(This post is an article I wrote for the Top 6 Productions Newsletter.)
This month we’re talking about beginnings. Once you’ve set goals for your business, it can still be hard to figure out how to get started. Even when you know where you want to be, those first few steps are often the toughest – especially when you don’t know exactly what to do first.
Then there are the times in an established business when the flow just stops for one reason or another. It happens to everyone from time to time. Financial problems or illnesses can slow things down. And sometimes we just lose the passion. Everyone occasionally experiences those low-motivation days that make it difficult to get anything done.
So how can you get started (or start again) when things have stopped?
First of all, don’t beat yourself up about it. Learn to accept that business cycles fluctuate, as do our interest energy levels. You aren’t going to feel the same way every day and that’s to be expected. Remember, too, that unpredictable things happen in life. You will recover, and move on eventually.
Next, be prepared. Make a list of things to think about and do that you can refer to whenever you get stuck.
For example, most business owners blog, and everyone who blogs occasionally has times where they either don’t feel like writing a post or can’t think of a single thing to write about. So, keep an idea file. Whenever you see, hear or even think about something interesting, write it down. It doesn’t necessarily need to have anything to do with business, and you don’t need to write a lot of detail; just a sentence or two so you’ll remember whatever it was will do.
Here are a few more things you can put on that list:
- Write thank you notes to clients and people who have helped you with your business. Positive communication is always good for business, and the act of expressing gratitude can help you overcome that “blah” feeling on your low motivation days.
- Organize. Most folks don’t enjoy filing and “paperwork”, but it’s a necessary part of all businesses. Use one of those slow times to make sure your systems are properly set and up-to-date. Then keep the routine going so it doesn’t pile up into an unmanageable mess.
- Read. Somewhere on your computer or in your work space, you have a bookmarks file that contains links to interesting stories and videos, or a folder of how-to articles, or a list of business books. Not only is this a better use of time than games and net surfing, you might just find the spark that gives you your next big idea.
- Review your website and social media profiles. Are they up-to-date? Are they complete? Are they compatible with each other? Do you need an overhaul? You may not have the time, money or inclination to do these things right now but it never hurts to know what’s needed so you are ready when you’re able.
- Daydream. Your fantasies can help you get back in your groove. And when you’re building that mental image of the perfect situation, try to see it clearly in as much detail as possible. This will usually help clarify your goals and the steps you need to take to get there.
Even downtime can be productive if you keep your eyes, and your mind, on the prize. Keep going until you reach your dreams!