How To Stay Motivated When You Want To Quit
I’ve experienced 4 summers in my business now and in all of them but this one, I’ve wanted to quit – sell Business Among Moms, go back to corporate where the paycheck is consistent and the benefits are plentiful. Like many small business owners, things slow way down in the summer for BAM and it raises questions…”will my business pick back up in the fall?” “am I making the best choice for me and my family?” I’ve learned a few tricks over the years – heck, it only took me 4 and I wanted to share how to stay motivated when you want to quit.
Like I said, after 4 summers, I’ve finally taken the steps necessary to mentally prepare for the summer slump that always makes me question the validity of my business. I came into this summer knowing that things slow down and that it is part of my annual business cycle. By simply being aware of the cycles that cause you to have certain feelings, it puts you back control of your feelings and that’s a powerful thing. I’m pleased to report I haven’t responded to a single job posting or recruiter call.
Remember Your Why
Remind yourself of why you started or joined your business. Write it down and keep it where you see it on a regular basis. One of our members, Michelle Rufer of Nerium says, “Keeping my ‘why’ right in front of me. My vision board is up in my office and as a screen saver on my phone. It keeps me present to why I do what I do… even when it’s hard!”
Community has been the top reason why I’ve continued doing what I do. When you have a group of people that you can talk to about your fears, worries, goals and dreams – they can help you stay centered and focused on the path. I strongly suggest finding a support community, whether it is Business Among Moms or another group that meets on a regular basis to provide you that support system.
The Grass Isn’t Always Greener
I’m no psychologist, but I’m pretty sure that it is human nature to think “the grass is always greener”. In my previous job, if I was interviewing with another company, I always imagined things would be so much better, but here’s what’s actually true:
I’d still have a boss and that boss would have their own ideas about how I should do my job.
I would not have control over my work destiny
I wouldn’t have the seniority and trust that I had built over many years with my employer
I do want to recognize that sometimes entrepreneurs have to quit and seek traditional employment for financial or benefit reasons and there is nothing wrong with that.
However, there are definitely periods within the first 3 years (and sometimes beyond) where the entrepreneurial roller coaster starts making you sick and you want off the ride. If your business is moving in a generally upward trend (think stock market), then recognizing those feelings of “the grass is greener” as normal and move forward.
Avoid inaction, Do the thing
It’s also easy to fall into a pattern of inactivity when you are feeling unmotivated about your business. Here’s the trick – if you do one thing that moves it forward or has a positive impact, it will motivate you to do more things like that.
So, pick up the phone and invite that potential client to meet for coffee. Send out that email you’ve been meaning to do or schedule that workshop you want to offer. Taking action will cause a positive forward shift.
If you are like me, chances are you’ve experienced these same feelings. If you have found ways to stay motivated when you want to quit, I’d love for you to share them in the comments.