4 Ways to Stay Inspired When You’re the Boss


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You’re reading Entrepreneur Europe, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Entrepreneur. Business owner. Leader. Manager. The boss.

However you describe yourself, it’s important to inspire your workers — but it’s also important to stay inspired yourself. Here in Europe, you’re working hard every day to keep the company afloat and there’s a lot of pressure on you. It can get overwhelming.

You may not realize until it’s too late that you’re burned out and uninspired. Here’s how to stay inspired and motivated.

1. Keep your goals on hand.

Visible goals are key to staying motivated. They can be small, but you should create two mood boards for your work space. The first should include your goals, and not just your professional goals. Consider adding a goal of creating a fun, engaging workplace, or finding a work-life balance. Some goals should be related to productivity and others should be about fulfillment and happiness; you need both to make this work.

Your second board should include those same goals, but under each, you should write a few steps you need to take consistently to get there. So, if you set a goal of having good work-life balance, add a reminder to leave every night by 6 p.m. or to use your paid holiday time. If your goal is to keep your reports organized, add a reminder to file them every week by a certain time.

Seeing not only your goals, but clear reminders of how to achieve them every day will motivate you to get your work done and meet — then surpass — the goals.

2. Structure an incentive plan.

You already know that giving your employees incentives is a good way to motivate them. You, too, should have some kinds of rewards for good work. When the company meets a certain goal, give everyone Friday afternoon off, for instance — but don’t forget to take it off, too. Designate personalized rewards for yourself as well.

Think of the tasks you have to complete on your own, like making hiring decisions or reporting to the regional manager. When a hire or meeting goes well, have an incentive structure in place for yourself, even if it’s just a mid-day break to go buy a new book or tea. Knowing there will be even a simple reward at the end of a difficult task will keep you motivated.

3. Engage with employees.

Participate in parties, events, off-sites, and office culture. To feel motivated and energized, engage with everyone in the company. At times, being the boss can feel isolating, but it’s good to remind yourself that you’re part of a team.

Spending time among employees, especially during team-building activities or more relaxed moments, is helpful for fostering camaraderie and reminding you what you’re working for. Plus, your team members can offer you great insight into how the company’s operations are going on the ground. Together, you can brainstorm and tackle problems while celebrating successes, which all makes you more productive — and happier.

4. Never stop learning.

If your job duties never change, you may feel you don’t need to learn anything new, but the opposite is actually true. You have to break up monotony and routine and stay stimulated. Try selecting one person whose career or life you admire each month, then completing their autobiography or a book about them. Learning how others accomplished goals similar to yours is inspiring. So, too, is learning overall.

Look into continuing education courses, seminars, or conferences in your field and make a point to attend them. Insight from experts and peers can help you see your profession with fresh eyes and keep you on your toes.

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