – Are you scared of moving forward with your business? Maybe you’re scared to start that new project or scared you won’t make any money? If fear is holding you back in your business, embrace it and just go for it. Put your worries to the back of your mind and don’t even think about what you’re doing. Just start and you’ll find that it gets easier to keep going. You have to go out of your comfort zone often when running a business in order to progress.
16. Add exercise and healthy eating to your daily routine – A quick walk each morning can really help to wake you up and get ready for the day ahead. Scheduling exercise throughout the day to give you a break can also help because you’ll be so busy focusing on your squats that you won’t have time to worry and you’ll come back refreshed and raring to go!
Exercise and healthy eating also improve your energy and how you feel generally. On a “meh” day, don’t reach for the chocolate to get you through (ok, sometimes do!), but focus on becoming physically healthier instead.
17. Meditate every day – I’ve got a great app called Buddhify. It guides you through meditation for a variety of subjects and has a whole section for work breaks and beginning your day. Meditation really does help me to clear my mind, find my motivation and organise my thoughts. Worth a try!
18. Do the correct tasks – Back to the Eisenhower Matrix, make sure you’re spending time doing the right tasks (important and urgent) that are actually going to get you to reach your goals. It’s extremely stressful when you feel like you’re not making any progress and it can really make you lose your business motivation.
To make sure that you are making progress, you need to spend time evaluating your tasks and doing the tasks that push you towards where you need to be. For example, check your emails just three times a day, turn off social media notifications and schedule specific time for social media, spend an hour doing small unimportant tasks in the morning and then focus for the majority of your day on important and urgent tasks.
19. Ignore the “normal” working hours – You don’t have to work 9 to 5. When I first started my business, I hadn’t quite figured this out and felt really guilty when I hadn’t stuck to “normal” working hours. I finally realised that when you run your own business, you don’t have to answer to the norm. If you work best in the evenings, work in the evenings. If you feel refreshed when you wake naturally rather than from an alarm, turn that alarm off and work when you’re up and about! As long as you’re available for your clients and that you actually do your work, it doesn’t matter when you do it.
20. Remember what made you start your business in the first place – Think about your reasons for running a business and go right back to the start. Maybe you had a passion for sewing and so you started a business selling things you’ve made. Go back to your roots and spend a day making anything you want, even if it’s irrelevant to your business now. Just have fun and rediscover that original passion.
21. Create a Pinterest board full of motivational images – When I was feeling particularly unmotivated, I created a Pinterest board full of images that reminded me why I started my business. It features things like happy family photos, cute babies, activities to do with your kids when you’re a stay at home mum, beautiful houses, amazing wedding photos, creativity in every form, travel, freedom… It’s all future focused. It’s what I want to be able to do by being successful in my business. Sometimes on bad days I have the board open all day in a separate window for me to go back and look at regularly.
22. Create a happy song playlist – Make a new playlist of songs that are happy, uplifting, funny or make you want to get up and dance. Play this in the morning and throughout your work day to lift your mood. If you feel happier, then you’ll work happier.
My playlist includes Disney songs (think “Under the Sea” and “I’ll make a man out of you” proper singalong songs), Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars, Blue by Eiffel 65, C’est La Vie by BWitched and I’ll be there for you by The Rembrandts. All songs that don’t really go together and are a bit random but they make me feel happy or make me laugh.
Ok, ok, I’ll let you share my playlist…Here’s the link to it on Youtube.
23. Rant to someone – Sometimes just talking to someone about your business stress or loss of motivation can help. I often sit and rant to my mum or my fiancé about my work day and my business. Things like “I never have time to do this” or “I feel like I’m not doing enough” or “why don’t I get more website traffic”. They help to reassure me and motivate me to keep going.
I’m happy for you to rant to me if you need someone to talk to! Just comment on the post or email me if you need a bit of a business boost. We’ve all been there!
24. Just quit – if you have truly lost your passion and the thought of sitting at your desk in the morning makes you want to cry, then reevaluate what you really want to do with your career and consider quitting your business. You’re not a failure, no one will judge you. Running a business is hard and often takes a couple of failures before success. Don’t be scared to pause a business either if you need a break to think about it. Just make sure you’re not leaving any customers or clients hanging! Also, don’t be afraid to completely change what your business is all about.
Overall, remember your happiness and mental health is the most important. Look after yourself and it’ll be easier to look after your business.