7 Tips to Re-kindle Your Enthusiasm
“Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life”. Or so the saying goes.
Of course we all dream of this, but I would argue that doing something all the time, even if you love it, is going to feel like work at some point. After a while you can even fall out of love with something that a few years ago felt like your dream. Then where does that leave you?
Don’t panic! It’s not inevitably the end of the road, but it does signify that it might be time to take stock and take a breath.
I have found that by implementing one or several of the following tips at some point, it’s possible to re-kindle the passion for what you do and bounce back:
1. Take a Break
A proper – unplug the laptop/turn off the phone – break for more than a weekend. An actual holiday – the hardest thing for a business owner to do!
I have previously (and reluctantly) gone into a holiday feeling drained and ready to walk away from my business. Only to find over the following 7-10 days the process of winding down, losing focus and (woop!) relaxing has brought me back on point by the end of the vacation. I came back enthusiastic and rejuvenated and full of new ideas.
Who knew that a holiday could be so restorative in every sense? Oh. Everyone except me then…
2. Get Inspired
Visit a gallery, exhibition, ballet, play, poetry recital or whatever creatively makes you tick. Experiencing other people’s creativity and passion is infectious and inspiring.
Put it in your diary as a regular business development afternoon and block it off. Go alone or meet a business associate or friend and use it as a reason to talk around some interesting work ideas. Or just enjoy the experience. At some point in the future it will spark a new idea that you can develop.
Give it time and make it a habit.
3. Get a Hobby
Find something other than work that you can enjoy regularly. Something that excites you and involves different and new people. Broaden your skills and your social circle.
SUP Boarding in the summer and skiing in the winter are my passions. It’s no coincidence that they are both physical activities that require some level of skill and concentration to achieve (and to stay safe). They are terrific for blowing out the cobwebs and clearing the mind. I’ve had some of my best ideas for new client campaigns on the side of a ski slope – then had to scramble to make voice notes on the ski lift so that I don’t forget them!
Your hobby might not be sport, but writing, painting, making or building. Who knows? Try a few out and find what floats your boat.
4. Find a Personal Passion Project
Get stuck into to something that you can feel personally passionate about. A new project (that doesn’t make or break your bank balance) is so liberating, as is finding a new team that share your enthusiasm.
Maybe it’s some form of political activism, perhaps it’s supporting your local school or church. Find something that moves you.
I started a parkrun in my local town with a group of friends and (at the time) complete strangers. This has become a fantastic source of exercise, friendship and community for me over the last six months. It does take some of my time each week but I give it gladly because it’s appreciated and the sense of community we are building has been so fulfilling. I’ve also been able to utilise my business skills and experience to market and promote the weekly events and help build the audience.
Work but not work. It’s lovely stuff!
5. Ditch What Drains You
This is a bit controversial but I’m talking about sacking clients or projects that just aren’t bringing you joy. Most of us micro business owners are, after a while, lucky enough to work with people we love, but occasionally someone that isn’t quite a good match for you might slip through the net. Don’t allow these kinds of soul-sucking relationships to fester. If it isn’t working and it’s draining your energy it might be time to cut the cord. Doing so can make you feel a whole lot better about the rest of your business.
6. Change the Record
If you are a stuck in a groove and a bit uninspired by your daily routine then don’t be afraid to mix it up. Change how you do things, change who does what, review the way you handle customers. Hell, even change your working hours – you are the boss, right?
It’s your business and it’s totally fine to put it under a mini-review from time to time to liven things up a bit!
7. Do Something New
Add a new string to your bow. Offer a new service or product – this could be a fantastic for you to not only get excited about your business, but also to earn some more money from existing customers.
Evolving is not only exciting but actually necessary to keep your business thriving.
I’ve recently started recording a travel podcast with a client as my ‘do something new’ and I am a loving it! We decided to embrace the whole concept of minimum viable product which means being quick to publish and accepting a less than perfect finished product. This also means the production of the podcast is quite easy and not too overwhelming. Basically, we just went for it and we think it kinda works! It’s aimed at U.S. Military living in Germany and exploring Europe, so its quite niche but you can listen here if you are interested.
Will it take off and become a roaring success? I don’t know but it’s great fun trying and I totally recommend this gung-ho approach every now and then. It’s quite liberating.
So there’s seven tips to help you get back on track when you lose your way. I won’t say I hope it won’t happen to you, because I think it happens to everyone. We all experience it at some point.
Try 1-2 of these tips when it does and remember it’s simply a process that will ultimately help you grow as a business owner. You got this!