If you’re anything like me, you’ve had rough moments when you want to give up on running your small business and go get a desk job.
The stresses of finding new clients and running the business begin to pile up and the idea of someone else telling you what to do doesn’t sound so bad.
Let’s be honest, if you have that entrepreneurial spirit there’s no way you’ll ever be happy working for someone else. At least I can’t imagine it.
The key to staying motived in your business is hope and vision for the future. Here are a few strategies you can use…
1. Keep the vision in front of you
One of the first things we did when launching our software KioskSimple was to make a professional looking logo and slap it all over stuff we keep around the office
Even while the product was just vaporware, it felt real because you could see it. Everyday I’d try to imagine how pleased our customers would be when they use our product.
Whatever your next big product or service find a way to keep it in front of you so you can dream about it often.
2. Regularly sell your vision to your entire team
It’s a lot easier to stay motivated when everyone else around you is motivated also. Make sure to sell your vision to your team on a regular basis to keep their excitement alive.
They know you still have a long way to go, but excitement is contagious and can help you get through the rough times.
To me this felt weird at first, but now it’s a regular part of our company meetings to sell the vision and get everyone excited. Try it, you won’t be sorry.
3. Decide ahead time when to press on and when to quit
Seth Godin wrote a great book called The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick).
Seth has some great points about deciding ahead of time when you’re willing to call it quits and move on to the next thing,
I’ve found this motivates me when starting a new initiative because there’s always an end in sight. I don’t have to keep trying until the wheels fall off.
This doesn’t mean quitting your business, it’s more about being ok with trying the next thing on your list if your current attempt fails.
4. Be transparent with your team about the state of your business
I learned this from Stephen M.R. Covey’s book Smart Trust: Creating Prosperity, Energy, and Joy in a Low-Trust World.
The idea is to trust your team and they’ll trust you back.
We do a monthly meeting where we layout the state of our business, including details on the finances, and answer everyone’s questions.
If things are going bad, we tell everyone and come up with a better plan for next month.
It can be scary to give the “bad news,” but I strongly believe it goes a long way to build trust and loyalty.
I included this in my motivation list because it builds loyalty in the team and loyalty us much more conducive to motivation than having one foot out the door.
5. Have a beer with your team
Hanging out with the team is one of my favorite things to do. We dream about the future and how large our business will grow someday.
Typically we go smoke cigars at the local humidor, but I just like this picture from Rogue Tap House in San Francisco.
This was taken while KioskSimple was still vaporware, but it’s real today and I’m proud to say we have a kick-ass team.