Owning your own small business is tough. After all, you are in control of every aspect of your company, especially if you’re just starting out. You may be on a roller coaster of emotions for a while feeling excited at times, scared at others, and sometimes downright just ready to throw in the towel.
Don’t worry. You are not alone. In fact, we’ve been there and so have millions of other American adults. So, we know exactly what you’re going through, the challenges you may face, and the emotions you may feel.
This doesn’t just pertain to the starting point of your business either. Growing your business can be just as stressful. From gaining more customers, clients, patients, etc., to hiring staff, to investing in tools and resources, these demands and decisions are definitely exciting but one wrong move can set you back significantly.
Despite all that, there’s a reason you wanted to start your own business. Go back to that time and remember the reason(s) why. Remember how you felt. Remember your hopes and dreams for this adventure. This will give you back your motivation to break through the pitfalls or despair.
As a booster, I put together a list of my top 10 tips to keep your entrepreneurial spirit alive and well.
1. Make a List of Small Goals
Small wins are quicker to complete and you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment. It might be adding more customers or getting more positive feedback. This way, you will see that your business is moving along. Yes, maybe in baby steps but growing a business does take time after all.
2. Join Entrepreneur Forums
You can learn a lot from forums because oftentimes there are seasoned entrepreneurs who can offer advice and other helpful information. You may also meet several other entrepreneurs that are facing the same challenges as you. Consider joining a general entrepreneur forum and a forum related to your niche.
3. Get Organized
In every sense of the word. For starters, separate important documents, notes, marketing material, etc. into categories. Place them in their own folder and label each one. Clean up your desk by creating a place for everything like pens, notebooks, sticky pads, etc. Next, organize your business components and set up a process of how tasks will be executed.
4. Subscribe to Email Lists
You can access tons of free information from experts in your field that’s sent straight to your Inbox. All you have to do is subscribe to their email list! Do some research and choose your favorite top 3.
5. Schedule deadlines
Deadlines…no one likes them! However, they can keep you on track to reaching your goals. To alleviate overwhelm, view these deadlines as flexible rather than concert. If you miss a deadline by a day or two don’t stress about it. But keep in mind the difference between a delay and procrastination.
6. Immerse Yourself in Small Business Books
We suggest the physical book. That way you can make notes or highlight information that you find useful and go back to it when you need a little motivational kick. Also, a physical book gives your eyes a break from the computer screen. Prolonged exposure to a digital screen, like a computer, can cause digital eye strain and vision problems.
7. Keep Detailed Reports
It’s wise to keep detailed reports quarterly or at least yearly to showcase your business’ growth. Record things like sales, expenses, profit, website traffic, etc. This will help you see where your business is going and where improvements are needed.
8. Exhibit a Healthy Lifestyle
Eat right and exercise daily. Fueling your body with the right foods can help you think sharply and stay focused. Exercising releases endorphins that can positively affect your mood. In turn, it can empower you to stay motivated.
9. Don’t Compare Yourself with Others
Most likely, you don’t know their whole story on starting their business. Maybe they started their business with an inheritance. Maybe they know someone in the biz. Maybe they’ve “failed” 10,000 times (Thomas Edison) until they finally got it right.
Comparing yourself with others is never a good thing, even in your personal life. You are on your own journey with a different path. You’ll face different struggles and triumphs. If you’re going to compare anything, compare where you are now with where you were when you started.
10. Make Time for Yourself
When you’re first starting your business venture, there’s no time to waste. At least that’s probably where your head is at. Understandably – you have bills to pay. However, working around the clock could actually be damaging your efforts.
Ever heard of burnout? It’s so destructive that the World Health Organization has classified it as a legitimate medical syndrome. Your mind and body need a break from time to time. Several studies, including a study led by Alejandro Lleras, a Psychology Professor at University of Illinois, have found that small breaks can increase productivity.
Ultimately, you are in control. These 10 tips can help you get back your entrepreneur motivation but only if you apply them wholeheartedly and change your mindset. Believe in yourself, take pride in what you’ve accomplished and the guts you had to take the risk of being your own boss.
And here’s one last food for thought (sited in Business News Daily): “Entrepreneurs tend to fail right before peaking in the business cycle. The peak usually comes after a pitfall, which is where many entrepreneurs lose momentum.”