Perhaps one of the biggest challenges for a business owner (let’s face it, there are many!) is staying motivated and focusing on being the best person, and business person, that you can be.
This could mean being motivated to improve the business, motivated to improve personally, motivated to improve family and relationships or many other number of things.
What can be all-to-easy to do when you are running a business, is to become consumed with working “in” the business and getting your hands dirty with the day-to-day tasks that need to be done to keep things ticking over. There is certainly nothing wrong with getting into the trenches with your team. But if you are in the trenches all of the time though, who’s looking at the bigger picture and planning the next move or looking for the next opportunity?
As the business owner, naturally that responsibility falls to you, and so it is important that you take the time to put in place some practices and routines that help you get the best of both roles, because they are both equally as important. You may even find that the more you focus on staying motivated and looking at the big picture, the less you’ll need to be in the trenches and on the front line as you will have developed ways for those things to be done by others, or more efficiently, or a bit of both!
So, what kind of things can you do to keep your motivation on track and in check amongst the seemingly endless number of things on your to do list? The good news is that it really doesn’t take a huge amount of time or planning to start, and continue, being motivated. You don’t need to attend a 2-day seminar or schedule yourself in for a long, drawn out, and uninspiring “planning meeting”. What is does require though is, consistency and commitment, dedication and practice, in much the same way as you would give to all the other areas of your business operations, in order to achieve success.
Inevitably, you will need to do some form of planning, things aren’t magically going to improve on their own! You’ll need to think about the things that you want achieve and what you need to do to in order to achieve them. Are they relatively small and could be completed in an hour or so, or are some goals larger and so perhaps will need to be broken down in to smaller, more achievable tasks/steps? Is it necessary that you take care of all elements yourself or can some components be delegated to others, either within, or outside, the business? Be sure to consider your personal goals in this process too. If you give your sole focus and effort to the business that is sure to cause problems down the track. You may convince yourself that you can, or should, do it “just for now”, but if you don’t look after yourself and your physical and emotional needs as a human, you can guarantee that after a while you won’t be putting your best foot forward as a leader and business person or as a person, family member or friend too.
A great way to approach planning and goal setting is to make it a daily habit or routine. Planning on a daily basis makes it much easier to be accountable to yourself and stay on task and also helps you to take small, achievable steps towards your goals. Many motivational strategies, both for business and personal growth, recommend establishing a morning routine to get your day off to the best possible start. A consistent morning routine can assist to ready your body and mind for the day ahead and have you to feeling positive and focused about what it to come.
Here’s some simple things that you might like to include in your morning routine (you’ll be amazed what a difference it makes):
- no snoozing! – this does nothing but delay the inevitable. You’ve got plenty to get done, so seize the day, get up out of bed and get on with it!.
- have a good stretch – it can literally be one minute of stretching the kinks out of your arms and legs and taking a few big, deep breaths before you embark on the day, or perhaps 15 minutes of yoga and meditation is more to your liking.
- resist the urge to check your phone – whatever it is can wait until you’ve finished your morning routine. Checking your messages/emails/notifications may well form part of your routine, but it’s not ideal to have it so close to the top of the list.
- have a glass of water – do your body a favour and rehydrate before you gulp down a coffee
- get moving – can be as simple as a 15 minute walk to get the blood pumping and let your body know it’s alive
- protein to kick start your energy – make a good choice of breakfast food to give your body the energy that it needs to make the most of the day
- to-do list – take a few minutes to set out what you want to achieve that day. A good example of what your list might look like is to set 6 business related goals and 2 personal goals. Perhaps nailing your new morning routine is a personal goal, so you can tick that one off already! As part of your to-do list routine, be sure to check back on yesterday’s list. How did you do? Give yourself a high-five for what you achieved and then re-allocate anything that didn’t get completed. This process shouldn’t take longer that 15-20 minutes but it’s value is priceless. And then you’re ready to launch into the day! On the weekend, continue the same process, just flip the ratio in favour of personal goals on those days.
These are just some ideas to get you thinking about how you can give yourself the best chance to be the type of person, and business person, you aspired to be when you began the dream of owning your own business. It’s so easy to lose sight of the ambition and motivation that you had when everything was fresh and new, but it doesn’t take much to get it back. Don’t forget to give yourself rewards for goals met and things achieved along the way. You’ve earned it, and positivity and encouragement breeds more of the same.