If you think the cold spell sapped away the passion for your business, you are not alone; and more importantly it has nothing to do with the weather – well, maybe a bit but chances are there are a combination of other things going on.
Most times I look at being in business as being in a relationship with someone else. That is true in many ways as your business is an entity of its own and you look after it, care and nurture it so it grows, you communicate, exercise and all the other positive things that go along with. And like in all relationships, there are ups and downs.
The one thing central to entrepreneurs – start-ups or otherwise, is the passion we have in and for our business. We love our businesses, and spend all given hours possible and more to transfer the passion in our hearts for the entire world to experience and enjoy. But what happens when the passion starts to wane? Does it wane? If you are new to business and wondering if this is the end of you as an entrepreneur because the drive is somewhat less than when you started, let me reassure you, you are in very good company because everyone experiences that at one time or another – sometimes more than once.
There are a few things that may cause passion for your business to wane from time to time:
Resentment can creep in if you are spending so much time in and on your business and you’re not yet seeing the rewards you expected or projected within a given time frame.
You went into business for the ‘love’ and ‘joy’ of it all, but it is taken every given hour of your day and time and there’s no more ‘fun’ in doing it anymore – it is just HARD work!
Suffered a disappointment
You’ve planned and expected a sale to go through (small or big), and then last minute it was pulled for whatever reason. Or perhaps something else unexpected happened that was just as devastating.
Looking at the economic glum at the moment, you’ve started second guessing your decision to go into business; and think it was the wrong time. Maybe your well meaning friends and family are reinforcing it too!
Lack of desire
You have somehow lost the desire to do all (or some of) the tasks and actions that are required to move your business because there are other things going on in your life that are either more important, time or energy consuming.
If any or all resonate with you, like I mentioned previously, you are in good company! I have been through all of them – at different stages, some all at once and at other times individually. The good news is it doesn’t last forever, because there’s hope and that initial determination inside of you – that got you into business in the first place, finds its way through and pulls you out and back on track.
Like in most romantic relationships, there are a few practical ways to resuscitate your relationship with your business.
Have a positive outlook
The truth is if you believe you can make your business work, chances are you WILL make your business work. The mind is a powerful thing and while setbacks are real, so are our attitude and strength to get back up. Do whatever it takes to keep a positive frame of mind – it is a choice you have to make.
If you’ve made some mistakes (we all do!), then be honest with yourself, take responsibility and more importantly forgive yourself; because that will weigh you down far more than anything else. Same applies if you are in a partnership and there’s a dispute – resolve it. One of the best ways to do so is to get an independent person to work things out. Like in most relationships, the problem is often lack of communication causing friction and things can be resolved. Forgiveness is powerful!
Do a ‘health’ check on why you are feeling the way you do if the reason is not so obvious. In some cases, there are underlined issues that you may need to address to get things going again. It maybe you’ve just gone off track for whatever reason, and need to find your way back; so looking at what worked and how it worked could help you retrace your steps back to the good. Perhaps you can do it with a friend or family member who you can be honest and open with; and they can be too.
Invest in a coach
If prior to now you hadn’t considered having a coach, then you may want to invest in one. For some people the benefits of having one far out weights the money/cost they have invested. I know it is an expense, but if you just change the language slightly from ‘cost’ to ‘investment’, you’ll be surprised the difference that would make. I know a number of people whose investment is paying off handsomely. Shop around and there maybe some coaches in training who are prepared to work with you for a lower fee on a limited basis – that maybe all you need to kick-start things.
The life of an entrepreneur is often lonely – and more so for a start-up! For some people the most natural thing to do when passion is waning is to keep away from everyone; but that’s counter-productive – for some people! You should be out there networking. Not the events that are specifically for ‘growing’ your business – and the furious exchanges of business cards; but in a networking group that’s nurturing and can have quiet conversations with fellow entrepreneurs. That’s what you need, and a few exist now. Again, shop around as some of them welcome one-time guests and a conversation with someone new, could give you a different perspective on things and reignite your passion.
I am a big fan of business books; and often make time to read. Maybe the last thing you want to do, but surprisingly taking the focus of yourself helps create space for a new perspective. I would also recommend listening to podcasts or watching videos.
Taking time out is good and healthy for you and your business – see it as an investment for the long term growth. If you can afford to physically ‘travel’, then I would recommend you do. If you not, then take time away from your computer, emails etc and just be. Watch TV, movies, take walks or anything else that you love to do for a few days; and you’ll be surprised how a clear head gives way to new opportunities – I know that to be true. You may say this contradicts the ‘networking’ point, but this is just a suggestion and may work for some people.
I write from experience and have been through a lot of it all; so know what it feels like first hand. The joy and passion returns as I believe in life and beauty of the human connection – it is a wonderful thing. I am sure you can tell I am an eternal optimistic! Even when things go wrong, I find a way to pick myself up and keep going – that’s a choice. So after all said, it is your attitude that will make you successful – a positive one. As always, let us know how you get on.