Beginnings are scary. Embarking on a new
adventure leaves you feeling vulnerable especially when you are not familiar with the process and fear failure as the result. As with any project, building a business can be discouraging. These feelings of inadequacy may be the result of
- financial strain
- limited funding
- lack of knowledge
- low confidence
- limited resources
- creative burnout
The pitfalls may be unavoidable but below are 5 steps to stay motivated when you feel discouraged.
- Take a break. Step away from the project entirely, for a day. Chances are your life revolves around the new project. To stay motivated it is important to separate yourself from time to time. Give yourself a break. Do not discuss the project or work on it for 24 hours. Spend the days with friends or family and enjoy making new memories
- Set hours of operation. Work on your business or project only during work hours. You are likely to think about your new operation constantly. Setting work hours allows you to continue accomplishing daily tasks. No working “off the clock”. This helps to prevent burn out and exhaustion.
- Monitor food and water intake. Much of the time when we are busy our diet is affected. We eat meals high in fat and low in nutrition. Fast food replaces healthier choices because of its easy access. Higher levels of caffeine are consumed resulting in a caffeine rush followed by a crash. Unhealthy food and beverages make us feel sluggish and lazy. It is important to monitor your intake of these before forming bad habits.
- Get plenty of rest. It is hard to be a functional partner in an operation when you are tired. Our brains do not function properly on lack of sleep. We get stuck in a head fog that lowers our responsive time. Sleep is vital to performance. The recommended sleep of eight hours may not be possible but a solid six hours will do.
- Switch projects. If you are working on multiple projects switch your focus to a different project or area of business. Chances are other areas could use a fresh set of eyes on them. If possible, switch with a co-worker and allow them the opportunity to assist in the area you are exhausted in.
Pay attention to your stressors and do not allow yourself to stay overwhelmed. If you find your new endeavor is creating instability in your life, refocus and evaluate your reasons behind beginning. As soon as you feel your momentum slipping, tackle it early on to prevent early business burnout.
Monitor your time and productivity to ensure you are being productive with the time available. Operating a business is no walk in the park. It takes strategy, tenacity, and determination. You cannot wing it and be successful. Sure you can but your profits will not impress and eventually, everything will crumble. Begin strong and be patient. Most of all remain aware and be kind to yourself. We all make forgivable mistakes.
One day at a time. Keep it simple.
Have you experienced early business burnout? If so, how were you able to bounce back?
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*updated September 2018