Loss of motivation and confidence in the big economy leads to loss of the same in the smaller world of your business environment. Doubts creep in and erode your enthusiasm. Such concerns and emotions are normal, but you can prevent being overwhelmed and defeated by them. Consider these ideas to remake your daily activities and reconnect with why you began your business.

How are you holding up? While everyone must cope with stress and worry, small business owners seem to experience more than their share. They feel the financial and emotional aches and pains of the economy before anyone else. And they have been kicked around for 5+ years now. They wonder about what the economy does to their customer base; about what’s happening and not happening in Washington; and about what they can do to secure their future and those of their employees.

Reduce stress by re-organizing your day.

  • Try to distinguish energy from adrenalin. If you become enveloped by the business needs and decisions overwhelm you, the “high” you feel is actually draining you physically, bio-chemically, and, thereby, emotionally. Accept this condition as a fact of your life, and learn to manage it. Put a 10-minute break into your morning and afternoon. This is not a coffee break. You take a short walk, perform some in-office calisthenics, or close the door for some deep breathing exercises during a brief respite. Put it on your calendar and set your phone to remind you.

Keep “motivators” handy.

  • Keep a batch of motivators around you. Frame an unhappy photo of you in the corporate world, a wage slave for somebody else! Post a list of reasons you were originally excited about the business. Contemplate that desk photo of your kids, the ones you are working for. Read a chapter of a great business book about a successful business owner. Also, start a file, online and off, of customer “thank you’s” and praise. Make their compliments your screen saver.

Remember how you serve.

  • You are in business, ultimately, to serve. Service is its own kind of satisfaction. Making things better is its own reward, so spend some time thinking on what and how you do things. Are you in retail? Spend some time visualizing your customers enjoying your products. Are you a plumber? Remind yourself of how much better your customers are off because of your skill. An accountant? Delight in the fact that you have saved people money. Every business serves some purpose. Think about how well you serve!

It is normal to have peaks and valleys in your motivation and confidence. Learn to manage these with a set of tools prepared in advance, and you will overcome these challenges quickly and return to happily serving customers in no time!


by Steven Schlagel