When I started my first startup – motivation was a bit hard to come by. You see, having a boss was easy. I have someone who relied on me and someone to give me a little kick when I needed it. Then suddenly – I was my own boss with nobody to account for but me. For some, that might sound liberating. And I thought it was to start with. But I slowly realised that self-motivation wasn’t something that came naturally.
So I started looking for help and inspiration wherever I could. I forced myself to self-motivate and I now consider it one of my strengths. Here are some of the tips I started using so you can get motivated to make your own business a success, like I did too.
Give yourself accountability
The problem with not having a boss is that there’s nobody you’re accountable to but yourself. So give yourself accountability by making sure those closely know what you’re trying to achieve.
If your friends are close enough to give you a hard time when you fail to completely your weekly tasks, then tell then what you’re trying to do and make them part of the process.
Consider a business mentor
I was sceptical when I first heard about business mentoring – but when I gave it a go it actually really helped. It takes that accountability factor a step higher by giving you professional accountability. But that’s not all business mentors are good for – they’re also great for giving key advice and tips that you might not have been aware of.
I considered myself an expert in my field, but I still learned some relevant information and a different perspective on things from my business mentor. He also helped improve my local network of other similar businesspeople that I continue to use today. Not only that, it kind of gave me someone I didn’t want to let down (like a boss).
Look for inspiration from other business success stories
I started learning more and more about the business people who I wanted to emulate. From well-known household names to people who were only relevant in my industry – I knew there were similar traits they shared that made them a success, and I wanted to learn from them. So I started going to talks and reading as many books on my business heroes that I could, and I think it really helped improve my business mindset. I also started looking at inspirational quotes as often as I could.
Use the right apps
Since we’re now living in a very technological age – I knew there were some apps I could use to give my productivity a little boost.
Something simple like AppDetox helped me block out all the time-wasting apps like Facebook and Angry Birds on my tablet so that I could only spend time doing work-related tasks.
Create a dedicated work zone
It’s important that you create an area that’s only for work. Not only does it help reduce distractions – it also helps keep you in the right frame of mind when you’re working. Don’t use the same room you use to watch TV or relax. If you’ve got room, make an office.
To start with – I didn’t have enough extra space so I actually rented a small office near to where I lived. I actually think the increased productivity boost offset any extra costs. It really helped having a place where I actually went to work. So when I got there, I spent a working day there. It also introduced me to a few other businesses that were useful in the long run. You could either rent your own office space or use a hotdesk environment.
Set goals and make them clear
You need to know what you’re trying to achieve on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis. Don’t just sit down and start working – know what you’re aiming for and how you’re going to get there. I actually wrote down a few post-it notes with reminders of my goals and positioned them strategically. I even put up a motivational poster on the wall.
Give yourself rewards when you hit targets and meet your goals
If you’re setting goals and sticking to targets – you need to reward yourself when you meet them. Whether it’s some time off or a luxury purchase – give yourself a reward for meeting targets.