As a business owner, there will always be rough patches in your professional life. Even the best of us encounter challenges that seem impossible. You'll see yourself looking for the drive to keep going in those desperate times. In those desperate times, you need strategies to inspire and motivate yourself.
Here are some tips on how to stay focused and motivated during challenging times or when facing setbacks:
Understand the cycle and the rhythm of success
It isn’t a matter of if, it’s a matter of when, as it relates to the ups and downs of building a business. You’re going to have good times where things flow easy and down times where it feels like your running through mud with flippers on and nothing seems to have an easy way through. As the late, great Jim Rohn used to say, “After every winter comes a spring and then a summer.”
During the challenging times it’s best to remind yourself that there is a rhythm, an ebb and a flow, to every endeavor. It will turn, it always does. Every…single…time!!!
Keep your eyes on the prize
If you're feeling disoriented or unmotivated, remind yourself of your target objectives, long-term and short-term.
Set your focus on these objectives and just stay laser focused. This is why it’s crucial to have these objectives written down. Sometimes our mind distracts us from our focus with worry and confusion and prevents us from remembering what truly matters. If you forget you can ask yourself important questions like:
What am I working towards?
What is the game I’m playing right now?
Why is it important to me?
Answering these questions will remind you of why you are working so hard. It will show you the bigger picture. Seeing how each little thing contributes to the bigger picture will help you stay motivated even when things get tough.
Break down your goals into smaller steps
Having to chase a big goal can be draining with time. However, you can avoid this by breaking your goal into smaller chunks or projects.
This will make the big goal seem less daunting and more achievable. Remember, as you complete a project, take a moment to celebrate your progress. Stop for a second and think about how far you've come. Check the box that it’s done and give ourself an acknowledgement. It might seem silly, or even like you’re giving yourself too much credit for a small success…but remember, we want to add up wins. This will boost your self-confidence and help you stay motivated and on track.
Ask for help
This is one area where many business owners need help. You don't have to do it alone just because you are the boss. This has been one of the biggest reasons I became a coach. I love helping people get through tough patch and see the smile on their faces when they pull through and succeed.
When things get tough, you could also seek advice from a former employer or another business owner who has already navigated comparable waters.
You can also reach out to friends or family members for support. Another option is to talk about the problems with your team and see if you can come up with a solution as a group. All these people can offer you encouragement and advice to help you stay motivated.
And remember, people want to help. Just like you would want to help a friend or colleague in need. It’s makes others feel good to be of valuable help.
Take care of yourself
Challenges can be draining physically, mentally, and in every other aspect. Sometimes business owners forget to take care of themselves in these critical times. You need to always remember that you can only solve a problem if you are well.
So, take self-care as a strategy to solve your problem. Make sure you're getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly. All these will give you more energy and focus to tackle your challenges.
Focus on the positive
It's easy to get caught up in the negative when things are tough. However, even amid those challenges, there are still some things working for you. Instead of focusing on those challenges, try focusing on the positive things in your life, even if they're just a few. This will help you stay motivated and hopeful.
And as I mentioned earlier, start counting wins. No matter how small, or seemingly insignificant they seem. Mentally we’ll discount our progress as “not enough.” Or even say to ourselves, “I should have done more.” Of course, no matter how good we do we can always say that. Instead focus on the positive and start counting wins. Let them add up. It’s better than counting what we could or should have done.
Take some time to visualize yourself achieving your goals. What does it look like? How does it feel? This will help you stay motivated and focused on your goals.
Think of everything from the word you will use to the clothes you will be wearing. Also, try to avoid dwelling on the difficulties and obstacles while visualizing. Doing that will only keep you from achieving your goals.
You can even rehearse your happy dance. You know, the little jig you’re going to do when you pull it all off. It never hurts to practice the happy dance.
Celebrate your successes!!!
And if I haven’t mentioned it enough already…when you reach a milestone, take a moment to celebrate your success. This will help you stay motivated and on track. For instance, suppose your goal is to have 100 downloads by the end of the month. You can always celebrate as you get each successful download.
By the way, celebrating yourself does not have to be throwing a party. It can be as simple as eating your favorite meal. (or doing your happy dance)
Here are some additional tips that might help you stay motivated:
Find a mentor or coach that can inspire you. If you are interested, you can sign up for the EVOC F.O.C.U.S. System. It’s an online coaching program that will help you stay focused, on track and breeze through those challenging times so you can become a better business owner.
Join a support group or online community where you can connect with others facing similar challenges.
Read books or articles about overcoming challenges.
Listen to motivational speeches or podcasts.
Set small, achievable goals that you can celebrate along the way.
Reward yourself for your accomplishments, no matter how small.
Take breaks when you need them. Don't try to push yourself too hard.
Be patient and gentle with yourself. Always remember after every winter comes the spring.
We hope these tips help you stay focused and motivated during challenging times. Always remember challenges are temporary. If you stay focused and motivated, you will eventually overcome them. Also, you're not alone. There are people who care about you and want to help you succeed.