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This is the most ironic post I could’ve written right about now.
I’m sitting here, the day after Easter, on a rainy Monday in Philadelphia, in my fuzzy pink bathrobe with my cup of cold coffee (story of my life), feeling so stinkin’ unmotivated. Yannno the feeling? I’ve checked my email for the third time in the last five minutes for something entertaining, not bothering with the 121 other emails that need my attention, I’ve scrolled Facebook for kitten videos and drink tutorials, I’ve planned my travel for upcoming work meetings, and I’ve written out my to-do’s and goals for the entire week…but I haven’t actually written this blog post.
Actually, I’m just staring at a screen full of bullet points, trying to figure out how quickly I can whip something valuable up and out before tackling the other big task o’ the day: taxes. Cos tax day is, um, today, and I’m just getting to that. LOL @ LIFE.
Yanno the feeling????????
Unmotivated. No matter your career/occupation, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all #BeenThereDoneThat at least once or twice around the block. While I don’t have the inside scoop on other occupations, I do know and feel like I can safely say that motivation as a blogger – as a work-from-home entrepreneur – can be particularly *ahem* rough on days like this. When all you wanna do is curl up in bed and snuggle with your cats and husband with the windows open to the tune of raindrops and birdsong, it’s HELLA HARD to get up at the usual pre-7 am, hit up yonder Keurig, and start busting out #werk like a #boss. Hella. hard.
Beyond circumstantial things like “holidays” and the weather, there’s also a whole slue o’ inner demons we battle every day to tackle to-do’s with grace. Namely, comparison traps, imposter syndrome, creative dry spells, overwhelm, and total burn out. Jinkies. Sometimes it feels like we need an entire army just to help us out of bed, let alone with the massive projects that have to get done (and often, done by you, cos solopreneurs don’t have the luxury of delegation). Motivation can be lacking. Entrepreneur motivation can be lacking, too. And as entrepreneurs, we know better than many that regardless of whether or not we feel motivated, we still gotta get ish done.
So, here are 15 ways to stay motivated as an entrepreneur.
- Write out your personal mission statement riiiiiiiight now. Like, stop-whatever-you’re-doing-right-now. I firmly believe that you MUST have a strong “why” at the center of your work, or it’ll become nearly *impossible* to get back on track in the downest of the dumps. Your why can be anything, really – it just has to be the most compelling why that you do what you do. Ideally, it’s more heart-centered and not based on anything materialistic. IE, your business is built to make the world a better place (really), not just to make money. There has to be something bigger than yourself that keeps you rooted, so that you can dig deep into that and blossom.
- Set routines. Not having to think is *clutch* on those days when bed sounds like the best option. That way, you can lowkey fall outta bed and know exactly what you’re wearing, what you’re eating – even what coffee you’re drinking if your Keurig is preloaded and ready to start dripping liquid motivation into your cup with any equally motivational quote on it. 😉 Try to do as much routinely as possible, that way you don’t have to waste time wondering what to do next, or waste time feeling unmotivated.
- Have processes. This goes hand-in-hand with setting routines, but make sure everything has its process! Just like you might know that first you drink the coffee, then you do #AllTheThings, it’s important to know the order that #AllTheThings goes in so that you can plan, produce, and promote as efficiently as possible (like that alliteration? mmmmm). As a blogger, I have my process down pat for producing blog content. I know the exact order + steps involved start to finish, from ideation to execution – from outlining a post, to formatting it and bringing the finished product to life. This is KEY, especially if you have a few bigger “processes” that repeat themselves often within your business (hello, blogging).
- Reassess as need be. Feeling unmotivated? Reassess your situation/life. WHY are you unmotivated? It might just be circumstantial (ie, Monday the day after a holiday, ew). Or, it might be more. Are you unmotivated often with what you do now? Maybe it’s a sign that you’re on the wrong path and need to change things up to become reinvigorated in what you truly lovelovelove to do. Key: Don’t jump ship the second you’re feeling unmotivated without FIRST reassessing holistically and honestly to see where the root of your unmotivation lies.
- Force breaks! I can be really really really good at taking breaks (Gossip Girl season 5, anyone? Catch ya in a few hours, work…), or the WORST. More often, I’m admittedly the worst and need texts from my mom to make sure I eat and drink in a timely manner, because clearly I’m 12. Sometimes the best thing for your motivation is a step away from work – a step away from whatever you need motivation to do. A light breather (and some snacks) can be the perfect remedy, allowing your brain to just lift up for a bit. Bonus points if it’s an active break, since endorphins are the best motivation to feel on top o’ the world! My breaks now come from my latest exercise kick, CorePower Yoga, which you might’ve caught on my Snapchat or Instastories, and HOLY MOLY do I lovelovelove. More on that to come… 😉
- Get centered on what matters most. At the end of the day, I know that my entrepreneur motivation drains the second I’m completely and totally overwhelmed and on Burnout Road. And, I know that typically when I turn onto Burnout Road, I’ve been preoccupied with work and am not putting nearly as much attention as I should on the things that really truly matter the most to me: God, and my family + friends.
- Manage yo’ money. Money certainly isn’t everything. But as an entrepreneur (and, um, as a human being), it’s definitely something. Are you up to speed with your own financial game? Sometimes the best entrepreneur motivation are dollah dollah bills. And I don’t mean that in a bad and/or money-hungry sense in the slightest! Reality is that without profits coming in, you’re not a business – you’re an expensive hobby. Lovelovelove it or hate it, money is a player in the entreprenerial game. If you’re not on top of yo’ ish, tracking what’s coming in and going out, you risk getting in hot water, either missing money or forgetting it’s owed, etc. There is nothing worse for an entrepreneur’s motivation than feeling like you’re actually making zero dollars and like that constant late nights and neverending work isn’t paying off in something tangible that could pay for the light bill (or at least cover coffee for said late night work sessions). Stay on track!
- Read like it’s your job. Schedule time on your calendar to read. Get + stay uptodate on everything that’s happening in your industry. Be motivated knowing that you’re on your A game, staying on trend and on top of the times. Plus, it’s instant inspiration. Besides making for great entrepreneur motivation, reading can + will get your creative juices flowing and re-spark your curiosity for the things that you lovelovelove most, professionally speaking.
- Plan ahead and set reminders. If you’re already feeling unmotivated, the last thing you wanna (or can) do is start at ground zero to get work done. Plan ahead in your most motivated states, and set reminders on your phone for when that times comes. Know you’ve got a deadline coming up? Break the work up into your tried + true process (see point above), and schedule each piece of the process out on your calendar, setting reminders accordingly. No thinking necessary there on out! Set reminders of your WHY to be randomly scheduled throughout the day, so that at 2:52 on a Tuesday a few weeks from now, you’ll be reminded of how much you genuinely lovelovelove what you do and why you do it in the first place. Also set reminders to eat so you’re not like me scarfing down Wendy’s at 3 pm cos I legit forgot lunch. Oops.
- Embrace your personal mantras. If you don’t have any yet, start here and get back to me once you’ve got one. 😉
- Know your self-motivation style. What motivates you? Are you more motivated by taking pressures OFF, or laying ’em on thick? If you’re unsure, see which of these resonates more strongly with you: “Each new day brings an opportunity to get it right.” OR “If I don’t take the initiative to act, someone else will.” The former is pretty laidback and paints the picture that everyday is a fresh start, so there’s no real rush. The latter is a weeeee bit more pressured, implying that there’s no time like the present to carpe diem and make it happen. Honestly, I think I’m a bit of both sometimes, depending on the flavor of the week. But if you’re more one versus the other, that’s good to know so you can plan life/work accordingly.
- TREAT YO’SELF. My life mantra as of late. Just like it’s important to take breaks, it’s important to treat yo’self from time to time. Whether that’s whipped cream on your coconut almond latte, or a new pair of heels, embrace the treat yo’self mentality. My bad habit was tying things that should just be a regular part of my self care and self love as “rewards” for hitting random self-imposed milestones. But that can become so restrictive and borderline abusive if you only treat yourself kindly when you’ve “achieved” something – ain’t nobody got time for that! If you need some help getting started on this one, I’d recommend these super cute + comfy sandals for spring/summer nights out, these fun earrings (they’re on sale for the cheapest they’ve ever been ever), or killer workout pants for your next yoga class (I just bought these as part of this massive sale that was extended one more day – just drop code EVENT17 in at checkout!).
- Remember that it’s not a race. It really, really isn’t.
- Have notepads where you need ’em. For me, this means right on my nightstand, and in the shower. HA. But really tho, I swear my most GENIUS ideas happen while I’m mid-shampoo. 😉
- Sleeeeeep. Those zzzzz’s make a difference! I know, I know…but Erica, sleep is for the weak! Who needs sleep when I’ve got an empire to build? WRONG, YO. Sleep is essential to keeping your energy high, and your body and mind physically function less well without it. Someone is telling you that science has proven that sleep makes you perform better at work, basically giving you a free pass to get 8 hours a night WHILE being a boss? Girlfriend, embrace it!
- Remember that you’re not alone, nor are you abnormal. We ALL have periods of higher productivity where we’re Beyonce-ing the crap outta something, and then we’re in bed with Netflix and a bag of powdered donuts calling it “research”. 😉 Ready for this? …IT’S OK. The world will keep spinning, your business can still be booming, and so long as you’re not donut-ing away your whole life, you can still be TOTALLY. FINE. not working 24/7 and not feeling like a motivated maven every waking second of everyday. You’re not alone. You’re not a failure for falling “off your game” every once in awhile. We’re all works in progress. We never truly “make it” to one monumental stone of success, unless ya count heaven. 😉 You’ve got this. Motivation may come and go sometimes. The key: Keep your joy through it all. Don’t forget that.
What entrepreneur motivation works for you?
Entrepreneur motivation is really just hyper motivation that can totally go around, so if you have some tips + tricks that get you back on track, drop ’em in a comment below! I hope these tidbits help kickstart your week right. *fist bump* For my fellow entrepreneurs in da house, how do you get + stay motivated?
Now I’m off to chug coffee numero tres + make all the things happen. Wishing you a kickass Monday!
P.S. You can still enter to win TWO (yup, two) $1,000 gift cards to Nordstrom, which is *perfect* for spring shopping.