As a business owner, motivating yourself is probably one of the hardest parts to running your own business. Whether you are trying to get a business idea off the ground or trying to move things forward to grow your business, when you find yourself stuck at a roadblock or what feels like a dead end, it can be challenging and sometimes makes you want to give up.
The good news is, there are many ways you can help yourself in these situations, and most of them involve taking the time to be around other people in similar situations to you. Its amazing how talking about the everyday problems you face, and exchanging stories can be so helpful and rewarding. Finding comfort in knowing that, no matter how different we are and how different our business ventures are, we all face similar issues and worries. From operational or financial related issues to conflicts with juggling our personal lives. Figuring out solutions to these problems with the help of like-minded people can motivate you to take the leap you need, inject new energy into your business, and develop great relationships along the way.
Here are some helpful ways to improve business related motivation from my personal experience:
Figure out Problems As a Group
Before I became a business owner myself I met lots of small business owners through marketing seminars and workshops in my local San Francisco Bay Area. The email marketing platform Constant Contact regularly host workshops nationally with local partners and marketing experts. You can find upcoming events in your local area on their website's Seminars & Training. Not only will you learn about new their features and marketing tips, but the interactive style of the workshops encourages business owners to voice their questions such as problems they need help with and how other people in the room may have had the same issues and found helpful solutions.
Keep Learning New Methods & Trends With Others
You can keep motivated by learning about new methods or trends in your industry, you can do this with online training of course, but signing up to attend educational programs to learn new approaches in your line of work is crucial for growth. When I started working in the wedding industry I found some great organizations including ISES and WIPA that regularly offer education programs that introduced me to a huge community of creative business owners.
Seek Out New Collaborations
Finding new people to work with such as new brand partners or vendors breaths new life into any business,and can help you think about tackling a task such as a campaign or an event in a new way. Brainstorming a concept together for a special promotion or event can motivate you to rethink the usual ways you do things and think outside the box. Inviting a creative into your space in the form of a pop up shop can make you rethink the use of your space and brings new clientele through your door. Take a look at how furniture emporium Harrington Galleries does this and promotes it through their Facebook page. Working with a new vendor can bring new ideas to the table which can encourage you to expand your products or services into new directions.
Accountability In Numbers
Going along to regular networking group meetings can not only help you develop your elevator speech and sharpen your networking skills, but once you find a group that you like, it can also motivate you to be accountable for accomplishing goals and updating the group on your growth. New entrepreneur groups and Mastermind groups are forming around the country all the time through Meet Up or Big Tent, but be prepared to go along to a few different ones before your find the right fit for you. If you don't find what you are looking for, get a few similar business friends together and form your own. Accountability in numbers can drive you and your business onwards and upwards.
Grab A Friend & Do It Together
Performing an isolating task such as writing was proving to make my business partner Jenni feel flat until she decided to create a disciplined structure to motivate her. In the same way that asking a friend to join you for a workout helps you get to the gym more, Jenni asked a writer friend to join her for weekly writing session at a local cafe. Together their creativity began to flow over a cup of strong coffee or a large glass of wine. Somehow doing a difficult task side by side with someone else makes it more achievable...and enjoyable.
Co-Working Increases Productivity
Jenni and I found this to be particularly rewarding, when after 9 months of commuting up and down Highway 101 to one another's homes, we recently found a women's co-working space called The Hivery. A new motivational energy was injected into our business, and our working relationship, after just a few days of working with a thriving group of inspiring female business owners. We forgot how much we missed working in an office together (read more about our story) and have the added bonus of being exposed to such talented people on a regularly basis. Both the conversation and the programs they offer sparks ideas, that fuel an exciting collaborative spirit and community that motivates us.
How do you stay motivated or motivate others to action their pursuits? As its the season for giving, think about someone you know who could benefit from some of your help to motivate them in either starting their dream business or improving an area of their business that you have expertise in. Just taking a few minutes out of your day on the phone or over coffee could spark great things for 2015!
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