Let’s talk about staying committed to your business. On the cusp of autumn, I think a lot of us take the time to evaluate our current situations and plan for a long winter’s nap.
Think the Ant and the Grasshopper if you will. If you don’t know that fable, go look it up. But with the planning, comes commitment. committing to staying the course with a mediocre employee to try and turn them around.
Planning to fix a website that has not pulled its weight or planning a new work van or an additional accountant. Whatever you are planning often comes with a commitment.
Becoming a contractor requires a certain amount of drive and enthusiasm, just like it does for any entrepreneur. If we didn’t believe in ourselves and our businesses, we would still be working for someone else.
But when the going gets tough, it’s easy to lose sight of why we started in the first place. This can cause us to become unmotivated, and it could be the beginning of the end for something we’ve worked so hard to build if we’re not careful.
Businesses are like relationships. Commitment is an absolute must if they are to succeed. Here are some tips for staying focused and pulling through the hard times.
- Write a mission statement if you haven’t done so already. It should detail the purpose of your business and your key philosophies. Many contractors I consult with tell me they didn’t bother to do this unless it was required to obtain funding. But a mission statement can help you remember why you wanted to start a business in the first place.
- Set goals. If you don’t have something specific to work toward, it’s hard to stay motivated. By setting challenging yet attainable and measurable goals, you increase your chances of succeeding whether you meet them or not.
- Don’t overwork yourself. I fall victim to this one. I could work all day, every day, and I have, and it’s cost me…dearly. Starting and running a business is hard work, and it’s easy to get caught up in a cycle of endless 16-hour days. It’s rather ironic that this commitment to your business can result in burnout, which can leave you without the energy and motivation you need to keep going.
While it may not be feasible to take a vacation when you are just getting off the ground, it doesn’t hurt to take a day off every now and then. Taking a breather will give you time to regroup and remember why you chose the path you’re on.
- Outsource the tasks that bore or frustrate you. Contractors often fall into the trap of thinking they must can do anything because they can build things. Sometimes they are on tight budgets and don’t feel they can afford to hire help, whilst others are unwilling to let go of the total control they have. But if you’re suffering from a lack of motivation, outsourcing can get you back on track by allowing you to focus on the things you love about your business.
- Evaluate the state of your business. If you’ve hit a rough spot, maybe a change of plans is in order. You may need to focus your offerings more tightly, rethink your marketing methods, or invest in better equipment. By isolating and solving the problem, you can get back to business as usual. Maybe that’s a good time for us to talk?
Sometimes it’s hard to maintain the level of commitment that we have in the initial phases of our businesses. By doing what it takes to remain focused and remembering why we chose this path in the first place, we can keep ourselves motivated. When we reach our goals, we will realize that it was all worthwhile.