Oh, if only the spark and excitement in a new business would last forever. Cambridge University professor Dr. Brian Little, a research psychologist and motivational psychology expert, suggests some strategies to put into play once your initial enthusiasm starts to waver.
Be the business.
Treating your business as your “baby”, identifying with it personally can help you stay motivated. “Self-identity can provide the passion that keeps the venture sustained over time, it provides a sense of meaning,” Little explains. However, be prepared to cut the emotional cords if the situation calls for a more practical approach. “If the core project is attacked or it starts to become problematic, then you do need to be able to shift to a more pragmatic focus,” he says.
Your environment can either stimulate or prohibit motivation. If your location can’t support your goals, consider packing up the laptop and finding a new place to work, either for the day or more long-term. “Find a way in which you can be supple and flexible enough to go to different places rather than abandoning a project,” Little says.
Hang in there.
As an entrepreneur or small-business owner, you are forced to wear many hats, and some may not suit your personality or style (say, when an introvert needs to hobnob with potential investors). To stay motivated while acting out of character, Little suggests planning a retreat afterward to a “restorative niche”, an environment or behaviour that makes you feel comfortable.
How do you stay motivated? Share your tips with us in the comments below.