As much as you may love and appreciate the creative freedom and flexibility of being your own boss, there will inevitably be days when you wonder, “What was I thinking when I started a home-based business?” A seed of self-doubt about being self-employed plants itself in your head and doubts begin to sprout. Maybe this moment is the result of feeling overwhelmed by the constantly blurring line that is supposed to separate your business from your home life, being burned out because you’ve worked too many hours and days without giving yourself a break, or you find yourself in a famine cycle of your business and you’re afraid you may not be able to pay the bills. Whatever the cause, lack of motivation to keep going as a home-based business owner is a normal part of entrepreneurship, but if left unchecked it can be the kiss of death for your business.
I have an “accountability partner” that I speak with Monday through Friday. We came together out of a mutual need to find someone in the same business who would encourage us to follow through on our business goals, offer advice and consultation when needed and help keep one another motivated. We’ve been doing this for a year now. Our calls last between 10 to 30 minutes a day.
For the past couple of weeks my partner has been experiencing a serious lack of motivation. The problem is she’d like to change the services she provides. She hesitates to do this because she feels “stuck” with continuing with her current services to pay the bills. This has left her feeling hopeless and unmotivated which is affecting her current business’ profitability.
We are working together to create some small steps to help her reach her new business goals, while she continues working and offering the services that currently pay her living expenses. It’s helping – she sees the light at the end of the tunnel now, and that’s providing much needed motivation to push forward.
If you find yourself facing lack of motivation in your own home-based business, here are a few suggestions to help you push past it and reclaim your passion:
- Make your business something you are passionate about – something you would do even if you didn’t get paid.
- Keep track of everything. Small advances are very encouraging when starting out.
- Set reasonable goals starting small and working your way up to the larger ones.
- Join a small biz discussion group or mastermind group.
- Get coaching for extra pushes along the way.
- Stay inspired by reading success stories and know that you too can succeed.
- Hang a motivational ayat or other quote above your desk.
- Put your goals, both short term and long term in writing, refer to them often.
- Reward yourself when you reach goals no matter how small. Rewards can be something like a splurge on expensive advertising for the business or a personal splurge to celebrate your success.
- Identify things than UNmotivate you and avoid or change them (could be a habit, a time of day, or a negative reaction from someone or something).
- Add variety. We all fall into routines, (i.e. check email, write article, blog post,). Mix things up so you don’t lose that interest and passion.
- Don’t forget to take time away from working regularly to relax. Working from home it’s easy to forget to take care of ourselves
- Prioritize, list the top 3 to 5 most important things to get done at the start of your day, and everything after that is a bonus.
- Make Istikara -ask for Allah’s mercy and guidance to help you push through the difficult time.
It’s completely normal for your excitement as a business owner to ebb and flow. As soon as you notice your motivation starting to drop, take immediate action. If working at home and being self-employed is your dream don’t give up!
Photo credit: TonyAldrich