Starting your own business or making the transition to work for yourself can be a daunting task. There is so much to do, so many variables involved. Knowing how to get started is your first hurdle, but staying on track can feel like climbing a mountain. You have to keep moving and working as hard as you can, even when the results aren’t what you may have expected. A lot of dedication is required and you have to keep motivated. Consistency is key to getting your name out there and building a customer base. So how do you stay motivated?
Make Your Goals and Outline a Plan
Obviously, you have to start with your goals. Outline your goals and make sure they are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely). By following this rule of thumb, all of your goals will be able to be tracked. You will be able to see how close you are to each of your goals at any given point and this should help motivate you to work harder if you are not as close as you would like or if you only have a short bit remaining. Making SMART goals also keeps your capabilities in mind.
Once you have your goals ready, outline a plan and include milestones. This helps you break down your goals into smaller, comprehendible steps that you are able to follow. A goal like sell ten products could have milestones like create an etsy account, make samples, post photos, make ten social media posts per day, etc. This gives you specific steps to take in order to reach your goals. A detailed plan also helps you stay motivated on days where you may not know where to begin.
Set Reminders to Keep Moving Forward
Staying on track is a great way to stay motivated. One way to do this is to keep reminders for daily tasks and milestones. Keeping the things that you need to do in front of you will help motivate you to keep moving forward. You will be less likely to lose track of your work or feel overwhelmed.
Create a Routine to Get Started Even When You Aren’t Very Motivated
Routines are vital, even if you aren’t starting your own business. A beginning and ending routine will help you set your work life apart from your home life to prevent burnout, especially if you are still working out of your kitchen or living room. A morning routine will help you wake up and get your body ready for a successful day of work. Once you are ready to get started, a daily work routine will make sure that you cover all of your bases and don’t let anything slip through the cracks. Finally, an end of the day routine will help you reflect on your day and relax.
Reward Yourself at Milestones (Even the Small Ones)
Keeping track of your goals and milestones will ensure that you are always looking in the right direction, forward! Make sure that you reward yourself for meeting each milestone, even the small ones. This incentivizes your goals and milestones and increases extrinsic motivation. If you are the type of person that isn’t motivated by a successful day or a job well done, then maybe a relaxing trip to the spa for every ten milestones or even just a new pair of dress shoes would help!
Keep Track of Your Wins and Losses
By making SMART goals, you will be able to always see where you are in achieving your goals. Make sure that you keep track of all of your wins and losses. Your wins will show you how far you have come, how many milestones and goals you have already achieved. Your losses will allow you to reevaluate, and see what went wrong. This is a great motivation tactic, but can show you a lot about your business. These two factors can help you reevaluate your goals down the road and help you leverage your strengths.
Include Family and Friends for Outside Motivation
Another way to get some motivation from outside sources is to include family and friends. You can just tell them all about your plans and ask them to check up on you every so often. Having loved ones encourage and motivate you will only help you stay in tune with your goals. You can also bring them in to help with some of the work on your most unmotivated days. Working with loved ones is always better than working alone and they may be able to offer additional ideas or second opinions that you never would have thought of on your own.
Take Breaks When You Need Them
To stay motivated, you want to make sure that you don’t get burnt out. Burnout would hurt you long-term, much worse than a small mental break or day off. Make sure that you take a break when you need it. This could be as small as a five minute break for every hour of work. Maybe you have been working through the weekends and just need a few days off. Breaks are important to keep your mind going, your creativity flowing, and your motivation from leaving.
Keep Reminders of Why You Want to Start Your Own Business or Work for Yourself
When the going gets tough and your motivation is lacking, a reminder of why you wanted to start your own business or work for yourself could help you perk right back up. Keep reminders around your workspace for motivation boosters. When you feel like giving up, a reminder of why you would rather work for yourself could turn your attitude around. It is hard starting or running a business, but it is also hard working for others.
Probably the most important tip for staying motivated is to keep a positive attitude! No matter how fast or slow your business is growing, always look at how far you have come. If you keep a positive attitude, the work will come easy and the progress will flow in.
Motivation Is Key
There are plenty of ways to stay motivated, intrinsically and externally. Using these tips and making sure that you find the right balance of motivation for yourself will help you keep moving towards your goals. Starting a business and working for yourself is tough, so staying motivated is key. Just to refresh your mind, our tips to staying motivated are:
- Make Your Goals and Outline a Plan
- Set Reminders to Keep Moving Forward
- Create a Routine to Get Started Even When You Aren’t Very Motivated
- Reward Yourself at Milestones (Even the Small Ones)
- Keep Track of Your Wins and Losses
- Include Family and Friends for Outside Motivation
- Take Breaks When You Need Them
- Keep Reminders of Why You Want to Start Your Own Business or Work for Yourself
- Stay Positive