The alarm goes off. As you wake, you realize there’s no boss standing by the office time clock waiting to see what time you’re going to punch in. You start negotiating with yourself about how it might not be so bad to hit the snooze button. You ask yourself, “What’s another fifteen minutes of just laying here?”
You’ve worked hard and took a chance to get to this point. You wanted to be your own boss and call your own shots. Now you are and you’ve got no one to answer to but yourself. You’ve also got no one to blame but yourself when things aren’t getting done. No one warned you about how to stay motivated when there’s no superior grading your level of performance. Welcome to the world of running your own business.
All people are influenced by extrinsic and intrinsic motivating factors. When you work for someone else, you have the luxury of any number of extrinsic motivational factors. You’re motivated, at least to some degree by the superiors who grade your job performance. You want and/or need their approval. You have to show up everyday probably dressed a certain way. Believe it or not, these expectations make a difference in how much easier it is to push yourself.
When you work for someone else you are placed in a setting where everyone involved has a standard of performance to measure up to. Someone other than you sets those standards. Now you’re the one setting and having to measure up to those standards. Instead of being prodded along by a built-in company structure of extrinsic motivational cues, you now have to rely much more on what’s pushing you from the inside. You always told yourself that you were a self-starter, and now it’s your job to prove this to the world.
Deeds that push the snooze button!
Here are some things to remember to keep yourself motivated when you might be inclined to push the snooze button in your business.
1) Remember it’s not just about getting another fifteen minutes of sleep when you reach over to push that snooze button. Look at the bigger picture here. It’s about the fact that you’re not more excited to get up and conquer your day. If you aren’t excited to start to work, you need to ask yourself why. You should be excited about your day’s potential. Start thinking instead that those fifteen minutes are a lot of time to waste.
2) We all like and need approval from others or extrinsic motivation. Instead of getting that approval from a boss, now you can get this approval from clients who are willing to take a chance on your services. It’s a huge compliment when someone is willing to make a financial investment in what you have to offer with your business. They are investing in you. The greatest thing you could do is always strive to give them more than what they pay for. They’ll pay you back with their approval through referrals and continued business.
3) Put business systems in place and honor them. The purpose of having systems is to create order and function. When people are employed in a company setting, there are systems they have to honor in order to keep their job. Now it’s up to you to create your own systems to honor.
4) Create an emotional support team. If you work alone, then have people that you can call in and check in with during your times of crisis. Maybe they’re friends who are also running their own business. Become motivated by their success stories. Take this “fifteen minutes” that you saved this morning by not pushing the snooze button and reach out to your support team. Do this before checking out and going fishing instead.
5) Love and appreciate the workday challenges that used to make you want to stay in bed in the morning. A little shift in your perception here can make your problems become your mental morning cup of coffee.
There’s some truth to the saying, “If you snooze you lose” (quote by Phyllis George). You’ve been given platform from which you can offer your services to the world. This is a gift! Don’t go on autopilot when the journey gets tough. Take control and stay engaged in the problem solving opportunities that your business has to offer you. The snooze button may delay what your avoiding, but it doesn’t make the challenges disappear. Only action and strategy can do that, so wake up and get to work!