A funny thing happens when you become an entrepreneur.
Initially, you’re inspired and excited to get your business up and running. You wake up energized to pour your heart and soul into building your business. You could work day and night on your business without losing steam.
But then, after you open your doors and begin to take in your first few clients, you feel your energy waning.
Maybe it’s because you get a bit more comfortable with your routine with your business. Or maybe the day-to-day work processes are getting you down.
You’re not motivated.
You want your motivation back. No – you need it back, so you can grow your business, and help it find its sea legs.
So how do you stay motivated as a service based small business owner?
Here are four simple ways to do just that.
1. Know Your Why
We tend to lose motivation when we get caught in the day-to-day. You get lost in the paperwork and client work and forget about your long-term vision: the purpose behind why you started your company.
Simon Sinek, the author of the best-seller book Start With Why calls this your “why.”
Your “why” is your driving factor behind being your own boss, behind becoming an entrepreneur. You may have never defined it formally, but you probably have a notion of what your “why” is.
Maybe it’s your family or maybe it’s to fulfill a passion of serving others. No matter what your “why” is—one of the best things you can do to get your motivation back on track is to keep it in mind.
When you’re feeling tired and demotivated to grow your business, try to think of why you started.
This helps you see the bigger picture and can provide some much-needed motivation.
2. Find Some Accountability
Entrepreneurs sometimes have a hard time staying motivated because they don’t have anybody around to motivate them.
When I first started my business, I had a hard time with this. I previously had a boss and a team to keep me motivated to achieve objectives. I would never want to let my team down and the fear of the impact of failing my colleagues was a huge motivator.
But when I went off on my own, I no longer had that accountability. And as sad as it is that we don’t feel the same sense of responsibility to ourselves as we do to others, many entrepreneurs feel the pain of this absence of accountability.
The fact that this is a widespread problem may actually be good news for you.
Finding an accountability partner can give you that extra layer of motivation that you’re lacking as a small business owner, and there should be plenty of great candidates for the role in your local entrepreneurial community.
3. Set Yourself Up for Small Wins
Studies prove it over and over again:
Our brains are extremely motivated by progress, and extremely demotivated when feel as if we aren’t making any.
If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you know this is true. If you saw the scale move—even by half a pound—in your first week, you probably were motivated to keep going. But if the scale didn’t move? Or worse, the number increased? You probably felt like throwing in the towel.
Small wins provide the perfect kick of motivation to keep you engaged in growing your business. So set yourself up for more of them!
Set small goals that you can reach leading up to a larger goal. Give yourself challenges and benchmarks. Don’t think too big for the purpose of achieving these small wins, or you won’t benefit from the motivation you get from regularly reaching them.
4. Stop Relying on Motivation
We all sometimes struggle with motivation.
Sometimes we’re just tired or bored or sometimes we get into a routine. Nobody can maintain motivation all the time.
You may be wondering how the business greats could lose their motivation and still grow hugely successful companies. And the answer is simple:
They don’t rely on motivation.
Instead, they build habits around a few key actions that lead to growth in their businesses. This is a strategy that all business owners should implement.
When you build a habit around a growth activity, your business begins to grow automatically. You don’t need to be motivated because it’s a habit – it’s ingrained in your every day life.
Wherever possible, build habits rather than rely on motivation. You’ll find yourself getting a lot more done.
Motivation can seem elusive sometimes.
But you can achieve great results in the growth of your business by using accountability, small wins, habits, and your “why” to motivate you to do the work.
And before you know it, you’ll be farther ahead than you ever imagined.