As we all know, the last couple of years have been anything but normal. Through lockdowns, supply challenges and economic uncertainty, the majority of us have been forced back into the roles of the time ‘before’ Covid. Everything has changed and we have had to do what we do best; adapting, diversifying, and thinking on our feet to keep our businesses trading.
This has meant that for most of us, we have been left both mentally and physically drained. And, although there seems to be plenty of advice on how we can look after the health and wellbeing of our staff; where is the help and support we need as business owners and directors, to maintain our excitement, passion and energy?
Let’s get one thing straight, the most vital part of your business is YOU. So when your lack of passion is noticed, it can seep into team members, infecting their work from the inside. Therefore, even though it may feel selfish, if you are to keep in the driving seat, it is important that you check in on yourself regularly and let ‘you’ come first sometimes.
“Blood, sweat and tears” is a good way to describe managing a business, and occasionally, throwing your hands up and walking away can feel like the only option. Though this is a drastic action and unrealistic for most, for some it may be useful to just step back and take time out to let new ideas inspire and percolate.
Change is good
The truth is things happen. Frequently they are out of our control, possibly they are within it. Nevertheless, situations can shift, and priorities can change too. When things change, it can feel like the world’s axis has come off course and all plans have been thrown out of the window. However, it is important to embrace change in a positive way, as an opportunity; to do that you must be in the right frame of mind.
So, what can you do to maintain a Va Va Voom for your business?
- Focus on all your success and how far your business has come under your leadership
- Relive past successes, as small as they may feel they are an accomplishment
- Recognise your employees’ achievements to boost morale within your team
Remember, you are not alone
Although business is a competitive environment, it is important to remember that you are not alone. Reaching out to other business owners can be helpful, and hearing about their struggles and their solutions may inspire you and reignite your passion for what you do.
If reaching out feels too daunting, that is understandable. So instead why don’t you listen to a podcast, or pick up an autobiography of someone who has motivated you in the past, or someone with a similar career path to you?
Don’t give yourself up for your business
Despite having passion for your business, don’t give up your passion for the other things you love:
- Get some fresh air daily, by walking, running or just having a coffee outside. Set yourself some goals to keep yourself active and moving.
- Designate an hour each day when you will switch off your electronic devices and take time to chat with family and friends, and really listen to what they have to say.
- Take up a hobby or interest that takes all your concentration; whether it’s cooking, crosswords or scuba diving, you won’t have time to dwell on your work.
- Get reading – join a book club, your local library, or subscribe to a magazine.
- Focus on the here and now. Take up an exercise like Yoga or Pilates, which will help with breathing control and mindfulness.
Read, listen and learn
Sometimes the best person to turn to for motivation is yourself. But, to do this you may need to look for external support. There are lots of self-help resources you can try that will not only psych you up but get you moving and taking action. Here are a few podcasts and books that have been selected by supporters of the magazine.
- The High Performance Podcast by Jake Humphrey and Damian Hughes thehighperformancepodcast.com
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
- Traction by Gino Wickman
- Positive Personality Profiles: Discover Personality Insights to Understand Yourself and Others By Robert Rohm
- The One Minute Manager books by Kenneth Blanchard
- Be More Pirate by Sam Conniff Allende
Shake things up
You may be stuck in a rut and feel you are ruled by routines, as that’s the way you have always done things. Well, take a step back and shake things up. Ask questions about why you do things that way and try and find a different approach that may well renew your motivation.
Link up with a business buddy
Having someone that is distanced from your business but understands and is able to encourage, support and challenge you, can be an effective way to get and stay motivated. Just the process of ‘saying it out loud’ and making a promise to someone else about what you are going to do, means you’re no longer struggling along on your own.
Reflect on the why
The best way to stay motivated when the going gets tough is to remember why you’re doing what you do and what your initial goals were when you started out. Is it because you love being your own boss and the flexibility it brings? Or that you could spend more time with your family? Positive manifestation is a ‘buzz phrase’ at the moment, so writing your dream goal down on paper and taping it to your wall or mirror where you can see it every day may well keep you grounded.
If your Va Va Voom is lacking, it can chip away at your confidence and your ability to drive your business forward. The more motivated you are, the more positive momentum you will create. The most important things to remember above all else are that you are totally in control of your feelings and thoughts. If you can get your mindset right, then you will be able to tackle even the most ambitious goals to reach higher levels of success in your business.