Let’s face it. There are some days, weeks, months where we aren’t feeling it. Work might be the last thing on our minds or we are trying SO hard to stay motivated. I’ve been there, and I’m sure I’ll be there again.
It is EASY to loose motivation. Especially if you’re like me and your studio and office is in your home. I’m constantly finding other, non-work, things to do: laundry, that wall collage I started a million years ago…the list goes on. The trick is to come up with a work system that works for you.
Since starting my own business 10+ years ago I’ve worked up some rules to work by, they will vary from person to person – but for an example I’ll share mine:
1. Establish Business Hours
For my business, and even for Chris’ business, this was a necessity for two reasons. The first reason is because (we both) needed hours that we knew we had to be ready to work and a set time frame in which tasks needed to be completed. Sure, it’s nice to be able to more freely schedule doctor appointments or take a day off without penalty to take that last minute trip…but it’s important not to abuse it. Also, I realized I was working 8am-11pm EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. That is exhausting. The second reason is to help clients realize you have a life, too. It’s OK to take work calls after hours, but don’t let it become a routine. I had made myself too available in the beginning of my career. I answered emails even when I should have been sleeping, worked on projects that could have waited until the next morning..and do you know where that led? Clients calling me at 2am. So, first thing is first – set hours!
2. Act like you have a boss (even if you don’t)
“It must be nice to not have a boss”, I bet it is! In my case, the client is the boss. I am always looking for new ways to impress my clients (bosses) with my business. Whether it is with new technology or a little extra attention added to their project. Remember the best compliment a client can give you is a good recommendation and when you treat them like they are your boss, you’re likely to get a raving review!
3. The “other stuff” can be done later
Forget about the dishes in the sink. Right now is work time, later is everything else time. This was one of the hardest things for me to remember. I don’t like working in clutter, yet clutter finds me. For me, it was important to remember that those “other things” can be done later.
4. Consistently re-write your business goals
Reached a business goal? Time to set a new one. Keep setting goals and tackling them. It’ll keep your business fresh and it’ll continue to keep you interested! Not into setting more huge goals? That’s fine – maybe look at things you can accomplish on more of a smaller scale (ie. making new promotional material or finding a new way to deliver content to a client)
These are just the main things I do each day to keep me on track and stay motivated. I know there are about a million other rules we can set for ourselves. However, most of us started our own businesses so we could have more control of our careers and the direction they take. I can sometimes be a rule breaker – but I always bounce back to those basic four guidelines!
For those following my business builder workshop (and even if you aren’t!): comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org with at least three rules that you intend to follow while building up your biz!
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