Whether you’re an entrepreneur, small business owner, or working in a corporate position, we’re all working to find success and fulfillment — whatever that definition is to each of us. We all put in time, skills, and lots and lots of brain power and effort to achieve our goals in a world that sometimes feels as though it’s only job is to thwart us.
Contrary to these occasional (yet intense!) feelings, the world generally isn’t out to get us. Intellectually, we know that all we really need to do is cultivate consistent perseverance. It actually IS that simple.
BUT … we all have those overwhelmingly difficult days right along with those flying-high-and-flushed-with-success days. So, how do we successfully manage the in-between, and more importantly, those overwhelming days? How can we motivate ourselves to keep going? Well, I can only speak from my personal experience (which is 15+ years in corporate and 2+ years running my own business), and in that time, I’ve found three things help enormously:
1) Clear Goals and Objectives.
As I tell my clients (and anyone who is kind (and smart!) enough to attend one of my presentationsor workshops), without clear goals and objectives, nothing else can really happen or be effective. Your overall goals and objectives drive everything else. It’s the ultimate definition of “what you want to happen” — personally, financially, and perhaps, socially — as a result of being in business or taking that new job. Every marketing decision, every piece of marketing collateral (printed material) or online effort, every change of career position needs to be supporting your goals and objectives.
If you find yourself spending way too much time on tasks that don’t support your objective, then something isn’t right and you’ll end up frustrated … and who wants that?
2) Vision/Mission Near and Dear to Your Heart (and easily viewable from your desk!)
I’m a firm believer in having a clearly stated vision statement. As your “big why,” it can be incredibly empowering. For business owners, it’s really non-negotiable.
Your vision statement answers what I call your “big WHY” question. Simply put, it’s an aspirational description of what you would like to achieve or accomplish in the long-term future. This could be everything from creating a thriving local business to feeding local poor, to supporting missionaries around the globe — it’s what you focus on when you’re having a challenging day. It keeps your eye on the long-term prize, so make sure you write it out and hang it up where you can see it every day.
3) Fierce, Consistent Self-Care
I’ve written a lot about the importance of self-care for entrepreneurs and will continue to do so, but it holds true for anyone working toward a goal. If you get over-tired, burnt out, or overwhelmed, reaching your goal will become much harder, if not impossible. Take the time to nurture yourself!
Feed whatever it is that feeds you. This is an incredibly personal thing and it doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be many things (daily exercise of your choice, 10-minute meditation, preparing and eating healthy food, getting 8+ hours of sleep per night, etc) or one big thing you do regularly for yourself (weekly/monthly massage, a spa visit every so often, etc). The bottom line is you must take care of yourself. As a business owner, I’ve experienced it time and time again — my business thrives the more I take care of myself and conversely struggles when I ignore my needs.
I would love to hear what keeps you going through the myriad and inevitable ups and downs of your business and work lives. In the meantime, take a breath and I wish you lots of good energy to help you keep working toward your goal!