Working for yourself sounds great in the beginning but many Virtual Assistants start life as a solopreneur and soon discover that giving up the day job isn’t always as glamorous as it seems. Loneliness and a lack of motivation eventually in creep and you might even find yourself missing your 9-5 more than you thought possible. However, you went into business by yourself for a reason and lost motivation can always be found again. It’s important to mentally prepare yourself for these bumps in the road and understand how to motivate yourself to keep moving, even when the going gets tough. Here are some top tips on staying motivated as a solopreneur.
1. Make Your Business Fit Your Lifestyle, not the other way around
One of the best things about being a virtual assistant is the flexibility it offers. You can work from anywhere, at any time, which means you can make your business fit your lifestyle, not the other way around.
This is especially important during the startup phase of your business. It’s tempting to work long hours and sacrifice your personal life, but this is a recipe for burnout. Instead, focus on finding a balance that works for you.
For example, if you love spending time with your family, block off time in your schedule for family activities. Or, if you’re a fitness fanatic, make sure to schedule time for exercise each day.
The key is to be flexible and adaptable. If something comes up that needs your attention, be willing to adjust your schedule accordingly. But don’t forget to take care of yourself, too. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and exercising regularly.
When you’re happy and healthy, you’ll be more productive and motivated to succeed. So don’t be afraid to make your business fit your lifestyle. It’s one of the best things you can do for your business and your mental health.
2. Find A Coworking Space or join a co-working online
Being able to work from the comfort of your own home is indeed fantastic, but not seeing another soul all day can also get pretty lonely. Plus, you run the risk of going stir crazy. On the other hand, if you’ve got noisy family members who are also at home all day it can be difficult to concentrate.
Find out if there’s a coworking space near you where you’ll be able to meet like-minded individuals and work in a relaxed, but focused, environment. Coworking spaces also run lots of useful events like workshops and seminars which can help you to learn new skills, develop your ideas and give you an element of networking. If you cannot visit a co-working space, consider joining an online co-working session.
3. Find A Support Network
One of the biggest advantages of co-working spaces is the chance to meet and learn from your fellow freelancers. They can empathise with you in a way that most of your friends and family probably can’t, and boost you up when you need it. Plus, they’ll be able to offer more valuable insights and advice to help you work through your problems.
Of course, co-working isn’t the only way to meet other freelancers and solopreneurs. Memberships and Mastermind groups are an increasingly popular business growth tool. A mastermind is a peer-to-peer mentoring group where you can find inspiration, bounce ideas around and enjoy the support and advice of fellow members. Participating in this kind of group also helps to keep you accountable, which is essential when your motivation is lagging. As part of the VA Membership, we have weekly group coaching calls as well as our weekly accountability options.
4. Balance Your Workload
Balancing your workload is easier said than done, but it’s a crucial part of staying motivated. Studies show that small business owners tend to work longer hours than the average worker. In the UK, companies can’t make their employees work for any longer than 48 hours per week, but there are no such constraints on the self-employed. However, it’s definitely worth setting yourself a time limit to ensure that you stay both productive and sane.
You might not get it right at first, but keep on making small adjustments and find out what works for you. If you work too hard, you’ll burn out but if you don’t put enough hours in, you won’t make any progress – and you’ll probably get bored. Keep your long term goals in mind and remember that your journey as a solopreneur is a marathon, not a sprint. You will often hear me talk about playing the long game, no what the bigger picture/goal that you are working towards is and means to you.
5. Reward Yourself
The instant gratification of achieving a small goal is often more motivating than working towards a long-term goal. However, entrepreneurship is all about the long game, and it may be a while before you reap the rewards of all your hard work.
The easiest way to overcome this is to set yourself small goals and attach rewards to each one. You can choose more extravagant rewards for bigger milestones.
Here are some mini tips for setting yourself effective rewards:
- Make sure the rewards are something you really want. This will help you stay motivated and focused on achieving your goals.
- The rewards should be achievable, but not too easy. This will help you feel a sense of accomplishment when you reach them.
- Vary the rewards so that you don’t get bored. This will help you keep working towards your goals.
Rewarding yourself for your hard work is a great way to stay motivated and on track. So don’t be afraid to give yourself a pat on the back every now and then!
Ultimately, the key to staying motivated as a solopreneur Virtual Assistant is to enjoy the journey and remember to have some fun along the way. Self-discipline is crucial, but you can’t sustain a punishing schedule for long. It may sound cliche, but finding a work-life balance or a work-life integration (making conscious decisions about what and when you do it) is truly the secret sauce for success.
Would you like some help?
As part of the The VA Membership, we are always looking at how we can help you build and grow your Virtual Assistant business – we know that helping you stay motivated and moving towards your goals is the key to your success.
The VA Membership is the only UK VA business accelerator that’s designed specifically to help you build and grow your VA business, to help you create recurring revenue and consistent growth through regular and consistent action. With over 150+ hours of courses, weekly co-working sessions, weekly group coaching calls, a private support group and the ability to pay as you go – when you’re ready to grow or scale your business online come and join us in the VA Membership. It would be awesome to support you and help you to become the “Go-To” Virtual Assistant.