What Inspires You as a Small Business Owner? Is it the same as why you started your business? Every day I see small business owners overcome Herculean struggles and challenges in their work. They started their business with a talent that relates to a craft, hobby or job, and now it’s a business that they have to work in. At some point, all small business owners will go through struggles related to motivation and inspiration. My job is to rekindle the flame of passion that the business side of their company stole from them.
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There are many ways that I can help owners restore their passion for their work, but the first step is to figure out what your true areas of inspiration are. Here are some common sources of inspiration. Do any of these sound like you?
- Creating a vision. Some people are drawn to big picture ideas. They are dreamers, and their dreams ignite their entrepreneurial spark. When inspiration becomes a struggle, it’s important to try to find the original vision and spark that got you excited enough to start your business in the first place. Also, when it comes to visions and dream, I love a quote I recently saw on my Facebook feed. “Action + No-Vision = Chaos. No-Action + Vision = A Daydream”.
- Goals. Goal-oriented people are driven by checking items off their list of milestones and achievements. A lack of inspiration could be caused by a lack of progress on goals. A good way to solve this is by setting smaller, more manageable goals to act as stepping stones toward larger ones. It becomes much easier to get a tangible grasp on your progress using this method. Reward yourself for those risks you took. Applaud yourself for hitting targets on the way to your ultimate goal.
- Impulsiveness. Many business owners get bogged down in the routines of their work and feel that they don’t have the type of freedom they had imagined when they started the business. Be creative and find new ways to accomplish your everyday tasks, or delegate them to employees. Don’t forget that impulsive moves can in a business can often be the result of making decision on emotion. As Ben Ruby wisely pointed out to me decades ago, emotion plays no role in a business decision and once you learn to remove emotion from the equation, you’ll become more profitable.
- Other people. All of us have people that we look up to. Consider reading about other successful innovators, leaders and entrepreneurs who have faced significant obstacles yet overcame them in their own way. No obstacle is too big, and their stories can help to give you back your motivation. Also, look to your spheres of influence for guidance and support. Find those affordable resources that compliment your skill sets. This will keep your heart in what you love to do most.
- Success. We all measure success in different ways. If you feel like you are getting sucked into a pattern of your daily work and aren’t seeing the kind of success you had imagined when you started on the business, be sure to regularly take some moments to reflect on what you have achieved. This offers some perspective into how far you have truly come already as a small business owner. Regularly document what your successes have been – Too often we concentrate solely on our failures and short-comings.
I love the spirit and conviction of the small business owner. You truly are the backbone of our nations economy, let alone the spirit that drives then next entrepreneur to ‘take-you-out’. I am happy to discuss this topic more with any small business owner who struggles with inspiration. Feel free to contact me today!
Thomas von Ahn | Chief Elephant Slayer | Viral Solutions LLC