How do you stay inspired, keep motivated, and smash your business targets?
We all have those days or moments when we aren’t motivated to do anything – but do you submit to those frustrating feelings, or claw yourself back and fight harder than ever?
As entrepreneurs, we need to be able to fulfil our roles come rain or shine, good mood or bad, tired or energetic. If we surrender to those “off” days, then we are no better than the average entrepreneur – and we all know how often companies vanish within the first few years of opening for business.
So how do we make sure that we keep fighting, no matter what the situation is?
Two ways: stay inspired, and find business motivation.
Business motivation and inspiration – the difference
I’m about to give you 12 energising motivation secrets on how to defeat those “off” days, but first, let’s look at the difference between business inspiration and business motivation.
Put simply, business inspiration comes from within, and business motivation comes externally.
If you are doing a job or running a business that inspires you and that is contributing to something you are proud of, then you are going to have an internal desire to perform your role well, and will be less likely to require external business motivation to stay focused. Ultimately, you will best serve yourself by doing what you love and loving what you do, merging your vocation with your vacations, your passions with your profession, and your work with your play.
However, even the most passionate entrepreneurs who are doing something that they truly love have their lower, sleepier, less inspired moments – so here are my 12 business motivation hacks to get you back on track, and FAST.
Ask yourself: what is your ultimate vision for the future? Is it to become financially free? Is it to set up a foundation? A charity? To change the shape of an entire market with one revolutionary idea?
Everyone has a reason to live and a goal or goals to perform, because if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be here. Every human being is unique, and your professional vision should be the future image of what it would be like to live that purpose day by day. The bigger that vision is and the further into the future it looks, the more internally motivated you are likely to be because of your desire to accomplish and become a better version of yourself.
Keep the vision fresh in your mind by regularly checking in on it, tweaking it, and even making a physical version of it in the form of a wall plan or detailed file. Finally, you can solidify that vision even further by taking its core and writing it as a single mission statement.
Few things are as motivating as believing firmly in the idea of what you can achieve if you press on.
2. Understand your values
While your values will change over time, it benefits you to know what they are. Your values are essential tools for learning who you are and what drives you to succeed, and if you can focus on them regularly you can ensure that your professional life works alongside them.
Discuss, write down, and realise your core values, as it can be highly motivational to focus on them during those down times.
3. Outsource more
Many people struggle with business motivation because they spend 80% of the time doing what they hate. It’s exhausting continuing to grind and discipline yourself while doing tasks that drain you, so, as I emphasise in my book Life Leverage, the answer is to outsource the jobs that you would rather not be doing.
In short, my 3rd motivational hack is to leverage your weaknesses, the admin, the low-income tasks, the jobs you hate and the things that take up too much of your time. Tasks that are infused with your passions are those that will keep you awake at night, that allow you to be right in the moment, and that need less external motivation to keep you on task.
If you are concerned about money, in the early days of your business you can outsource to friends and families, before later employing staff, PAs, VAs, and passing tasks on to partners, JV partners, etc. There are also countless outsourcing websites such as fiver.com, peopleperhour.com, or onlinejobs.ph that you can use to get those tasks completed.
4. Find your little “boosts”
We all have little boosts that can lift us up during those tired moments.
There’s listening to the right motivational songs, the tunes that make you feel like rising to the challenge and smashing your targets. For me, it’s “Mouth for War” by Pantera, but I’m a closet metalhead.
There’s taking a quick walk, doing a short workout, and catching up with a friend or a coach or a mentor.
A lot of people tend to wallow when they feel down or drained, but these are the moments when you need to tap into what gives you that little boost and helps bring you out of your funk. If you know yours and you need a little helping hand, take five minutes indulge in that hack, and then get back on it.
5. Read, listen and watch autobiographies.
There’s a great saying that claims that “success leaves clues” – and it’s true. When you watch, read and listen to successful people’s autobiographies frequently enough, you start to pick up on the patterns of success, and over time, you can internalise them.
It can also be both reassuring and inspiring to see that every successful person has endured the long journey, the tough days, the haters, the lack of inspiration that business brings – and they have triumphed over them.
6. Write lists
Two lists that I recommend you write down: 50 things that are great about you, and 50 things that you are grateful for. Many people will struggle with these, especially the list of their own personal talents, but it is important persevere, because it gets easier, the more you practice. Seeing your skills and abilities is a great motivator, reminding you of how much talent you have and why it is important not to waste that talent.
If you practice these lists, especially before bed, you are going to effectively reprogramme yourself and your self-perception, and therefore find ways to remotivate yourself more quickly.
7. Start now, get perfect later
Most people will succumb to the struggle and the funk when they feel demotivated, and either slack off or take the rest of the day off – but and these are the times you need to get started and start rebuilding some momentum.
The definition of discipline is doing something even when you aren’t in the mood for it, and the best workouts I ever do are those I do when I’m not feeling motivated. It doesn’t matter if the task seems too difficult or as if you aren’t going to be in the right mood to succeed. Just recognise that even the slightest progression is better than none at all, so find something that needs amending, get up off your arse and do it.
8. Only compare yourself to others if it benefits you
Never compare yourself to those who are more successful than you in a demotivational way. Use their success to help you recognise your own potential and the characteristics that you want to emulate. Pedestalising others is usually demotivating, because when you put someone above you, you put yourself below them.
You don’t need to be anyone else – you just need to be you.
9. Help other people
Motivate yourself by doing random acts of kindness for other people, give to others, and donate time to giving back. I’m currently setting up a foundation to help out those I really want to help out.
If you’re feeling in a funk, go and help someone else. Seeing how your knowledge and influence can bring about positive changes for other people reflects your own value, creates gratitude in that person, cultivates positive karma, and helps work towards a virtuous cycle.
10. Use and hone your pain
We’ve all felt pain. We’ve all been bullied. We’ve all felt ostracised at some point. We’ve all failed. We’ve all felt embarrassed.
There are people who bitch, moan, complain and justify that suffering and let it crush them.
There are others that learn from it, let it motivate them to prove others (and maybe themselves) wrong, succeed because of it, and use it to propel themselves forwards.
Oprah Winfrey was abused. Victor Frankl was tortured and sterilised and humiliated. They’ve both gone on to change the world.
Be careful though. Don’t become angry and aggressive as a result of your pain; instead, take that fuel and use it for good. If I’m having a bad day, I try to take that energy and give it in love to my kids.
Remember that if everything was successful and great, then that would become the new norm. You need the journey’s ups and downs, and you need the lows to sustain and emphasise the highs.
11. Get accountability
Who is the easiest person in your world to lie to?
You justify things, you tell yourself that you’re doing fine when you could be doing better, and you make yourself believe that doing just a little is enough to succeed.
The answer to solving this damaging, self-perpetuating circle is to enlist outside help, because it is far harder to lie to another person than it is to blank out those little nagging doubts in your own head.
Ask yourself, could you set up some healthy competition with a friend? What about posting your target onto social media, and using the potential pain of failure to drive you? Create higher consequences of losing.
The best way to get accountability is to use a coach or a mentor. These are the people who know what it is like to feel demotivated, and have found ways to work past that. Once you tell them what your goals are, the fact that you will have someone checking in on your progress at your next meeting will be a great motivation to make you do more.
12. Risk more as you learn more
I find that the more I learn, the more I earn. When I learn something new and inspiring, it usually motivates me to take that new knowledge and instil it into my business, as well as to pass that understanding on to those I work with and, also, to you guys.
As you teach yourself and learn more, increase your risk threshold and make yourself feel uncomfortable on a regular basis. If you remain comfortable, you are more likely to stagnate. As your comfort zone grows, so does your ability to triumph over what the things that you are afraid of.
If you don’t risk anything, you risk everything, and comfort is often the enemy of success.
What motivates you to succeed in your business? What motivational secrets do you know? What motivational hacks do you use to get yourself back on track during those low-energy days? Let us know in the comments or on the Unlimited Success Facebook page
If you would like to learn how to get more done in less time, you can find my book Life Leverage here
Find out how to avoid the hustle and grind in running a small business here