Staying Motivated & Productive All Summer Long
Once the weather starts to change and the temperatures start to heat up, business owners from all walks of life start to have something in common: they start to lose the motivation to work on their business! And without motivation, there is no such thing as “productive.”
If you find this happening to you, there could be any number of different reasons behind it. You may have been working hard all winter and are ready for a break; people tend to socialize more in warm weather so you may have a bunch of weddings, parties, reunions, and other gatherings coming up; and if you are a Mom, whatever time you had to work on your business during the rest of the year can easily slip once the kids get out of school for summer….
Why It’s Important To Stay Motivated
Trust me, I understand all of the situations I mentioned above… but I also think it’s important to understand that what you do in your business today will affect it 3 months down the road.
You may be able to take some time off and not see any problem at all…. Depending on the type of business you have, you may be able to coast all summer long without working much, but sooner or later, you will see a decrease in your profits.
And what happens in September when you suddenly see a huge dip in your income? It’s going to take a good 3 months to build it all back up so you’re going to be working hard all the way till December, and in the meantime you’re struggling to buy school clothes, holiday presents, etc, etc.
The big lesson of the day is to do your best to keep working in the summer – even though there are other things you’d rather be doing!
It’s going to be very hard to stay motivated if you are not looking at your business in a focused manner. If things are blurry or hazy, you’ll definitely start to procrastinate and it won’t take long for your work to pile up.
The bad news? If you don’t start to focus soon, you may permanently lose your business motivation. The good news? You can easily get your focus back!
One of the biggest problems that I’ve seen is that people take on too many businesses! I’ve spent a lot of time in “work at home” message boards and forums and I’ve seen a lot of people who are promoting two, three, or more businesses. While I definitely encourage people to develop multiple streams of income, I do caution against “business overload.”
If you are trying to spread your time amongst several businesses, you’re setting yourself up for failure. For example, if you are a direct sales rep for multiple companies, how can you really promote all those products to your fullest potential?
If you want to recruit people, promoting more than one company can make you look less credible than if you were focused on one company. If you went to buy a car, and you discovered that the same salesman tried to sell you a car at the Chevy, Ford, and Dodge dealerships, wouldn’t you seem a bit confused?
How can that salesman stand in front of you and tell you that you are getting the best car at each dealership when they are representing three different companies at the same time?
On the other hand, if your businesses relate to each other, then you can spread your interests out a bit more. For example, if you were a direct sales rep for a kitchen related company, you could start a recipe blog and use it to promote your business, as well as be an affiliate for other food related products.
The solution to this problem? Look at how many different businesses you are spending your time on and determine which one is actually bringing in the money. Now, figure out how much more money you could be earning from that business if you were actually devoting all your time to it. If that dollar amount sounds good to you, you may want to consider letting the other things go.
Focusing On The Right Activities
Staying focused on the right activities will keep your business moving in the right direction. The specific activities you should focus on will vary depending on your business. To determine where you are spending the majority of your time, use a time tracking tool such as www.myhours.com
When you’re working on the computer, it can be easy to spend too much time checking email, looking at Pinterest, chatting on Facebook or Twitter, reading blogs, etc. Now, all of those things can be important parts of your business, but if your profits are not where you’d like them to be, keep asking yourself “is this activity making me money” as you work through the day.
Be Goal Oriented
It’s important to set goals within your business. You will probably want to have long term goals that you work on throughout the year, as well as short term monthly goals.
As you write out your goals, make sure that they are attainable and give them a deadline. Without a deadline, they’re just “wishes.”
Keep track of your progress and reward yourself accordingly. As hard as it may be, try not to “give in” to the reward until you actually achieve the goal.
While you are working towards your goals, stay accountable to someone. This could be a family member, a business friend, a business coach, etc. Just let someone know what your goal is what you are working towards.
This simple action can help motivate you BIG time. Eventually, that person is going to ask you how you are progressing and you definitely want to have good news for them when that question comes up. No one wants to admit that they aren’t working as hard as they could be!
Change Your Space
If you aren’t feeling very motivated, try changing your space up a little bit. There are lots of little things you can do to your workspace to make it much more inspiring.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.” That saying is very true when it comes to finding motivation. Find a picture of what inspires you and hang it up where you will see it while working. This could be pictures of your kids, a picture of your dream home, new car, or whatever else you find inspiring.
When you’re having a bad day and feel like throwing in the towel, look at your picture and think the reason about why you’re working. You’ll find the energy to keep going.
Develop An Organization System
If you don’t already have an organization system for your business, now is definitely the time to start. Different people work best with different systems, so unfortunately, I can’t tell you which type to use. Some people like paper systems, because they can cross items off their list as they complete them. Some people like digital planners because they can send their lists to their phones, etc.
Google Calendar can be a mix between both, as you can set appointments online and then print out your calendar as well. You can also view it from your phone, and have reminders go off on your phone and computer, as well.
Personally, I like the feeling of crossing things off a to-do list, and I like hanging things on my bulletin board, so paper is what works for me. But like I said, everyone is different. Find what works for you and go with it!
It is totally possible to take time off this summer and enjoy yourself! Just be cautious about taking too much time off. It’s hard to get back on the “horse” after a long summer. So be careful and be wise.
And when it comes time to work, the best motto to have is “Just Do It” (yes, just like Nike said). I’ll be honest with you. There are going to be days when you’re just not going to feel like working. And those are the days where you’ll just have to be your own boss and tell your employee self to get the job done.
Remember – the sooner the work is done, the sooner you can go outside and have fun!