How to Stay Excited About Your Business

How to Stay Excited About Your Business
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This story first appeared in the March 2013 issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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Oh, if only the spark and excitement of a new business would last forever. Cambridge University professor Dr. Brian Little, a research psychologist and motivational psychology expert, suggests some strategies to put into play once your initial enthusiasm starts to waver.

Be the business.
Treating your business as your "baby"--identifying with it personally--can help you stay motivated. "Self-identity can provide the passion that keeps [the venture] sustained over time … it provides a sense of meaning," Little explains. However, be prepared to cut the emotional cords if the situation calls for a more practical approach. "If the core project is attacked or it starts to become problematic, then you do need to be able to shift to a more pragmatic focus," he says.

Get up.
Your environment can either stimulate or prohibit motivation. If your location can't support your goals, consider packing up the laptop and finding a new place to work--either just for the day or long-term. "Find a way in which you can be supple and flexible enough to go to different places rather than abandoning a project," Little says.

Hunker down.
As an entrepreneur or small-business owner, you are forced to wear many hats--and some may not suit your personality or style (say, when an introvert needs to hobnob with potential investors). To stay motivated while acting out of character, Little suggests planning a retreat afterward to a "restorative niche"--an environment or behavior that makes you feel comfortable.

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