The year 2020 has certainly changed life for Australian’s and people across the world. With uncertainty becoming the new “norm”, it can affect all aspects of life, including mental health. If you run your own business, this can be especially daunting as competing demands can heighten stress levels, leaving you feeling depleted and unmotivated. Whilst it might be overwhelming at times, let us help you with some simpleand practical tips for how you can stay motivated, after a global pandemic.
WHAT EXACTLY IS MOTIVATION?
Motivation can seem like an intangible force that propels you to do things that you desire like exercise or eat healthy. What motivation actually involves is a reason for acting or behaving in a particular way. Some examples of motivation are wanting to earn more money so you can buy a holiday home or boat, or hiring more staff so you can spend more time with your family. Remembering what your motivations are can help to focus on the positive and detract from negative influences that may hinder you achieving your goals.
1. GET CLEAR ON WHAT YOU WANT
You cannot head in any direction if you do not know what you want, in both business and personal life. It would be like trying to kick a footy towards a goal post but doing it with a blindfold on. Take some time to think about what you would like to achieve in your business this year, next year and in 5-10 years’ time. Try to be specific with the goal/s. If your goals are wishy washy, then your results will be the same. Here are a few examples:
Vague: “I want more spare time.”
Specific: “I want to be finished work by 5pm every day so I can have dinner with my family.”
Vague: “I want to increase revenue.”
Specific: “I want to increase revenue by 120k in the next 12 months.”
The SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) framework is a useful tool to map out clear goals. Once you are clear on what you want, the next step is to plan how to achieve your goals.
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2. CHUNKING IS YOUR FRIEND
Chunking might sound a little odd but it’s the psychology term for breaking down information into smaller chunks that can be easily processed by the brain. It is important to have big long-term goals that may take 5+ years to achieve but without the process of chunking, it can actually demotivate you. Here’s a few examples:
Big Goal: “I want to run a marathon in 18 months’ time.”
Chunking: I will start by running 5kms, 3 times per week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Each week I will increase the distance gradually by 500m per week until I reach marathon distance.
Big Goal: “I want to increase my revenue by 120k in the next 12 months (10k per month).”
Chunking: I will attend a business networking event once a week to build my client base.
I will engage in a marketing or sales professional to bring leads into my business.
I will contact 5 people each week to build my network.
By breaking big goals into smaller achievable steps, this will help motivate you to stay on track.
3. REDUCE OVERWHELM
Once you have a plan and see how your goals can come to fruition, it can be tempting to run full steam ahead and take massive action. This can lead to stress, overwhelm and high levels of anxiety. Remember that you have a plan now, so consistency is key. There’s a reason why the story of the tortoise and hare is still popular today. You can find wisdom and motivation in all kinds of places! Schedule time each week to work on your goals and stick to it.
4. BUILD GOOD HABITS – REMEMBER CONSISTENCY IS KEY
Whilst motivation helps to connect you with what you want and why you want to do it, habits are what keeps you going on a subconscious level so you don’t even need to think about it. Think about brushing your teeth, you do this automatically, without even thinking about it. That’s the true beauty of habits. Research shows it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days to build a habit, with 66 days being the average so do everything in your power to make a habit. Buy a wall calendar, set reminders in your phone, use a diary to plan your day, the options are endless. If you are not sure what method works for you, try one and if it doesn’t work, try something else.
5. PLAN TIME TO WORK ON YOUR BUSINESS
Most of the time you spend working in your business, not on your business. To achieve you goals, you need to spend time working on them. This is non-negotiable if you want to grow your business. Set a time each week and COMMIT to working on your business. You may not need all the time allocated each week so use the extra time so go get yourself a beer. Or do your business planning with a beer?!? There’s no judgement here.
6. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL
There will always be setbacks and things that are outside of your control that will deter you from reaching your goals. This can decrease motivation. The best strategy for this is to redirect your thinking and focus on what you can control. Reduce distractions, turn off your phone, delegate tasks or do whatever is needed to free your time so you can focus on what matters. At the start of every day or week, write down your 3 top priorities for the day and stick to it.
7. LOOK AFTER YOURSELF
We are humans, not robots and therefore have the same core human needs. Your business relies on you, and to be your best self, it means you need to look after yourself. If your tank is running on empty, you are good to no one. Not your clients, employees, family or friends. If you are scrimping of sleep, go to bed 15 mins earlier each night (that adds up to an extra 1.75 hours sleep per week), or commit to an extra a gym session or basketball game to get your body moving. If you notice your mental health may be suffering, there is help and support available. Here’s a few resources:
Mens Line Australia – 1300 78 99 78
Mates in Construction – 1300 642 111
Lifeline – 13 11 14
Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636
Most importantly, know that it’s ok to not be okay sometimes. Running your own business can be hard work and you can only do your best.
8. CONNECT WITH OTHERS
Being in business can be lonely and isolating at times. Connect with other business owners who share the same problems as you do. Find someone who can be an accountability partner that you catch up for a beer on a regular basis.
9. REACH OUT FOR HELP IF YOU NEED IT
Engaging professionals to grow your business is vital. There are only so many hours in the day. You can’t be expected to know it all. Focus on your strengths (e.g. your trade) and engage reliable professionals to work on areas outside your business. There are many businesses that work specifically with the trades and services industries, who understand your business challenges and customer base. There’s no time like the present so start reaching out to professionals with expertise in marketing, accounting or business coaching and build your dream team!
Contact us today if you would like to discuss marketing for your your trade or construction business on 0421 557 715.