Guest Blog: by Lireko Dorothy Ncube
It is sometimes hard to stay motivated when the business environment is looking gloomy, compounded by the fact that the regional economy is having its share of ups and downs, ultimately driving most solopreneurs crazy. Increasingly, people have to think hard and carefully before investing in anything. It is not as easy as it was perhaps three or four years ago for a person to open their wallet and pay for something spontaneously, unless they are really sure it adds value. During such times, every solo-prenuer has probably had those moments where they wonder what they are doing, if they are ever going to achieve their goals, and sometimes even feeling like giving up! So how can one stay motivated through the more challenging and tough times?
Here are a few tips....
Take time to regroup
Take a walk to the shops, go on a run, go to the gym, get on that treadmill, and whilst you are listening to music on your phone or IPod, let your mind simply wander - you will be surprised at how much perspective you regain. So many new things come to mind if you are relaxing. It helps. Whatever it is you do to help you relax, just do it - meditate, attend yoga classes, watch a comedy and laugh, then start again.
Revisit your goals and reclassify them often
When you are running your own business it is often quite easy to focus on short-term goals as these seem to be achieved quickly - but then what? Revisit your list of goals and make sure they are properly classified and meaningful, from short-term, medium-term and long-term goals. Put them in order of importance and urgency. Whatever you do, make sure you have long-term goals on your list that will keep you focused over the months and years to come.
You will be amazed at just how much information is available out there, it is simply a case of committing sufficient time to do specific business research or get updated on new trends, markets, news, etc. Depending on the sort of field you are in, take time to surf the net for leads, advice or any information you might be looking for that could enhance your business, be it pricing or products, new developments, new ways of doing things. Technology has made access to information so much easier, so go and get the help and tips you need, and use it to help you stay ahead of the pack.
Dream of the end result
If you are building a house, you think about it constantly - the process is often frustrating and might take the longest time - you will endure long sleepless nights and sometimes you will empty your bank account just to fund the project or keep it going. But the final product will be a beautiful home that you will be proud of. It is the same in the world of business - some goals or projects are tough, and there will be difficult times ahead in order to see them through to their conclusion - but, when you set your mind to doing something, just keep the end goal in mind. The day you finalise or achieve your goal will come sooner than you think if you keep your mind focused on that beautiful, desired end- result.
Reward yourself for a job well done
Truth be told, we all need to take time out to reward ourselves for a job well done, often to keep ourselves continually motivated to want to work much harder for the next goal or project to be completed. So, when you are about to embark on your next project, promise yourself that upon completion you will reward yourself in some way - maybe a trip to a spa, or a weekend away, a highly personal bottle of perfume, or just a really good bottle of wine or champagne. Who knows, maybe after your long term goals are achieved you will go on a trip around the world! Whatever the case, take the time to reward yourself so you can stay motivated.
Lireko Dorothy Ncube is a guest editorial contributor to Lionesses of Africa. Lireko lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa, and is a regular blogger on entrepreneur lifestyle and communications topics.