7 ways to find the motivation to work on your business
You had your great idea and spent all your time and energy working on it. You got the ball moving, but then all the excitement started to wear off. Now you face the reality that in order to move your business forward and actually make money, it will require consistent effort. I’ve been there, that phase where the reality is not as exciting as the initial burst of energy. Here are 7 ways I have found to find the motivation to continue working on your business when you just don’t feel like it.
Resources mentioned in this post:
Today we are going to be talking about how to find the motivation to actually spend time working on your business.
This post was prompted by emails and messages that I got from you. Wondering if you should quit. Many of you have contacted me with that question recently. Should I quit? Am I meant to be online? Am I really in the right space?
In a recent post, I addressed this question. Should I quit? How do I know if I’m supposed to keep going? If you have not yet read that post, go back and read it first.
Just because you’ve decided to stay online and you know that this is where you’re supposed to be, that doesn’t automatically make it easy. There are still real obstacles and real challenges to being a Latter-day Saint mompreneur. Because you’re someone who cares about your business, but who cares even more about her family and her commitment to her Heavenly parents.
7 tips to help you find the motivation to work on your business
#1 – Think about your end game
My very first tip for finding motivation is to think about your end game. What do I mean by this? Well, can you imagine going on vacation with no destination? You just get in the car and you start driving, but you don’t really know where you’re going.
You know that you want to spend time away, you know that you want to take a break from your regular life, but you don’t actually have a destination. You don’t actually have anything to look forward to, to get excited about.
I see this happen to a lot of women, particularly Latter-day Saint mompreneurs. When they start a podcast or a blog or an Instagram account, they know that they want to help people. They know that they want to have a business, but they don’t really know what the end game looks like.
- Who do you want to help?
- Why do you want to help them?
- What problems are you going to solve for them?
- How are the solutions to those problems going to improve their lives?
- What will this look like for your family?
- What will you do with the money that you earn?
If you don’t have the answers to these questions, you don’t have an end game. You don’t really know what you’re working toward. So that’s my very first tip to find the motivation to work on your business: make sure that you have a very clear end game, or reason, for being doing this in the first place. A goal, something that you’re trying to accomplish, both for your own family and for those that you want to serve and help – what do you want to help them accomplish?
#2 – One step at a time
One thing that keeps us from being motivated is procrastination. I see this a lot with my two seventh grade boys. They have struggled because they feel so overwhelmed. Everything seems so huge, like a big project. But when we can help them break it down into tiny little steps, they suddenly feel like it is more doable.
Instead of saying something like, I want to start a podcast – and then you put that off for weeks and weeks and months, and maybe even years, because it feels so big and hard – break it down into tiny steps.
What is the first step to starting a podcast? Maybe the first step is joining Ask Me Anything so that you can get answers to your questions as you work through the starting a podcast prep process. Maybe the first step is buying a course from Pat Flynn on how to start a podcast.
The next step is to ask your very first question in Ask Me Anything or to watch the very first module of Pat Flynn’s course. I want you to take it tiny step by tiny step and break it down. Then you can look at your list for this big project you have to do and if you’ve got 10 minutes, you could do that first step – sign up. And then once you’ve done that, when you have an hour to work on that project, you could do the first module of a course.
You will get much more accomplished if you break your really big tasks down into two or three tiny little parts of the tiniest little steps. If you’re still feeling overwhelmed by a step, it’s too big. Break it down even more.
The second part of creating this plan is to review it. I’m not perfect at it, but I try to review my bigger plans every evening. I plan weekly, but every evening I look over what I am supposed to do tomorrow. So that when I wake up, I don’t have to give any of my energy to planning what I’m going to do that day. I already know what it is that I have planned and what I want to get accomplished that day.
#3 – Act like you are motivated
It’s incredible how this works. I have a playlist on my phone called Moms Pick Me Ups. The whole purpose of this playlist is to get me motivated. I do struggle with depression and anxiety, and sometimes that becomes overwhelming. And all I want to do is crawl in bed and 50% of the time, that’s exactly what I do. I go crawl in bed. But I am learning and doing much better at picking myself up.
One of the ways in which I do this is through this playlist. If you would like a link to it, send me a DM on Instagram and I will send you a link to this playlist on Spotify. But simply turning on that playlist, getting up and dancing, gets me motivated. It can very often completely changed my outlook.
Sometimes I will also just force myself to smile for a full minute. I’ll just put a smile on my face. If you’re watching on YouTube, you can see me smiling. Even if it’s kind of a fake smile, it will create endorphins in your body.
Sometimes, I will sit up straight. If I’m slouching over my chair and I don’t really feel like working, I’ll try to remind myself to sit up straight. I’ll put a pillow behind my back and it makes me feel more like I’m at work and I need to get things done.
Sometimes I stand up and I just go take a shower. That helps me reset for the day. I will get dressed if I’m in my pajamas. Sometimes I’ll just clap my hands and cheer myself on saying, “You’ve got this. Go Misty. You can do it.” I actually say that out loud. I know it seems so silly, but that will sometimes motivate me to keep going and to press forward on a day where I just don’t really feel like doing anything.
#4 – Redefine Failure
Step four to find the motivation to work on your business is to change how you talk to yourself about failure. Can you see it as a teacher instead?
Have you ever failed a test at school? I have. I have done very poorly on tests at school, on occasion. And I’ve seen my kids do the same and this can be so discouraging.
I think it feels very similar to when we launch a product and it doesn’t go as well as we want to. In our business, it feels like we failed a test, but I want to read you something from Elder Bednar. He said this in his talk ‘We will prove them herewith‘ in the October, 2020 session of General Conference. He said,
“An effective test helps us to compare what we need to know with what we actually know about a specific subject.”
I love this definition of a test. I have used it again and again with my kids since he gave this talk, because I think it is so refreshing. A test doesn’t define us. Failing a test is not failure, simply an opportunity to figure out what we know and what we don’t yet know. So if you fail at something in your business – your launch doesn’t go as expected, you can’t get your email system up and working, you aren’t making as many sales as you want.
I want you to ask yourself questions like: What can I learn? What will I do differently? Why didn’t this work? I also want you to stop throwing out the baby with the bath water. What do I mean by this? I mean you don’t have to completely start over just because a product didn’t sell well.
More often than not, it isn’t a problem with the actual product. Maybe it’s a problem with your messaging, meaning how you describe the product to other people. Maybe it’s a problem with the benefits that you choose to highlight on your sales page about the product. Maybe it’s how you’re delivering the product and maybe people want it audio instead of video or in a written format instead of audio. Maybe it’s how you follow up with the purchase. Are you simply sending people the product and then not giving them any encouragement and support afterward?
There are a lot of things that you can tweak that will take a lot less time than completely starting over. So instead of throwing the product out entirely and starting over from ground zero, which is going to become exhausting, I want you to see that failure not as final, but simply as an opportunity for you to learn how you can improve that specific product.
#5 – Keep the Spirit with you
I want you to do all you can to keep the spirit with you. The spirit can motivate and inspire us. I know when I’m feeling truly inspired about what I can do to help you in your business, I am excited. I am incredibly motivated. But there is something that kills spirituality.
I want to tell you a story to emphasize this point and I’m actually just going to read this from my friend, Darla Trendler of Spiritually Minded Women. I’m going to read you something that she recently posted on Instagram. She said this:
“I’ve been burning the candle at both ends lately with the podcast, my church calling, a major remodeling project, helping children move both in and out to college and one of those kids leaving on a mission in three weeks, and end of the school year stuff for the other two.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Did I mention I’m tired?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
One day last week I had spent the whole day painting my kitchen. I got down from the ladder, looked up and was so frustrated by the edging around the ceiling. It wasn’t looking great and I really wanted it to be crisp and sharp. I was tempted to get back up on the ladder and fix it but then I had a thought, something I heard a bishop say many years ago.
“Fatigue is the enemy to spirituality.”
I was tired and I decided I just needed to go to bed and deal with my crooked paint lines in the morning. I woke up the next morning and walked into my kitchen. With a rested body and spirit, I looked up at my troublesome paint lines and had instant inspiration about how to fix them. These thoughts were ideas that hadn’t even been on my radar the night before when I was so tired. I ran to Home Depot for a new tool, got back up on the ladder and fixed the issue in about 20 minutes.
The moral of this story is there’s a connection between our physical body and our spirits. I believe the inspiration about how to fix my paint problem came through divine inspiration, but I needed to take care of my body before I could be receptive to the Spirit.”
I want you to consider that if you are really feeling run down in your business, like you just can’t find the motivation and you’re so tired, maybe you need to take a rest so that the spirit can come back into your life and give you the direction you need in your business. That will feel motivating and inspiring and exciting.
#6 – Commit Publicly
These last two tips are a little bit bigger and bolder, but they have really helped me in my business. The first is to commit to deadlines publicly. If you say you’re going to have a product launch by a specific date date, tell your audience that because you will then be far more motivated to get it done on time.
This is extrinsic motivation. Instead of intrinsic coming from inside of ourselves, it’s coming from outside. When we know that people might be frustrated or annoyed if we don’t reach a deadline, we become more motivated to reach it. Whenever possible, commit to deadlines in your business publicly.
#7 – Spend Money
Tip seven is to spend money on your business. I know this is controversial. I know that you don’t want to spend money on your business, but when you do so it becomes a business. When you refuse to spend money, sacrifice, and stretch yourself (just a little bit) with the amount of money you’re spending on your business, your motivation will stay low. You don’t have any skin in the game.
I want to read you something from a friend, her name’s Courtney, and she is a copywriter. We will link to her Instagram profile in the show note. She says:
“Yesterday, I batch recorded five podcast episodes. Until now I’ve been recording episodes week by week from my one bedroom apartment. I had to negotiate times to record when my husband wasn’t home making noise, on calls, et cetera.
Last week I found and booked a recording studio for four hours. I paid for a recording studio this morning. I woke up and figured out what the episodes would be. And then I sat and got to it. Sometimes you can try all the productivity hacks in the world, but what you really need is to spend money, to create accountability for yourself.”
This is so important ladies! When you invest money in your business and it hurts just a little bit, you are more accountable because you’ve got some skin in the game. You are far more likely to sit down and work, even when you don’t feel like it.
To review, our seven tips are:
- make sure you know what your end game is
- create a plan by breaking things down into tiny little steps
- act like you’re motivated, even when you aren’t
- change how you talk to yourself about failure
- make sure you have the spirit with you, don’t give in to burnout
- commit publicly with deadlines
- spend money on your business
Join Tech Check
If you would like to spend money and get some public accountability all in one, I would invite you to join Tech Check. This is where I can help hold you accountable to your goals. You will be spending money so you will have some skin in the game.
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This post originally aired as an episode of The Goodness Squad podcast. New episodes are no longer being recorded, but you can still listen to past episodes on your favorite podcast app.
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