Just like starting a new fitness plan or hobby, our business requires our motivation and energy to build momentum and grow. This might seem like a pretty obvious point to make but time and time again I hear from people with the dreams to be coaches and healers and business owners of some sort lament that they want a business but they’re just so busy, they don’t have time to work on it.
I get it, you might have a full-time job, a family, and a bunch of other commitments and responsibilities vying for your attention. When you’re an introvert, empath, or highly sensitive person, all of these things take energy that you might not have. And, yet, if you have that dream to start (or grow) your business, I hate to say it, but it’s going to need your time, your motivation and energy to get there.
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Making Time For Business
When I worked in TV in Sydney, I started a blog to keep my family and friends back home in Brisbane up to date with what was going on in my life. I worked 50 hours a week, minimum, often on set filming. And then I’d come home and write blog posts, take photos, learn WordPress for free. I had NO business, in fact, I had no intention to make money from my blog (admittedly, this was back in the day when blogging was a thing).
I did it for the joy of it. It was my creative outlet. And I’d be lying if I said that has been lost a little bit as we’ve moved into content creating for the sole purpose of quitting day jobs and living the dream entrepreneurial life.
But, in 2020 especially, in the midst of so much collective grief, angst, and unknowns, there’s a lot going on that we probably didn’t see coming, don’t necessarily have the capacity for, and still a pressure to build a business on top of everything else.
10 Tips For Motivation And Energy In Your Business
If that feels like where you’re at right now, I get it. So I wanted to put together 10 tips for motivation and energy when you have lots going on in hopes that it will support you on the quest to ‘having it all’ (is that still a thing?)
1 – Work Out What You Want
It’s taken me my whole adult life to unravel who I thought I was meant to be versus who I actually am and, on that journey, I’ve come to realise that many of us are living a life we think we SHOULD be living, buying into the dream that others are selling.
So this point is where we all need to start. By asking ourselves what we ACTUALLY want and why.
The thing I’ve noticed is the closer to this we get, the easier it is to find the time and energy to put into it (even if we’re busy or tired or have lots going on).
Sit for a while and curiously explore what this might be. What do you want? Why does it feel so appealing? Is the ‘goal’ you’re after the only way to get to this end point? And, if not, what other options or ideas are available?
2 – Schedule It In
It can also be super easy to get caught up in day-to-day life and, all of a sudden, another month has passed and all those things you wanted to get to in your business still haven’t been done.
How can you even have the motivation and energy to work on something for yourself when you’re likely doing a million other things in your job, for your family, or whatever else you’ve got going on right now, right?
If you truly want to make time for your business, you need to take it as seriously as all the other roles and responsibilities. Schedule it in. Make it real. Commit to putting time aside. Your business time has to be as valuable to you. Because I can guarantee you, life will ALWAYS find a way to get in the way.
Get out your planner or calendar, schedule in the things that have to be done each day/week/month – making sure to include some time for your business.
3 – Make It Non-Negotiable
Isn’t it funny how when we really want something, we’ll make it happen? But when we don’t, we’ll always find an excuse. My partner loves training, it’s one of his number one priorities. I hate it and, somehow, any little reason not to train will pop up. Everything is the same.
If your business is important to you, you show up for it. Simple as that.
Well, actually, it’s not as simple as that. Because showing up might look different depending on your energy, your business and creative season, and all the other things going on. But, while the definition for ‘showing up’ will change, the non-negotiable part doesn’t. Can your business exist without your presence and energy? Probably not.
How does putting time and energy into your business become a non-negotiable part of your life?
If it feels like too much or starts to become an obligation, what needs to change (and, once again, is this what you TRULY want?!)
4 – Tell Other People
Ahhhh boundaries for introverted and highly sensitive people can sometimes be a tricky one (hands up if this is you too!). For so many years, I put everyone and everything ahead of me and my wants. I stepped back from my business to support my partner with his until, one day, he told me I needed to stop hiding behind his dreams and step up for my own. Damn reality check.
If you’re anything like me, maybe taking time for yourself, telling others you’re not available, or taking a day a month away from the family to work on your business might feel impossible. But if you’re going to stick to your non-negotiable commitment to show up for your business, it’s time to draw a line in the sand and tell people in your life that this time is for you.
Who can you trust to talk to about your plans, your business, and your ideas? Who can hold you accountable? And who do you need to tell in order to set some boundaries for what you need in order to move forward and really show up for your business?
5 – Track Your Energy Cycles
If you work full time and have to be around people all week, there’s a good chance that the thought of getting home from working and diving straight into your business feels like a lot. Maybe you have kids and they take a lot of your energy. Or you are working full time in your business but you feel exhausted all the time and are wondering if this business thing is sustainable.
Hot tip, we all work differently! We all fall at different points on the introvert/extrovert spectrum, so we all need varying amounts of alone time to recharge (even extroverts!). Some people are morning people. Others are night people. You might work really well in short bursts. While others like to do a month’s worth of work in an intensive weekend.
There’s no right or wrong, but we do need to find what works for us.
- Track your energy across a day, a week, a month and look for patterns.
- When do you naturally wake up?
- What time of day are you most energised?
- When do you stop feeling energised or motivated?
- Do you have more energy at the start or end of the week?
- Are you better off working in short bursts or long intensive sessions?
6 – Give Yourself A Break
So many of us are tied up in the capitalist foundations of output = value. And, especially if your energy works differently from the grind culture we’ve all become accustomed to (hint: that’s everyone), it can be hard to step back without feeling lazy, behind, or just ashamed.
It’s a thing. And, if you never feel these things, a massive congrats to you because you are a rare gem.
But, it’s important to realise that when we are overworked, overwhelmed, tired, or just a bit fed up, we are not operating at our best, our creativity is affected and we’re most likely acting out of fight/flight/freeze survival mode instead of the expanded soul energy we are capable of when we find our flow.
Schedule in down time, take care of yourself and know that resting is an act of rebellion, a necessary joy that we need to celebrate and surrender to in order to unravel some of the bullshit conditioning we’ve been raised with.
7 – Get Your Ideas Out Of Your Head
Guess what wastes loads of energy? Thinking. Holding ideas and thoughts in our head. I don’t know the science, but I’m certain it’s 90% of the reason we can often feel so overwhelmed about our business and what we need to do, especially when we have lots of other stuff going on in our world.
Get paper, pens, a friend, whatever you need, to get all your thoughts and ideas out of your head. Braindump, mindmap, all those fun things you can do to get them out and get some perspective from them. Clean your headspace up (like desk clutter) and start to rearrange your ideas and make sense of them outside of your mind.
8 – Make A Plan
Once you’ve made some sense of your thoughts and ideas, all the things you need to do in your business for your next steps, those offerings, content and topics you want to talk about, start to make a plan to make sense of them. Because of the ‘behind’ feeling we’ve all adopted, there’s often a sense of urgency that all those ideas are a priority RIGHT NOW. They’re not.
Create a list labelled ‘Later’ and “Next’ and start to organise your ideas so everything doesn’t feel so urgent. Want to know the quickest way to feel renewed motivation and energy? A plan. When you know what you’re doing, there’s no more decision fatigue. You just get on with it.
9 – Be Accountable
Dreaming and ideas are the best (especially if you’re anything like me, a dream-loving quiet, sensitive Pisces whose #1 strength is Ideation). You can feel like you’re actually moving forward with your plans when you’re thinking, talking, or jotting them down in your million notebooks.
But this is a procrastinate-y way that we can trick ourselves into believing we’re moving forward without actually doing anything. It can be hard to be accountable when your business likely lives and dies by you and your decisions. So get help.
Find a friend you can check in with each week to say – out loud – what you’re working on. MAKE yourself accountable. And, going back to the fitness analogy, just like you’d hire a PT to help you with your training goals, investing in a coach is a surefire way to ramp up your accountability to 11. Not sure? Come sit by me.
10 – Be Willing To Adjust Your Course
I was that little overachiever, the good girl who would set a goal and work, relentlessly, to make it happen. Even after the expiry on that goal had run its course. Sometimes even when a part of me, deep inside, knew it was no longer what I wanted.
Learning to drop plans, ideas, goals, whatever and adjust course was probably one of the best things I learnt to do in business. Maybe you did a course, had your heart set on starting a business, and – reading this post – just realised that you don’t want the extra commitment and responsibility necessary to have a business. Perhaps the idea of dropping that plan is actually more of a relief than continuing with it is.
It might not be so extreme as quitting your business (or your job, or some other big goal), but what is going on in your world right now that would feel SO much better if you dropped it, changed course, or tried something new? Be open and curious to change and see how it unleashes your motivation and energy.
In The End, It’s Your Business
This year, more than ever, we are being called to get specific about what’s important to us, take a stand for what we want and what we believe in. And even take a step back from ‘normal life’ in order to see this.
We need to take days off, take time to rest – and give ourselves permission to do that. Especially in a world that tells us we should be hustling and grinding every moment of every day or we’re failing. But, for me, my why, the energy of my business and the work that I’m here to do kicks in and is like, ‘Hey, you have made a commitment, not just to yourself, but to your people, to what you’re building. What are you going to do today to show up for that?’
In order to step up, to be the quiet leaders the world needs, we need to commit to our calling. Step Up. Tap into the motivation and energy that IS available to us and keep moving forward. It’s your business, your choice. So what will you choose?
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