I often get asked how do you stay motivated and not discouraged when your business isn't working like you'd want it to. I have a confession to make...I really wish I could say that I was motivated all the time but the truth is, I'm not. I'm really just like you and I've had my ups and downs in life and business. The difference could be, I don't let the bad stuff keep me down for long! I keep digging and digging until I find my way out of a sales slump, a gloomy cycle, grief, and just about anything. I find strength in a variety of ways and I vow to myself that through God nothing bad is going to last forever, and it doesn't.
Here are a few ways you can begin to focus on the good and positive and begin to eliminate the negative in your life.
- Take time to be grateful for all you have. I'm often too busy thinking about what's not going right to really be thankful for all the blessings in my life. Every cloud has a silver lining, every challenge has a great outcome on the other side if you stay focused and don't give up. When I've had a down time in my business and been on the verge of calling it quits I take some quiet time to reflect. The first thing I do is take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle and make 2 columns. At the top of the first column I write "What's Wrong" and at the top of the second column I write "What's Right."
Then I begin writing down everything that isn't going right in my business or life. It could be back-ordered items, not enough business, no referrals that are on my "What's Wrong" list and then I begin listing all the good things. I really love being my own boss, setting my own hours, controlling my income (even if it does get shaky once in awhile) and I love the products and being able to help people, I love helping others build a successful business...and pretty soon the "What's Right" list is much longer than the other. I take scissors and cut the columns, review and then throw away the "What's Wrong" list and hang the "What's Right" list over my desk and focus on the good things and it's funny because more good things begin to occur.
- Detach from your devices once in awhile. I know this is a killer but the more I'm connected to everyone and everything in as many ways as possible the less time I have for me and my thoughts. If you have challenges in your business and your life sometimes it's best to just disconnect and have some quiet time to reflect. It's difficult for an overly stimulated mind to come up with solutions so you've got to allow yourself some down time. My solution is to turn everything off and go into my library or outdoors when it's nice with a legal pad of paper. I have no particular agenda in mind, I just start thinking and pretty soon, I'm writing whatever comes to my mind. It could be a new article, it could be a cool script I want to teach on a call, it could be a way to save more for retirement...I just keep writing.
Do yourself and your over-stimulated brain a favor and power everything down for at least a couple hours each week and give yourself some time off from everything. You'll be glad you did!
- Count your blessings. Since reading "7 Levels of Communication" by Michael Maher this past fall I have been writing in my "Blessings Book" almost daily, 5 things I am grateful for. I'm grateful for my family and my health, the beauty of nature and a variety of other things. Taking a few minutes every day to write down my blessings has really been "eye-opening" and helped me realize how blessed I am. Another easy project is to create a "Gratitude Jar" and take time now and then to write down what you are grateful for and review them on New Year's Eve!
- Take time to say Thank You. Even better, take time to send a thank you note to someone who helped you or was gracious to you or who remembered you in a special way. Send than you notes to your clients, customers, those who have referred business to you and watch as more business suddenly appears! Sending Thank You notes seems to be a lost art that is in need of revival. You may not think that such a little gesture could mean so much but I can show you a stack of Thank You Notes that I've been collecting for over 20 years. Many of them from consultants who took time to thank me for being a good leader, or for their contest prize or a special party. Every once in awhile I get them out and remember the people who appreciated what I did for them. NEVER underestimate the power of a handwritten Thank You note!
- Believe anything is POSSIBLE. I have a sign hanging over my desk right now that says "When you focus on POSSIBILITIES instead of PROBLEMS...You will see more OPPORTUNITIES in your life!" Wow, that's powerful and so true! Focusing on problems creates more problems and you have less time to really focus on everything that you want that is just within your reach if you only believed. There's another sign over the desk in my library (Desk #2 of 3) that is a quote my mother wrote in her yearbook, "She can because...she BELIEVES she CAN!" Oh Yeah, there's another one over the door in my office that reads, "Shoot for the Moon; even if you miss you'll land among the stars!" I have surrounded myself with visual reminders that anything is possible!
- Get rid of the drama. I DON'T DO DRAMA! I don't have time for it and it zaps my energy. Get rid of the drama (and people who cause it) in your life. Let's face it some people are just meant to miserable. They look miserable, act miserable and feel miserable ALL the TIME! Everything is wrong, nothing is going well and they sure want you to know about it. They LOVE to talk about other people and they want to suck you into the gossip circle! I have one word of advice for you, RUN as fast as you can and as far away as possible. Nothing good ever comes from gossip, drama or whatever you want to call it. Get rid of it right away!
- Map out your life.That's right, use today as a starting point and begin to create a map of what you want your life to look like, 6 months from now, 1 year from now, 5 years from now and beyond. It's really about taking goal setting to a new level! Use lifelines (deadlines are terrifying) and really start to think about what you want to happen, how you want to feel and who you want to become in the process. I often feel like Peter Pan in that I never want to grow up and take the JOY out of living. I often dread going on vacation because I'm afraid I'm going to get behind and then I realize, that's what I'm working for! I'm working hard so I can take some fun vacations! None of us knows for sure how much time we have on this earth so all we can do is make the most of every moment and plan for good things to come!There are so many ways to focus on what's good but our natural tendency is to focus on what's wrong. I remember just after my mother had passed away I was really down with grief and then a few months later my grandson Ryan was born and I realized, everything is a cycle. Someone I loved very much left my life but now someone new was coming in and it was up to me to open my eyes and heart to this new person. Even though I still miss my mother every single day I know I must open my heart to others, enjoy my blessings and live my life joyously helping as many people as possible. Life really is wonderful! Want to make 2013 your best year ever? Check out the Blueprint for Success and Prosperity