Starting a business is a bit like building a relationship. It starts out all full on and showing up with shaved legs and a new outfit that flaunts you in all the right ways and then it becomes something different, more…but it’s now when you can feel less motivated to show up as you did when you were just starting out all that lust for the business and enthusiasm for days – it’s turned into routine and strategy and you are doing it all whilst wearing your granny pants and furry slippers.
It’s normal to lose some of that initial momentum – nothing can sustain eternal momentum but it doesn’t always feel great when you find yourself there. I often feel stuck and unmotivated, I mean, life is full on isn’t it and trying to juggle all those balls can be a bit tiring if nothing else.
I would love to be one of those people who seem to have never ending energy reserves but I’m not and so, I have to protect my energy in all the small ways possible. When I am feeling stuck or unmotivated I take this as a sign that something is out of whack. It’s the most visible sign that I need to take better care of my energy levels. It’s a chain reaction – you take care of your energy levels and you will stop feeling stuck.
There isn’t a secret formula for it though and that’s equally true when it comes to motivating yourself and getting unstuck in your business.
When someone I’m working with finds themselves firmly on the struggle bus I fully expect to be on speed-dial. The signs can include, procrastinating because they can’t face another night on the laptop or when they just want to lay in bed another hour but have an order to fulfil/client call to make/podcast to record/marketing to do but are finding that they can barely face the day. Let’s not forget the good old imposter syndrome.
When someone is feeling stuck and it’s beginning to feel like quite a heavy burden we take a day and focus on 3 things:
- Acceptance – I am sick to the back teeth of the amazing women I work with putting themselves down like they’re should know better. “I signed up for this, I should be better” and the idea that they should be ‘on’ at all times. Just no! Whilst it’s human nature, this is an insidious thought process that only serves to generate lethargy and despondency. Instead I encourage my ladies to be kinder to themselves. “So this is how I feel. It’s pretty normal when you experience the highs and lows of running a business and maintaining a life”. Like with any problem, the first step is always accepting that there is a problem in the first place. I may go against the grain a bit here for some of you but when you feel this way I WANT you to live in it for a bit. It’s a natural part of the cycle (like digestion) and it should be respected for what it is. So take the morning, reschedule a couple of things and let it wash over you.
- Fun – Go, have some fun/do something funny. It’s a way to disrupt the pattern of your negative thought process and it triggers the good stuff. I always recommend something like having a quick chat with that friend that always makes you laugh or listening to an episode of a funny podcast (my favourite is My Dad Wrote A Porno). Actually laughing out loud is the key to this one – not only does it disrupt those negative thoughts but it’s genuinely great therapy personally and professionally. Dedicate some time today to having fun.
- Do it – This is probably the easiest of them all even though it doesn’t feel that way. Feeling stuck is a result of feeling like you aren’t going anywhere – the way to counteract that is to achieve something. Pick one thing you need to do (small but manageable) and get it done, this often creates it’s own form of momentum. Once it’s done consider your to do list complete, you’ve done it, if you have the momentum to do more that’s awesome but if want to stop for the day…stop. Give yourself permission to do things your way, of course getting all your other work done is important and running your business is what you have committed yourself to, it’s your reputation and your income but you need to recharge your action batteries, just like you have to charge your phone to get the most out of it. You owe it to yourself and your customers.