One of the best parts of owning a business is the opportunity to do what you want to do, often borne of a passion for your chosen work. Finding a fulfilling motivation. A purpose for getting up everyday. Living a professional life with intention.
Loving what you do.
It would be disingenuous to say that owning a business is all rainbows and sunshine. It’s incredibly hard work that sometimes doesn’t generate the return we hope for when starting out on this adventure.
Don’t lose the passion
This month’s theme for the WBN is “Engagement from the heart – how to stay motivated and in love with your business.” What a big theme. There are so many reasons you can lose the passion for your work, but there are some key things that you can do to help prevent it from happening:
- Plan time away. Just as you need a solid night of sleep to refresh and renew for each day, you need time to rejuvenate away from your business. Time to turn your brain off and focus on meeting your personal needs. Maybe it’s a day spent reading a really good book. Perhaps it’s a day at the spa with good friends. Or it could be a full-fledged vacation away from your everyday life.
- Set goals for yourself. Do you know what you want to achieve today? This week? This month? This year? Have you written it down? If you haven’t, how do you know you’re doing the right things day-to-day? Whether they’re personal goals or professional, don’t ignore the need to achieve and track your successes. There’s nothing more motivating than ticking off another win on your list of goals. Just imagine how you felt the last time you did it…now set yourself up to feel that way again.
- Work less. Most people I know who own businesses cite the desire for more time for themselves, or flexibility with their time, or the desire to work less and have a better work/life balance. Most of those same people who are reading this are probably laughing as they read this, because they know how hard they have to work to keep a business running. Though it sounds counterintuitive to say that you should work less, it goes back to the first point. Your productivity decreases the longer you work.
- Find support. You need someone you can trust when you have to talk about the challenges in your business. (For partnerships, find someone who isn’t your partner.) Masterminds, mentors, friends, colleagues – anyone who can listen and give insights. One of the core purposes of the WBN is to provide a network for exactly this kind of support. You don’t have to do it alone – you aren’t alone.
- Check-in with yourself. We all have days that are rough. We all have weeks that weigh us down. The longer you feel off and uncertain, the more important it is to explore why you feel that way. Be honest about your feelings, the reasons you feel the way you do, and don’t let the steps to correct it scare you. Sometimes it means a major pivot in your business to get back to your core purpose. Sometimes you just need to do one of the other four things listed above. Occasionally the answer may be more difficult. Whatever the answer, don’t shy away from it. You are worth the effort to put things right.
Passion for your business is powerful
I have the opportunity in my work to talk to business owners and organizational leaders about what they do on a regular basis and delve into their reasons for being. The stories I hear are interesting, inspiring, unique, and energizing. I get the same feeling as I get to know my fellow WBN members. If you’re struggling to connect with your *why* I hope you’ll join us this month. The Wine Down next week is an opportunity for you to meet other women who may be able to give you some input on various challenges you’re experiencing.
Our special event with the Ottawa Senators that is bringing several women’s networking groups together should be an inspiring opportunity for you to hear from women who have been working hard to achieve their success for a long time. They’ll have great advice to help you. As always, we’ll all be able to enjoy networking at the February Breakfast Mix and Mingle and hearing what one of our members has to say about staying motivated and in love with your business.
I hope that as we immerse ourselves in our theme for February that we’ll all feel a new energy and excitement going into the rest of 2016!