11 Feb A Lot Like Love: Rekindling Your Entrepreneurial Flame
Ask any entrepreneur how they feel about their business and you’re likely to hear something that sounds a bit like the premise for this years’ hit rom-com: they couldn’t stop thinking about it, it found them, and everything fell into place when they least expected it.
It’s true, the ingredients may be there for a beautiful romance—but as with most relationships, you’ll probably also hear about the struggles. Because the fact is, it’s hard to be a business owner and stick it out through the good and the bad. And even having the tenacity to stick with it still requires more skill to build a solid foundation, and to keep the passion alive.
Luckily, we know a thing or two about reducing entrepreneur burnout and keeping the flame burning, and in case you’re just not feeling the heat right now, we’ve come equipped with five great ways to reduce entrepreneur burnout and reignite the passion between you and your business.
1. Remember How You Felt In The Beginning
Remember when you were fresh and full of dreams, and the entire world felt like your oyster? Back then, your dreams were limitless and could take any shape or form.
Let’s try something: Take a moment to write down three things that you loved about your business in the beginning. What kept you dreaming? What made you feel like you could touch the sky?
It can be easy, when you’ve been working toward your company’s end goal, to slip into the routine of simply going to work. Sometimes it can feel like you’re merely arriving at work, rather than coming with a clear vision and perspective of why you ventured to build that business, in the first place.
So, take some time to remember how it felt at the beginning; those passionate daydreams, those hours of working through the night to make your business a reality. Remember how long it took you to find this business, your business, and the obstacles you overcame in order to make it that. You’ll be surprised how much more invested you’ll become when you start to realize how far you’ve come!
2. Butterflies Are Dangerous
While taking time to reflect on the beginning of your relationship can be rewarding, be careful not make the mistake of romanticizing these early days. In retrospect, it may seem like you had more time without the distractions of success. It may even feel like you had more creativity! However, don’t be fooled by looking at the past through rose-colored lenses. Take time to note the successes of your business, and take into account all the ways you’ve grown and matured as an entrepreneur, since then.
While butterflies may have been the natural response to a freshly hatched plan, Laura Hodgson, founder and CEO of NowAccount, says that not learning to balance these emotions can cause business owners to run into problems, such as overlooking customer needs. Professional maturity brings with it the ability to balance both of these aspects, so revel in your knowledge and wisdom, and celebrate that at the end of the day, you have a business relationship that is healthy and growing. And you know how to keep it that way.
3. Go Against The Flow
The longer you work hard at something, the easier it is to get into the trap of routine. Don’t be afraid to mix things up a bit! Brian Moran, founder and CEO of Brian Moran & Associates suggests changing the scenery once in awhile. Try holding a meeting in a nearby park or involving your team in planning team bonding events. Make celebrating goals, birthdays, and anniversaries part of your company’s culture.
While these may feel like small changes, they can produce big results in the overall culture and success of your business. Be engaged in continually building a company culture that’s creating new positive memories. Not only will it make those in your company more productive and able to feel more invested, it will ultimately allow you to grow your business even more.
4. Remind Yourself Why You’re Here… Again And Again.
It may not be news to you that self-talk can be a positive addition to your personal life. But it may come as a surprise that this self-talk can actually help your small business thrive!
The first step in your journey with self-talk? Take the time to hear it! This means setting apart time to sit down and write out common phrases you tell yourself.
Do you see negative or positive patterns?
By taking time to write down your own thoughts, you’ll be able to see if you’re helping (or hurting) your business. This also allows you to change and manage your self-talk, ultimately making them work in your favor.
According to experts, the key with self-talk is to challenge the negative and to focus on action, rather than thinking about what you want to avoid. So next to your negative thoughts write down why they aren’t going to control you. It might not be easy at first, but you’ll get the hang of it. And once you’ve written them down, go out and prove every negative thought wrong. You’ve got this!
5. Stay Focused And Hungry
Whatever your current business circumstances are, it’s important to keep in touch with the reality that it can change at the drop of a hat.
While this shouldn’t make you panic, the mindset can help to keep you engaged in pursuing your company’s growth wholeheartedly—every day. It’s important for you to consistently focus time and attention on building, creating goals for and pursuing greater achievements for your business.
According to Jerry Jao, CEO and Co-founder of Retention Science, it can actually be more beneficial for companies to prepare to fail, rather than to succeed.
Why? Because, “forcing yourself to be prepared for the worst can help balance out [the emotional experience of running a business],” says Jao. “It forces you to look at the facts and unpleasant possibilities (no matter how difficult), thereby enabling you to be more analytical and objective.”
Working with the mindset that you need to be constantly improving in order to succeed will keep you on your toes, and ahead of the competition. Try to implement brainstorming sessions regularly to keep innovation at the forefront of your business practices!
The fact of the matter is, running a business comes with ups and downs. But like any great relationship, you shouldn’t let that discourage you from thriving. While it may take hard work and commitment, the end result can be building a rewarding and thriving company you can invest your heart and mind in. And the best part is, the list doesn’t end here! What are some ways you reduce burnout and keep the passion alive with your small business?