We’ve all hit that motivational rock bottom in our professional lives where you just want to crawl into a corner, close your eyes and hope every problem goes away. Or, maybe, you’re more like me and you’ve considered turning things upside down, storming out and slamming the door shut behind you. While that might be in your right to do so, if you’re an entrepreneur, you have another thing coming if you think you can just pack up your toys and go home every time you have a problem!
Being an entrepreneur offers an incredible amount of satisfaction but, as the old saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility. If things get though, there are still a great number of people depending on you, whether we’re talking about your employees, clients or business partners. So, how can you actually keep yourself from abandoning ship at the first signs of trouble? After 8 years of running my own businesses, here’s my 2…well…5 cents:
- Acknowledge the ups and downs and exercise patience – Being an entrepreneur is no walk in the park, so, spare yourself the surprise, and accept the fact that there will be some low points along the way. If I may say so, this is text book psychology – admitting you’re facing a problem is half of the solution. At the same time, don’t allow these set-backs to stop you. Concentrate you’re energy on finding ways to work around your obstacles. Also, face up to the thought that some things just take time. The saying Rome wasn’t built in a day is still very much true for building businesses.
- There are no mistakes, just lessons learnt – I know keeping a positive attitude is sometimes hard. People can easily get sucked into a spiral of insecurity and disbelief when things don’t work they way they want them to. But how about taking a business mistake and honestly question yourself what have you managed to learn from it? Maybe it taught you how to be more careful in choosing your suppliers, better managing your finances, investing more in your employees, or just plain old be more organized. Take that lesson to heart and use it, don’t dwell on it, move forward.
- Take a break, but get inspired – Sometimes, all we need to do is to stop for a second and breathe in – breathe out. If you need more time, take it, but use it wisely. Read, take a walk, exercise, play with your pet, go see or do something inspiring. It’s amazing what moments like these can do for your morale, but, more important, how they can get you out of your routine and help you see your problems in a new perspective.
- Keep this in mind: You are not alone – Whoever said humans are social animals was on to something. And take it from me, talking about your problems with other people actually helps. Ask your friends or family what they think about the situation you’re in. They might not have a satisfying answer for you, they might challenge your whole perception and mindset, they might offer you bad or unsupported advice, but they will make you see things from a totally different angle. Also, seek out fellow entrepreneurs, they will definitely relate and might even offer some practical advice.
- Eyes on the prize – Whether we like it or not, the entrepreneurial road is a long one, so you can easily get lost along the way. When that happens, how about taking out your map and reassessing your direction and destination. Is the way you’re going now taking you closer to your dream? Remember why you decided to be an entrepreneur in the first place and what you hoped to achieve. Visualize what your success means to you and get yourself back on track.
And just out of curiosity, how do you motivate yourself?