Motivation can take a nosedive, no matter whether you’re a seasoned VA or a new one. We’ve all been in a situation where we want to move our business forward, but for whatever reason, our motivation is lacking.
As you progress your VA business, you’re going to need to be really clear about what makes you and your services different to other VAs, whilst also learning how to express it in a professional way. To build and grow, it’s imperative that you keep an eye on the competition and that you never stand still.
But this can lead to the mind monkeys taking over, as you start comparing yourself to your competition or feel that your business is never ‘finished’ or ‘complete’. You may want to grow your business, but just don’t feel able to sum up the motivation to get it done.
And your motivation can take a negative turn, as a result.
To get out of that negative space, you need to learn how to boost your motivation, fast. Here’s ten practical ways you can boost your motivation, no matter why that initial downturn.
#1: There is nothing wrong with you!
It’s important to remind yourself, there is nothing wrong with you. Motivation naturally has its peaks and dips, it’s no different to your energy levels. Sometimes, it can be down to the task you’re doing, especially if it’s something you’ve been putting off or not enjoying. Other times it can be because outside factors are distracting you or tiring you, such as your family or your health.
No matter what the scenario, remind yourself: there is nothing wrong with you!
#2: Speak to someone
Talking it through can really help. If you have a mentor, a trusted colleague or a close friend you can confide in, do so. A problem shared really is a problem halved – and you never know, talking it through may just spark a solution for you.
Can you think of someone you can speak to? If so, drop them a quick text or email now, to arrange a time to talk.
#3: Get your thoughts down on paper
Sometimes, our motivation is low because our headspace is just too busy. We’re not just business owners, we also have roles within our family and personal lives too. Grabbing a notepad and pen to write down our thoughts, can be a cathartic experience. It can free up our mind, spark creativity and increase our overall motivation.
Slot some time in your diary, to just sit with a notepad and pen, so you can unburden your mind.
#4: Apply an action – any action to boost your motivation
Taking action is the quickest way to boost motivation. Why? Because it takes our focus away from thinking and onto doing. Don’t worry about what action step to take, just do something!
Spend a couple of minutes reading through your to-do list or thinking about something you need to do – then just go and do it!
#5: Accountability can drive motivation
When we share our intentions, plans and goals with someone else, we’re increasing our level of commitment to achieve them. When you have an accountability buddy, it works the same way. We’re making a commitment to do something, and we’re hardwired to not let someone down – so we’re more inclined to be motivated to complete what we say we’re going to do. Who is your accountability buddy? Do you have a mentor that’s keeping you accountable?
Send them a quick message outlining what you’re going to do today or tomorrow – and then give them an end of day recap too.
#6: Remind yourself it’s never finished
Success takes time and, often, it’s a never-ending journey. The reality is a growing business is never finished. Remind yourself of this fact regularly, as it will help you get past trying to reach that perfect end destination, that doesn’t exist and instead, will help you enjoy the actual journey.
Write ‘It’s never finished – enjoy the journey’ on a Post-it note or in your diary and put it somewhere you can see it whilst you’re working.
#7: Stop comparing yourself to others
It’s ok to look at what your competition is doing, as it can help you see new possibilities and potential new goals. But it can also lead down a negative route of comparisonitis
. You may be in similar businesses, but there’s always going to be differences – and what you’re seeing may just be the result of years of work behind the scenes, work that you haven’t seen. You’re unique to your competition in so many ways, as is your business. You may not have started from the same position, completed the same steps, or even have the same personalities, beliefs or values – these all impact on how your business will look or grow.
When you’re looking at how others run their business or where they’re currently at, remind yourself that you didn’t see the journey they made, only their end result. You’re on your own unique journey and it will look totally different to theirs.
#8: Reconnect with your vision and your why
Motivation can sometimes take a nosedive, if you’ve lost your reason or passion for what you’re doing. It’s always a good idea to reconnect in with your overall business vision. How do you see your business in 3, 5 or 10 years’ time? How do you see yourself living your life? What are you doing? What are your reasons for starting your business – what is your why?
Take time to reconnect with your vision and your why – grab that notepad and make a note of your responses to the above questions.
#9: Give yourself space to ponder and dream
It’s good for you to have space to ponder and dream. Forget the voices from your childhood, telling you to stop daydreaming – dream away! Giving yourself space to think bigger, not only sparks your creativity, it’s also a great way to get answers. By not focusing on anything specific, your brain can work away in the background to find solutions and new ideas to help move your business forward.
Set aside regular time to just sit and dream. It doesn’t have to be a big chunk of time – 10 minutes is great – so block off that time in your diary. Alternatively, set aside time in the morning or evening, to just sit and dream.
#10: Stop holding on so tightly
Our need to have that perfect plan, get everything in the right order and be the ideal person can cause us a lot of stress. And often, we’re holding on so tightly to our idea of perfection, when, it just doesn’t exist. When you hold on tightly to a set plan, you shut yourself and your focus away from other options, potentially missing out on alternative or more creative ways of reaching your desired goal.
Let go of the need to know every single step in your journey – just focus on your desired end goal.
Read the following VACT blogs about motivation:
“Stuck in a rut – what to do when you lose your motivation” – https://vact.co.uk/stuck-in-rut-when-you-lose-your-motivation/
“Reconnect in with your motivation and passion” – https://vact.co.uk/reconnect-motivation-passion/
By following the ten different options above, you’ll be able to get out of that negative space and learn how to quickly boost your motivation. Which option are you going to try first? Why not boost your accountability to commit the action, by posting your next action step in the comments box below!