As we all know, starting, running, and growing a business is hard. During the many down times, we have to find ways to keep going. Some people are so passionate about their work, they live and breathe it and never falter in their pursuit. For the rest of us--mere mortals--we must find ways to keep ourselves motivated when there is nothing else to push us along.
But what it really comes down to is taking care of yourself. Think of those video games where you have a bar that tells you how much life you have left. Hit that wall? Lose some life. Eat that coin? Gain some life.
Each day, working on your business, you drain your “life bar” a little. When times get tough, if there is not a lot left on your life bar, you may not have the energy to motivate yourself. Imagine this scenario, you have been working 12-hour days for the last few months, eating on the go, and getting little sleep because you are worried whether that client payment will arrive in time for you to make payroll. You have been getting a lot of new clients, which is good, but you are having trouble keeping up with the orders because some of your bigger clients have been late in their payments. You know things will be okay if you can get through this patch.
And then, bam, you get a call. Your major supplier is going out of business. Now there is another stress, another major obstacle, in an already packed week. How much will you sleep this week? How much time will you have to stop and eat?
Do you secretly start to dream about running away to a remote island? Do you seriously start to contemplate why you have chosen this life and maybe that you should go get a job instead? Do you start to ask yourself whether you are truly happy? Your life bar is already running low and now you have just hit that wall. Is it a big enough hit to end the game? Do you have any extra lives to try again? Do you even want to?
Now imagine that no matter how busy you get, you take time every day to refill your life bar. These activities may be:
- Faith-related activities
- Spending time with your family or friends
- Wellness routines such as meditation, journaling, health activities
These types of activities give you a break, refresh your brain, help you remember your goals. They replenish your life bar so that when you do get the unexpected news, you have enough left in your life bar to handle it. When your life bar is nearly full, you have the motivation to stay the course during the down times.
If you are thinking, that is great, but I seriously do not have the time. I challenge you to reconsider. When someone says they do not have the time, what they are really saying is that it is not a priority. As anyone who has ever played a video game knows, replenishing your life bar is always a priority! Because once it is gone, it is gone; you cannot get it back.
Pick one activity that truly replenishes you and spend just a few minutes each day to get started. As you start to see the results, you can add more time. You will find these activities giving you all the motivation you need!