It’s Wednesday morning. You’re halfway through the workweek. As you wake up, you ask yourself (and not for the first time), “Why am I struggling so much in my business?”
It doesn’t matter how successful your home-based business is; both new and established entrepreneurs face this type of dilemma at some point during their professional journey. It often stems from the fact that what once worked for you no longer works. At one time you enjoyed working from home, but today you are bothered by the isolation. At one time you enjoyed setting your own work hours, but today you find it difficult to separate yourself from your work. At one time you were willing to do just about anything to make your business a success. Today, you question whether it’s worth the stress.
It’s a lot to handle. And although drive and ambition come from within, we are not machines. Sometimes we need to find inspiration in outside sources to help keep us moving. Here are my suggestions.
First of all, instead of aiming to accomplish an enormous, abstract goal, break it down into smaller, more attainable ones. More importantly, don’t neglect to reward yourself when you do reach a goal. Think a massage, a new shirt or a short vacation.
Next, instead of isolating yourself, wondering how you’re going to get by on your own, schedule lunch meetings and networking groups, and surround yourself with strong mentors. Every time I need a boost I find someone to talk to. For example, I go to the gym where I meet up with an independent yoga instructor who offers words of motivation, encouragement and, of course, new exercises to reduce stress.
Reading can help, too. I found inspiration from a book called Who Moved my Cheese? by Dr. Spencer Johnson. The author contends that humans dislike change and would rather suffer than do something differently, even if the old way no longer works. As small business owners, we don’t have a boss to direct us. We must manage ourselves, which leads me to my last point: Inspiration can come from taking a break from business and having fun.
The time to take a break might be right now. Before you can logically assess your situation or set new goals, you must let go. Remember getting in trouble in high school for coming to class late or for not completing your homework? Remember partying all night at university? Try to recapture that carefree attitude. Have fun letting go today. When you least expect it, solutions will come. Nothing disastrous will happen if you put your work off until tomorrow.
I am not suggesting that you give up on your business or your dreams. Clarity and happiness will lead you in the right direction should you take the time to find it.
Nicole Attias is a Toronto-based presentation-skills trainer and coach who helps entrepreneurs and corporate clients deliver strong speeches and workshops. She can be reached at (416) 221-0817 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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© 2003 Nicole Attias