I have spoken to many small business owners lately who are exhausted. They’re in need of a break or feeling pretty flat. I know too well what it feels like to run out of steam or feel like you’ve lost your thread a little and need time to find energy again.
Energy is key as a business owner. Not necessarily always the high octane, intense energy but enough to keep you feeling focussed, moving forward and clear headed.
If we try to work at top speed all the time we will simply deplete ourselves and lose our focus and motivation. Balance and consistency is best.
I also know that it is only now that the impact of the pandemic so far is finally taking its full toll, leaving many of you exhausted, emotionally and physically. Please know you’re not alone.
Today I wanted to share some tips on finding the motivation to keep your motivation going and your energy in check.
- Accept where you are. This is always the first step. Acceptance of your situation is going to help you see your next steps and stop you struggling. I recently heard an analogy that when life is tough or we’re challenged by something, it’s like being stuck in the mud up to our knees. If we fight against it and struggle on and on, we’re likely to sink deeper. However, if we stand quietly and still and look around us for help, for a stick, to think about what you can do, we’re much more likely to get out of our situation sooner.
- Create a new routine. When we’ve lost our mojo or feel exhausted, it hard to think of new ways of doing things but sometimes that’s the best thing to do. Write a list of the things that help you relax or give you some energy or simply make you feel good and fit them into your new routine. It might mean starting work a little later after a walk or stopping for a lunch break to stretch out or eat outside. This will break the cycle of monotony while giving you more of what you need.
- Put yourself first. Oooh this is my nemesis. My default position is to just keep serving and worry about the rest later. But of course you can’t pour from an empty cup. As a micro business owner, your health and wellbeing comes first. Take some time to be still and think about what you need most. It may be longer sleep, better food, a day off to see a friend. It’s vital to stay motivated and you never know – it might just let in some new ideas.
- Connect. Being a micro business owner can be isolating especially if we alone have to come up with all the ideas, the plans and the energy. Reach out to community, friends, fellow members to talk this through. Sharing really does help and of course, you’ll realise you’re not alone. You can hop into the Facebook Group or look out for an up coming Meet Up.
- Stop multi-tasking. The ability to juggle has always been praised in our society but I feel it’s often counter productive. Of course there are times when you need to, but don’t make it your everyday way of working. Try to do one thing at a time in a focussed way. Not only will you get more done, but you will also clear your head and deplete less energy.
- Turn off the internet. Well – at least sometimes! Related to point 5, it can be hugely beneficial to have some quiet time every day in your business that you can dedicate to planning, thinking, creating. We can set auto responders for all our platforms and take maybe an hour a day to quietly focus without interruption. You may need to catch up with you books, schedule in some social posts, write a blog or just niggle through a problem. Either way, you’ll achieve, give your brain some rest and feel much much better.
- Make a plan. If you hit your wall one day and you get to the point of not knowing your next steps, my suggestion is to take a look at point 1 and 5 and 6 and pop the kettle on. Nothing more can be achieved without a better plan. Think about just 3 things you need to prioritise and plan this into the next week. Don’t rush at them or worry about them, but get it in the diary. Pulling out the whirring worries from your brain and ordering them into a plan is a powerful way to fell uplifted.
- Give up. Ha! I don’t mean give up forever but it’s ok to throw the towel in for a day if that’s what’s required. It’s the emotional equivalent of throwing all your cards in the air and seeing where they land. Don’t spend the day cleaning or doing something else, but maybe a few hours out of the office and house – walking, driving, sitting on a park bench or having a coffee alone. Focus on nothing but right now. This circuit breaker is like a power nap for our brain. It might just let you remember your priorities, realise what you need to drop from the business or find a solution to your repeating patterns that reduce your energy.
- Learn the cycle. Micro business ownership, like life has cycles. Like nature, you can’t just grow and grow without a period of rest. There are flowering times, autumn times and hibernation times. Learn this pattern in your own business so that you can find the times when you’re quiet to re motivate, rest, get creative or plan for your next phase. This way, you will still have the energy and the motivation to get you through the busy times.
- Look back. This is a tip I often share but have to admit to being pants at myself. Take time to stop and look backwards at how well you’ve done. Think about the hurdles you got through, the challenges you faced and the successes along the way. Maybe even write them down. Despite everything, you’re here, you’re still going and you have a future. Be motivated by just how fab you are.
I hope that this little list has been useful. I want you to know that you’re not alone and you can always reach out to me or your fellow members for support, ideas or more tips. Remember, we’re all travelling this journey together. There’s no competition, only mutual comradeship and warmth. Have a great week.