How Motivated are you?


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How Motivated are you?

  1. 1. ==== ====How Motivated are you? ====Motivation. Its a complicated subject that is studied bymany and understood by few. Virtually every aspect ofhuman life -- from the mundane to the life-changing -- isguided, swayed and altered by motivating factors.For instance, what to have for dinner may be motivated by adesire to lose or gain weight. Whether or not to attend abusiness seminar may be motivated by the speakers,location and cost. When and where to buy new clothing maybe motivated by a long list of personal preferences as wellas the changing seasons and weather conditions.Even reading this article is a motivated behavior. Do youlike the style of writing? Are you curious about the subjectmatter? Do you have a desire to learn new information? Doyou have enough time to finish reading? If the answers areno, you probably wont continue reading!But since you have continued, you are obviously motivated.You want to learn more about how to get and staymotivated, and how this motivation can help you become abetter business owner.THE BUSINESS OF MOTIVATIONMotivation is one of the most powerful driving forces in theworkplace. It can mean the difference between tremendoussuccess and failure.Motivation stems from two sources. The first part ofmotivation is external or extrinsic (outside the person)sources. Other motivating factors come from internalforces, which are mainly your thoughts, patterns andcollective experiences.However, humans are unique, so what motivates Jack willnot necessarily motivate Jill. You -- and only you -- will beable to determine what works.Take the time to examine what internal and external factors
  2. 2. are motivating you as a business owner. What can you doto enhance and refine your motivation to make yourselfmore productive and more fulfilled?Here are seven keys to motivation that may prove helpful.1. INSPIRATIONInspiration is critical to getting and staying motivated. If youare not interested in your business, your motivation level willnever be high and you wont be able to sustain interest forvery long.On the flip side, if you are energized and excited about thework you are doing, you will have more persistence, energyand intensity.Take an honest look at your inspiration level. Are youexcited about going to work or is it an obligation? You wouldbe surprised at the number of people who choose abusiness that looks good on paper, but in reality does notinterest them in the least. These individuals will growwearyand uninterested pretty quickly because they have noinspiration or passion to sustain them during the difficulttimes they will encounter as a small business owner.If you dont really enjoy your work, then think how you canre-focus your small business to better match your needs.Or consider making a change entirely. Thats pretty drasticadvice, but inspiration is that important.2. SETTING GOALSShort and long-term goal setting is vital for any businessowner. If you didnt set goals, you would be adrift withnothing to strive for and no charted course to follow.How could you possibly be motivated if you were unsureabout the direction of your company?Take the time to put your goals in writing. A business planmay sound daunting, but it is really nothing more thangoals, strategies, implementation and a budget. Write yourown business plan and update it at least annually. Include"mini-goals" that can be accomplished in a matter of hours,days or weeks as well as the more ambitious "grand-goals"that may take years to complete. Refer to this planthroughout the year.
  3. 3. But can a business plan really help motivate you? Yes!Written goals will make you feel more professional andcertainly more connected to your business. It will also freeyou from having to reinvent your business goals every singleday.3. NETWORKINGAnother key factor in getting and staying motivated isnetworking with other small business owners. One personcant move huge mountains. However, when a number ofpeople begin working together the mountains are suddenlyonly small hills -- simply challenges waiting to besurmounted.In fact, the isolation of working alone is of one the mostdifficult parts of being an entrepreneur. Mutual support ismotivating. So, make it easier on yourself by connectingwith others either in your community or online. Even whenbusinesses are not related, you will often find commonground and ways to work together.Many successful entrepreneurs report that finding the rightnetworking group was a turning point in the growth of thebusiness. Working together, a networking group can helpits members generate more qualified sales leads and solveproblems faster and more efficiently. Sharing ideas,expertise and experience is also an invaluable aspect ofnetworking groups. And, dont forget about sharing costs,possibly by buying in bulk or with joint marketing projects.Your own personal team of business owners will helpre-energize you when the burdens of running your ownbusiness seem too much. With your networking team torely on, you can accomplish more in less time and probablyhave more fun in the process. Certainly, you will feel lessalone.4. REWARD YOURSELFSmall business owners will always have to work hard, butall work and no play is a huge mistake. Your motivation willsoon begin to fall if you never take any time away from thedemands of running the business.So, plan frequent rewards for yourself. No, it doesnt needto be a trip to Hawaii (although this is a great idea). Yourreward can be as simple as a lunch out with an old friend, amatinee with your significant other, an afternoon ofshopping or a relaxing massage.
  4. 4. If your budget and time will allow, take a few days off for ashort trip or simply schedule a vacation from work for a fewdays. Make it a real vacation -- even if you dont leave town --so no checking email, voice mail or the fax machine. Youneed to get away, unwind and renew yourself. This "down"time to regenerate will help improve your attitude andperspective. It sounds corny, but you will come back to yourbusiness with a new sense of motivation.5. EXERCISEWhile it isnt always immediately apparent, there is apowerful connection between the mind and the body. It isvital for every small business owner to take breaks andexercise -- everyday. If your body isnt healthy, yourmotivation will certainly suffer.These exercise breaks dont have to be huge blocks of time,and you neednt spend money joining a gym or hiring apersonal trainer. Start by walking briskly for 30 minutesbefore, during or after work. After you have incorporated awalk each day, then try doubling the time or doing two walkseach day.Whatever works for you is best, but the important thing is tostart. You will begin to feel better.After the walking is part of your routine, add some basic lightweights. Buy a tape or go online to find out how to properlyuse the weights so you wont injure yourself.You can keep the weights under your desk, and use themfor just a few minutes at a time. Buy a timer the next timeyou are at the grocery store. Set the timer for for threeminutes to start and then add a minute or two until youre upto 10 or 15 minutes each day.Some small business owners have a television at work andthey schedule a CNN break along with their weights. Thisway, they are catching up with world and local news whilesimultaneously getting some moderate exercise.8. ORGANIZEOrganization is critical to motivation. How can you feel goodabout your work, when you cant find important papers oryou are constantly late returning messages? Yourbusiness will falter and your motivation will suffer.
  5. 5. Some people just cant get organized. If you are one ofthem, then consider bringing in someone -- a businessfriend, family member or professional -- to help you get theclutter and mess cleaned up. You will be amazed at howthis one important step will help you get back on theorganizational track. Dont stop there. Now really getorganized by creating business systems that will help youstreamline your operations.The real challenge will be keeping yourself on track bymaintaining these systems. For many, it is a dailychallenge, but if you use your organizational systems youllbe free to think about other important issues.7. MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKERS AND AUTHORSAs small business owners, it seems we are bombardedwith motivational ideas and materials-- tapes, books, CDs,seminars, workbooks, videos and more. Why are there somany different motivational products, authors andspeakers? Because people are buying these materials.Used effectively, they are effective and therefore they sell!However, there are so many different motivational gurus thatit is often difficult to see through the clutter to find someonethat makes sense for you -- someone who can get you "firedup" about working and improving your business.Try talking to your mentor or networking group members tosee who they might recommend. Start being aware of themotivational industry and how it might help you becomemore enthused and positive about your business. Do somelight research of your own to find some authors andspeakers that interest you.Before you invest in motivational materials, you can probablyfind some inexpensive ways to obtain the materials. Checkout your local library, tune into your local PBS station, buymaterials with a networking friend, visit used bookstores orbuy used materials online. Dont make a huge investment,because you will probably want to sample many differentviewpoints.But do these materials really work? Yes, but only if youmake the effort. Just like exercise, you have to work themuscles -- in this case your mind muscles.It is up to you to take that information and apply it to your ownlife and business. Really use the motivational ideas over a
  6. 6. period of time and you will begin to see results.KEEP THE MOMENTUM GOINGMotivation is what moves us forward in our daily andbusiness lives. Take the time to examine your motivatingfactors and use some of these keys to improve your focusand renew your enthusiasm. If you keep on track, themotivation momentum cant help but carry you forward.Nancy Wurtzel is the founder and of All About Baby, an ecommerce company that offerspersonalized and memorable gifts for children. In addition to a wide product selection, All AboutBaby also featured helpful and interesting site content. In addition to running her own business,Nancy consults with other small business owners providing advice about growing theirecommerce sites.Article Source: ====How Motivated are you? ====