Lisa Robbin Young

How to maintain your motivation when things get hard

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Being in business is honestly one of the most challenging things a person can ever do; it’s not easy stuff in the slightest! One day, you’re on top of the world, sketching out big plans like your marketing strategy, and the next, you might find yourself drowning in to-do lists. That initial rush of excitement can quickly give way to the grind and that's exactly when many new business ideas begin to lose steam. 

Running a business in the early stages (or launching a new initiative in an established one) can be particularly tough. Staying motivated is crucial—not just for ticking off tasks, but for keeping your spirit alive through all the ups and downs. AND THERE ARE A LOT OF UPS AND DOWNS!

The truth is, you can't expect to always be "on" and have the best attitude - sometimes, when things go off the rails, it's demotivating and really sucks! But when the temptation to just say “screw it” and stop might be tempting, having ways to stay inspired and motivated can help you re-focus and get back on track to turn your dreams into reality.

You Need to Stay Connected to Your “Why”

Remind yourself why you started on this journey. Whether it is the desire for financial independence, a passion for your product, or the drive to solve a problem, keeping your core motivation at the forefront can reignite your enthusiasm during tough times. Lizzo slept in her car in order to stay in the place where she could make her musical dreams a reality. I'm not saying you need to do that, but it's important to place your dreams and realities into perspective and be honest about why you're doing what you're doing and what you're REALLY willing to do to see success.

Create a “TaDahh!” List

Instead of a traditional to-do list, keep a 'done list' - I call it a "Ta dahh!" list. It's a place to document everything you've accomplished at the end of the day. It’s about feeling accomplished at the end of the day, not focusing on what else you need to do today and for the rest of the week. It doesn’t really matter if it’s big or small. Did you launch a new program today? Ta Dahh! Set up your website? Ta Dahh!" Complete your EIN registration with a filing service? Ta Dahh! It's DONE! Celebrate!

Practice "Do Nothing" Days

A day of doing nothing? How exactly could this even help? While this might sound counterintuitive, occasionally allowing yourself a guilt-free pass to relax and recharge without any pressure can prevent burnout. Basically, it’s just a break, and you deserve to give yourself a break.

In my first marriage, I had a "leave me the eff alone day" every quarter. I'd leave in the morning and come back whenever I felt like it. Don't call me. Don't try to find me, because even I didn't know what was going to happen that day. Sometimes I just went to the park for a few hours and came back home. Other times I left town completely. It just depended on where my head was at and what I needed to refill my bucket.

Now, I have structured "uncontaminated time" in my calendar. That's a term I learned from Breanne Dyck that I've shared with my own clients. If your calendar is so full that you don't have time for NOTHING, it's no wonder you're struggling with motivation.

Schedule Some Time to Just Think

It can be a nice way to decompress and really let go while staying motivated. So, ideally, it’s a good idea to set aside regular time slots each week just to think. You’ll want to use this time to step back and look at the bigger picture, brainstorm new ideas, or reflect on what is and isn’t working. This can prevent you from getting bogged down in day-to-day tasks and help you stay focused on strategic goals. It’s also a good idea to gain more mental clarity.

Believe me, I understand that there are times when it feels like you just can't pull away or the house of cards will collapse. That's the MOST important time to step back. because you're building something that's not sustainable. Sure, there are times to hustle, but those times need to be the exception, not the rule. If you need support figuring out how to have a business that works for how you're wired to work and gives you a sustainable path forward - with time off for doing NOTHING - book a next steps session and let's talk!

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