No one starts a business believing they will hate what they do day in and day out. You start a business believing you are going to build something that gives you control, freedom, and allows you to use your skills and passion. However, many business owners and entrepreneurs eventually find themselves in a place where they feel like they have lost joy and passion for their work. The growing to-do list and demands at every turn have stolen the joy out of the work they do. If you find yourself in this place, here are 7 things you can do to begin enjoying your business again.
1. Refocus on your why and purpose
Why did you choose to start your business? What is your mission statement? How does your business align with your personal values?
When you take time to reflect on these questions, it helps you get back to the root of where your mind and heart was when you started. Instead of focusing on if you’re having fun each day, look for the purpose in the work you are doing and how it connects with you on a deeper level.
It may help for you to find an anchor object you can keep on your desk or wherever you work from that reminds you of your purpose, values, and mission. Then, when you’re struggling, that object can be a reminder of why you chose the path of growing a business and help you reconnect with your “why” again.
2. Count your blessings
Gratitude can work wonders in changing our attitudes and helping us refocus on the positive in a situation. If you’re feeling worn down, burnt out and weary, take time to look for the positives. What have you accomplished since going into business? What progress have you made so far this year? Who have you connected with through the course of your career who that has been a blessing to your life? What opportunities do you have because you started this business that you wouldn’t have had otherwise? Keep a journal or list of these things that you can look back on and add to in the future.
3. Get control of your calendar
It’s difficult to enjoy the work you do when it feels like it’s consuming your life. Take time to restructure your calendar and set your priorities. Get serious about creating more work-life balance and be intentional about blocking personal time on your calendar.
Your business may need your attention, but if you are always working and don’t take time to rest, relax, and recharge, it won’t be long before you feel like you’re going to crash and burn.
Pay attention to how you spend your time at work so you can identify small changes you can make that give you more time back. Only attend meetings that are necessary. Delegate tasks and the responsibility and resources needed to complete the task. Set parameters around when you check your email, take phone calls, or look at social media. Look for other ways to regain time in your schedule.
4. Focus on progress over perfection
Seeking perfection in business will always steal your joy. We are imperfect people who are going to make mistakes and wrong decisions at times. Struggling with perfectionism can look like:
- Procrastinating on starting a project because you don’t know exactly how to do it well.
- You think every mistake you make shows you are a failure.
- Trying to make sure no one sees errors you have made or that you don’t know the answer to a question.
- Only focusing on failures and miniziming your successes.
- Setting unrealistic goals.
- Feeling like you always have to be “on” and having a false front you show others.
- Not trying something new because you are afraid of failing.
- Feeling like you’re only “good enough” as a person or likeable if you’re succeeding.
Striving for perfection can be debilitating. Instead, shift your focus to making progress. You don’t have to be perfect to make progress in growing your business.
SPEARity CEO, Darren Fisher, encourages people to lower the bar when necessary. High achievers have a tendency of setting the bar high and raising it every time they hit a goal so they never end up feeling like they are succeeding at anything. While this can drive growth, it can also leave you exhausted and feeling like you can never do enough.
Focus on setting small goals that are realistic for you to accomplish. If you fail at something, remember you are not a failure. Reflect on why you failed and what you can do differently to succeed in the future. Learn the lesson and move on in confidence.
5. Delegate more work
As the business owner, you need time to use your big picture thinking and creativity. However, when you are bogged down in the murky details of the business day after day, it’s easy to lose that creativity. It becomes difficult to be forward thinking when you spend your day lost in the details.
Look for tasks you can delegate to others. You could hire an assistant, work with a freelancer on a project, or hire an employee for a specific job. Make a list of everything you spend your day doing and look for things you can pass on to someone else. You may find that as you start to free up more time in your day, you reconnect with your creative energy and find passion and purpose in your business once again.
6. Take a vacation
Sometimes the best thing you can do to start liking your business again is to take some time away from it. It’s easy to not take vacation time as an entrepreneur. When you are employed by someone and have paid vacations, it’s easy to take time off. When you feel the success of the business relies solely on you being active in it, it’s not as easy to take time away. But, it’s important to have time to rest and recharge.
Stepping away from your business for short times can help create the space you need to reset your mind and return refreshed. Depending on how your business is currently running, it may not be possible for you to disconnect from your business for an entire week at a time. If that’s the case, start small. Take the afternoon off of work. Then intentionally work on creating more time in your schedule to step away and recharge.
7. Get help with your business
Not only is it okay to admit that you need help and guidance learning how to run a business, it’s an important step to learning to run a business you enjoy. As you learn how to overcome one obstacle to grow your business, another one shows up. As the business grows, it can feel like the obstacles are growing as well. Needing help is not a sign of a deficiency in you as a person, it’s a sign that there might be a new skill you need to learn and develop. Or, it may be a sign of a new system you need to learn how to implement and follow.
Trying to fight through the struggle on your own instead of seeking help, can keep you stuck. If you stay stuck, your business is going to struggle and you are likely to end up frustrated and exhausted. You don’t have to stay stuck.
Finding a business coach or joining a coaching group can help you take the steps you need to so you can get back to enjoying running your business. You can take the first step today by scheduling a call to explore SPEARity coaching options for small business owners.