When was the last time a project felt impossible to complete? Even if you like your job, it’s common to have spells of disinterest.
I was working on a challenging assignment just yesterday. I thus discovered that I needed that extra push and inspiration. Fortunately, I had enough of experience and expertise in figuring out what drives me to work hard when I don’t have much left to give, so I knew just what to do.
I want to ask you a question now: What inspires you? What motivates you to maintain running a small business?
Owning a business isn’t easy. The path to business ownership is not for the weak. This path is bombarded with issues in the form of business and personal roadblocks. Every business owner has his/her path to sojourn.
Some business owners may struggle at the very beginning to get the business off the ground, or they may start with a boom and then things slow down due to a pandemic or contracting industry options.
Whatever the reason for slowing down or stagnation in business one thing is certain and it is that motivation is critical in encouraging business owners to push through the hard times as well as to try new ways of making money and pivoting their brand to position it for success.
Brand positioning during times of financial drought and stagnation is essential and is also an important action to review when business is not going as well as it should. Reviewing your brand’s position in the market is very difficult for the owner of the brand and oftentimes organizations outsource this activity as an objective party will provide a thorough and objective review. This entire process of brand pivoting and repositioning must take place with a leader whose mindset is in the right place.
A leader’s mental space is very important as it can make or break the organization from its very core. It is important to find out what motivates the leader in question. Motivations can build empires and tear down great existing empires. When we find out what motivates a leader, we will find out how to motivate him/her during stagnation and low points in your business.
Reflecting on Past Business Successes to Pivot Your Business
There is nothing like that euphoric feeling you experience when you succeed in business. Whether your success is for one day or one year it sure feels great. One great way to keep motivated as a business owner of a struggling business is to reflect on past wins or successes.
There is nothing like great moments that give us that all-time high we seek as humans. Life is made up of positive and negative, high points and low points and so when these low points surface motivation is one of the best options to turn to. When a struggling business owner starts to reflect on previous successes it is important to guide him/her into those high points with caution.
Business Case Studies
Struggles existed from the very beginning of time, and they will exist even after we are all gone. Having a struggling business is a rite of passage for every business owner. How the rite of passage is handled is the most important thing.
One sure way to motivate a struggling business owner is to provide a case-by-case analysis. This can be done by looking at businesses in the same industry to see how they are managing and to see how they have handled slow periods. It is important to use companies that have overcome and have found success after difficult times.
The case-by-case analysis must include companies that rose from the ashes of business stagnation like Phoenix. Encouragement and upliftment are always present when you provide hope. Doing a positive case-by-case analysis will provide well-needed hope for struggling business owners. You can change a person’s outlook by the information you present to them. For struggling business owners this type of motivation is a vaccine against hopelessness and despair.
Passion can fuel both positive and negative actions. For struggling business owners, passion is just what they need to light the fire of creativity and innovation. Our passion is where creativity and productivity live.
For some of us passion is aligned to our financial success. Now and again as humans, we draw on our passions to help us overcome difficult situations as well as situations that seem overwhelming. For struggling business owners, passion is well needed but may be difficult to source.
A struggling business owner’s headspace may not be fertile ground for the type of passion that can fuel creativity and innovation. This being the case, work must be done to motivate him/her to unearth what passions they enjoyed before and during the establishment of their business.
There may be struggling business owners who may tell you they have no passions. One easy way to address this is to ask a series of questions about their younger self and the activities they enjoyed. It is a good idea to probe further in conversation to get a better understanding to help bring out emotions that may be positive or negative. Emotions can help the business owner to pivot the business in a prosperous direction by exploring new and innovative ideas.
Pivoting a business is no monkey business. It takes great skill and commitment to improving the existing business structure by incorporating new business practices and products.
Positive Reinforcement- Affirmation Plan
Positive reinforcement is another important motivational tool to help struggling business owners. Positive reinforcement is what we consider a mindset shift. Many a time humans see the negative and have no time to see the small positives that make big successes.
The most important job here is to motivate by elevating the mindset through shifting the mental state from negativity to positivity. This is easier said than done as many of us are accustomed to seeing the negative first and then maybe the positive later.
The elevation process is not something that you magically complete. It takes time and dedication to make a difference in your life and ultimately your business. So, the appropriate systems need to be implemented to ensure that you are replacing the usual negative thoughts with positive ones that will erase the uncertainty and corrosion the negative thoughts will cause.
A good example is to stop using the word “CAN’T” in daily conversation and replacing with other positive words like “NOT YET”. Another method to be included in the elevation process is implementing a daily affirmation session for five to ten minutes. In these sessions, the struggling business owner will repeat affirmations geared towards improving their business as well as speaking good and positive things into their lives.
Affirmations form the foundation of how you communicate with yourself. As such, when you communicate with yourself on a positive level and one of gratitude you will begin to reap the benefits of clarity and balance- the two well-needed qualities for every successful business.
Reach out to customers
One of the finest methods to find inspiration is to speak with your consumers. Customer feedback may help you not only identify more areas for improvement but also inspire fresh concepts to reenergize your company. You’ll be able to offer a better customer experience by creating channels of communication with current clients.
Wonderful customer evaluations may also serve as a powerful source of inspiration; for eg, print out testimonials and stick them to the walls of our offices as a daily reminder of the positive effects you’ve had on company owners.
Through Facebook or other social media, ask your consumers what they like best about your company. This helps to enhance consumer interaction and offers you an opportunity to get to know your clients so that you can better serve them in your marketing efforts.
It’s simple for a small business owner to imagine that the drive you need to get through the day comes from your company.
Your business, however, only has a little influence on what drives you. The motivation you need to get through the most difficult times might come from the things that go on behind the scenes of the business.
Therefore, consider what drives you in your own life. Maybe it’s being able to give your family a particular standard of living. Maybe it’s the idea of being able to heirloom a company for future generations.
Or perhaps it’s just the satisfaction that comes from forging your own path in life without regard for anyone else.
Find many strategies to maintain your motivation front and center throughout your daily life, whatever that may be. Because your motivation may help you get through the most difficult days when things are momentarily difficult, as they do for the majority of small company owners.