Staying motivated for the long haul is both challenging and necessary. We live in a fast-paced society where instant gratification is the norm. We may discover that we need skills and attributes to help us stay positive and on course as we deal with the ups and downs of business. We come to learn that growing a business is a process that requires patience, flexibility, trust, and the ability to deal with uncertainty, among other things.
It is important to note that we can learn new skills and attributes to help us in our business. Entrepreneurship is no longer something someone is just “born to do” instead it is something we learn. Through practice and patience, we have the ability to change what is not working and enhance what is working so that we can successfully grow our business.
Below are 7 ways to stay motivated for the long haul:
Make/Renew your Commitment – Being committed to one’s business venture is essential to staying motivated for the long haul. When we make a commitment to ourselves and our business, we are able to move beyond fears, doubts and insecurities that in the past may have held us back. I know this to be true because I experienced it. I didn’t make a commitment to my business until I was in business for almost three years. I would fluctuate in my commitment depending upon the circumstances. When things were going good, I was committed, when they weren’t, I thought about giving up. It wasn’t until I made a written and verbal commitment to myself that I was going to give this business my all, no matter what, that I began to reap the benefits of being an entrepreneur. What I learned is that when we are most challenged is when we need to be committed the most.
Be Agile/Flexible – Combined with being committed is being agile and flexible. Bill Rancic, winner of The Apprentice reality-tv series was recently a guest on my radio show, The Entrepreneur Hour. He said, “having a business plan is important but being flexible with the plan is more important.” Bill completely revamped his marketing strategy for his cigarsaroundtheworld.com business when his original business strategy wasn’t working. He shared about how we need to leave our egos at the door and just do what needs to be done.
Develop a support network – A support network includes friends, colleagues and family who celebrate our successes and help us through our challenging times. While it is easy to call a support person to celebrate a success, it can be difficult to call and ask for help or express a difficulty. It’s at the moment when we reach out and share our challenges, or ask for help that we begin to experience relief from the problem or challenge, see solutions and recognize the value of the people who support us. The support we receive is as strong as our ability to share the good times and bad.
Stay Balanced – When we are balanced within ourselves by getting enough rest, having healthy eating habits and taking take our spiritual needs, we are better able to cope with challenges. If you find yourself becoming irritable, impatient or the like, check first within your being – mind, body and spirit to see is you are in balance. We are always better able to cope and stay motivated when we take care of our human needs.
Be Realistic –Being realistic means that we know and expect ups and downs while growing and operating our business. These ups and downs may include anything from success to disaster. Our opportunity in being realistic is to know and believe that we have the skills within us to deal with any situation, regardless of the circumstances.
Choose a positive attitude – Having a positive attitude is a choice we can make at any moment of any day. We might be dealing with a difficult situation and while our natural tendency is to feel negative, we can choose to be positive. A positive outlook and attitude is a necessity in staying motivated for the long haul.
Stay Present – When we stay present to our business and to ourselves, we stay out of fear and worry. Staying present means that we “stay in the day” in our minds. We do this by not projecting our fears into the future or worrying about something that may or may not happen. Just like worry is a habit, we can develop the habit of staying present and being free from worry. Sometimes it helps to remind ourselves that all is okay for today.
Staying motivated for the long haul is a one day at a time journey. Enjoy the ride!