It’s the middle of summer, and you’re stuck behind the desk at your small business — working and sweating.
Your friends’ Facebook feeds are filled with pictures of them happily enjoying a drink on some beach. It’s no wonder you’ve lost that loving feeling for your own business.
Falling out of love with your small business can happen at any time, not just in summer. Most entrepreneurs find they hit a period when they’ve lost their momentum and feel like they’re in a rut.
How do you fall back in love with your business and get back to where you once belonged? It’s time to rekindle the old flame.
1. Remind yourself of your “bright idea”
Think back to when you first started your business:
• What was your original business idea?
• How did you come up with it?
• What problem were you trying to solve?
• What opportunity were you trying to seize?
• What excited you about it?
Getting back in touch with what got you excited about your business in the first place may help reignite your spark. You have goals and dreams — let’s bring those to the forefront again. Or, you may be reminded of ideas you had for your business that you set aside during your day-to-day efforts to keep everything running smoothly. Maybe it’s time to dust those off and try some new approaches.
(Photo: Peshkova, Getty Images/iStockphoto)
In addition to what you wanted to achieve for your business, you were almost certainly motivated by personal goals when you began your business. You may have lost touch with those or feel like you’re not achieving them as quickly as you wanted to.
Most entrepreneurs’ personal goals can be summed up by the Four Cs:
• Creativity: If being creative is what gets you motivated, remain closely involved in the creative aspects of your business.
• Control: If you’re driven by a need for control, create a system to ensure that you have sufficient information about all the developments in your company
• Challenge: If you have a high need for challenge, establish goals that truly satisfy you, while maintaining the health of your business. Otherwise, you may find yourself continually starting new projects that get you sidetracked.
• Cash: Every entrepreneur wants to make money. If you’re not achieving your financial goals, it’s time to re-evaluate your business plan.
3. Emulate your role models
If you want to be like Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, then build your business to reflect the values she symbolizes for you. She might be an inspiration for building a collaborative, highly successful company.
Reminding yourself of your role models can help create a powerful vision for yourself and re-energize you when you’ve lost steam. If your business hero is Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, it might reconnect you with your desire to be innovative. Or perhaps you’d like to be more like your sister who’s been self-employed for 10 years and still goes to all her kids’ soccer games?
Our role models don’t all have to be rich and famous. They can be those who have found ways to live the kind of lives we’d like to have or to make the type of mark we’d like to make on the world.
Whether you’re just starting out in business or you’ve been in business for years, try this exercise:
1. Think about an entrepreneur you admire.
2. Jot down the traits you admire in that person.
3. Brainstorm on how you can incorporate those traits into your life and your business.
Any relationship can get a bit stale over time, even the relationship of an entrepreneur to his or her own company. It’s time to get out from behind that desk and give yourself the space to remind yourself what inspires you and what made you fall in love with your small business in the first place.