Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
We all know how it goes: Once we launch our entrepreneurial career, we enter the circuit of never-ending hard work and constant efforts. Project and people management, investments, delegating workload and daily communication are all simultaneously on our plate. We see productivity as the world’s virtue — the more we manage to achieve in a day, the more successful we perceive we are.
And while being productive certainly takes you places, especially in entrepreneurship and business ownership, I sense that we all often miss adding yet another piece of information to the whole equation. Yes, being productive is key, but it’s like we are programmed to believe we are supposed to be productive at all times and at all costs. We seem to forget that, sometimes, productivity is nowhere to be found — and those are precisely the times when we need to nurture a certain mindset and rely on specific mood boosters.
Here are four mood boosters that I personally use in my day-to-day as an entrepreneur and business owner, especially in periods of excessive lack of motivation and drive. I also would like to normalize the general feeling of being stuck — there’s nothing wrong with feeling out-of-touch now and then. What truly matters, in the end, is our ability to get ourselves back on track.
Motivation is key or why hard work and determination are not always sufficient in entrepreneurship
When asked what my advice is on establishing and running a successful business, I always state that the most important thing is choosing a field of expertise you are passionate about. Sure, knowledge and skills are essential, but if you don’t love what you do, you’d likely experience hardships along the way.
As a matter of fact, I’m thrilled to witness so many aspiring entrepreneurs following this exact path of thought and approach — I see aspiring business people aiming to turn their dreams into real enterprises daily. At first, we’re destined to believe that our passion and love for what we do would fuel our engine constantly and the only thing we need to take care of is providing endless determination and hard work into the process.
However, sometimes that’s simply not sufficient. Circumstances, obstacles, personal life, our relationships with people and our own expectations, misconceptions and beliefs sometimes contradict our never-ending desire of hustling. When this happens, instead of feeling pressured and overwhelmed, the best is just to acknowledge that situations like these occur and implement a rather different approach when it comes to dealing with them.
That said, I’ve often witnessed motivation escape people’s day-to-day — when this happens, even the biggest of attempts to work hard may fail to get us on the right track.
Here is my advice on how to navigate through decreased levels of motivation when efforts don’t appear to be doing the job.
4 mood-boosting tactics to help you get back on track
Before we get down to it, I’d like to set a quick reminder: The biggest mistake we could make is denying our motivation has dropped. We live in such a dynamic and fast-paced environment that sometimes we don’t even let ourselves face what’s truly happening to us. Breathe in and breathe out — it will pass.
- Take a break — seriously. Despite how counterintuitive this may sound, sometimes taking a step back is the best approach toward feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Sometimes motivation tends to escape from us once we persistently continue to push way too hard. If anything, that’s the best-known shortcut toward burnout. In entrepreneurship, we often tend to overwork ourselves; then, as we feel the need to relax for a bit, we have this haunting feeling of failing to live up to our own high standards. In a nutshell, this could potentially be detrimental to our physical and mental health.
- Go deep into searching what the main reason behind the lack of motivation could be. This works wonders since it allows us to go over our priorities, aspirations and goals. On one hand, we are able to get rid of no-longer serving approaches. On the other hand, just repeating our initial planning and expectations in our minds could quickly make room for returning motivation at full speed.
- Talk to a like-minded entrepreneur. Communication has proven to be truly beneficial for people, regardless of their field of expertise. Sometimes, when we feel down or struggling, the best solution is to share our concerns and thoughts with someone who truly understands how we feel. Coming from a place of familiarity work-wise, a like-minded entrepreneur could be the best conversational part who can help you get your spirits up.
- Change your perspective. Оnce facing your motivation levels dropping, this could be a good opportunity for you to try to change your perspective. If you can, try viewing this situation as a chance for you to grow and come up with more ways to find a solution. Oftentimes this approach is inspiring helping you gain your motivation and mood back.
In general, I’m a big supporter of the idea that entrepreneurs and business owners should openly address their hardships and openly accept that while hustling is great, sometimes it can just be too much. When this happens, there’s nothing wrong with us trying to get our motivation back the best way we possibly can.