When you start out as a solopreneur, fueling your motivation is never a problem. You’re overflowing with it and its all you can do to stop yourself from working day and night. The majority of people who start their own business are passionate about what they do and why they are doing it.
However, over time this initial intense excitement naturally wears off. You still love what you do but the realities of being a solopreneur and running your own business kick in. You may be facing troublesome clients or meeting with difficulties when it comes to product development.
Then there’s money, or lack of it, which can cause anxiety and negative thinking. Every solopreneur goes through tough times, for one reason or another, and it’s during these times when many people give up on their dreams. They thought they were motivated but they didn’t fuel the motivation when motivation is required the most – during the bad times.
Motivation needs fueling
Zig Ziglar once said, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily”.
Motivation is a mindset that needs daily cultivation. You have it naturally in the early days of a new business adventure but like anything in life, that early enthusiasm recedes over time. Luckily, by actively fueling your motivation, you can repeatedly bring renewed energy and dynamism to your work.
So how do you go about doing this, day after day, week after week, especially during the bad times?
Here are 5 ways successful solopreneurs fuel their motivation when the going gets tough:
They remember the real reason for their business
When you’re working long hours and facing a million and one different tasks, it can be easy to forget why you built your business in the first place. There’s a temptation to grumble and wish you’d never started down the career path you did. But there was a reason why you started and also an emotion behind it.
It’s important to remember the real reason why you became a solopreneur. Remind yourself every morning why you do what you do and the feelings you had in those early weeks and months. Concentrate on your desired goal and the resulting emotions you know you’ll feel when you reach that target.
They seek to build a legacy
What do you want to be known for? How do you wish people to perceive you and your work for years to come? What do you want to leave behind for your family?
A big motivator for most successful solopreneurs is the concept of legacy. They want to change the world for the better and make a difference. There’s a desire within most people to be known for something good and to make their mark in society. For those who have a young family, there’s the added impetus to build a secure future for loved ones.
Your idea of legacy might evolve over time but whatever it is right now, it’s important to recognize it and keep it top of mind. If you are doing what you were born to do, and you know you can really make a lasting difference, then this is your legacy. This is a huge motivation and one to constantly remind yourself about, every single day.
They focus on the benefits of their efforts for other people
There’s a difference between working for your own needs and working for the needs of others. Neither is necessarily better than the other but each require different ways of thinking when it comes to motivation.
When you work to genuinely improve the lives of other people – whether your own family or your customers – then motivation is easier to come by. If you’re feeling uninspired or fed up, then simply reminding yourself of all the many ways your work helps others can be powerfully motivating.
This can be achieved by writing a list of benefits your business brings to peoples’ lives, however small or seemingly insignificant. By searching out the positives in what you do, you’ll refuel that same passion you felt when you first began.
They cultivate gratitude
When we’re looking at growth and sales targets ahead of us, it can be very easy to forget what we’ve already achieved. Growing a successful business is often future-orientated which can leave a solopreneur missing one important ingredient when it comes to both motivation and general happiness. That ingredient is gratitude.
When we purposely take time every week to list the milestones we have reached, the people who have helped us, the luck we have enjoyed, and the prayers that have been answered, then we naturally fuel increased motivation to carry on. As we actively cultivate genuine gratitude for everything that has come about, then we also feel creatively inspired, open to new possibilities, and refueled for even more success.
It’s a great habit to develop.
They practice visualizations
Many of the above mindsets incorporate some form of visualization. This is where you picture in your mind’s eye an image of something that inspires or motivates you to succeed. Visualizations can be very powerful when you evoke emotion simultaneously with mental images. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs and business owners practice visualizations daily.
Spending even just ten minutes a day picturing and feeling what you want to achieve, as if you had already achieved it, can really motivate. It trains the mind to focus on the target and forms positive thinking habits related to your work. Focus and positivity are key features of motivation, which is why we have bucket loads of motivation when we first begin a new business.
Fueling your motivation
The above mindset techniques are core components of a balanced and healthy outlook on business and life. There are what help successful solopreneurs fuel their motivation when the going gets tough. Without these, it’s difficult to maintain momentum and motivation when inevitable bumps in the road occur.
Whether you’re feeling uninspired right now, or you’re worried you may in the future, it might be wise to begin practicing some of the above techniques. They can quickly get you feeling like your old self again and feeling a renewed sense of energy about your business.