A Labor of Love
As your business develops from an idea to your hundredth sale, it's natural for your initial enthusiasm to fade. As you move from dreamer to worker, reality hits, and you stop looking at your business with the same enthusiastic eyes. This doesn't mean your passion is fading-it simply means you've forgotten how to keep the energy flowing.
Business life can easily become about the repetitive routine of maintaining and growing your business. Here's how to keep joy connected to your day-to-day activities-and renew your passion.
1. Remind yourself why you started your business. Separate your emotions from the routine baggage that comes with every new business. Take time to reflect on all the reasons you started your business-the passion that sparked its creation. Did you see a demand that had not been met? Did you decide to explore a new aspect of your personality? Write the reasons down; put them in your desk drawer, or make a sign for your wall. Look at them regularly as a reminder to keep your passion flowing.
2. List how your business affects more than just you. By connecting to a larger purpose, you create energy. Your work affects people's lives more than you ever realize. Simply list the ways you help people live better, and discover a new, powerful perspective. When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, he not only created a way to light up homes, but also lowered the crime rate, helped factories stay open longer hours, and enabled children to play safely at night. Take a moment each morning to add a new benefit to your list.
3. Search for bigger adventures without expecting results. Let the excitement of discovery enter into your business activities by investigating the unseen opportunities that surround you. Weekly, hold a brainstorming session with a trusted colleague to discuss some exciting directions your business can take. Choose one activity to start, and create a list of simple action steps to follow. Fill yourself with the excitement of creation by staying detached from any expected results. If something works out, celebrate!
4. Show outward fondness for your business. Always speak positively about your goals-your energy flows through your words to others and is reflected back to you. Give yourself permission to creatively express your passion, just as you did when you started your business. This could include sharing your weekly accomplishments with a trusted friend or teaching a class on your area of expertise at a local college. You have a lot of knowledge, so share it.
Take time to nurture your relationship with your business. The small, day-to-day gestures that connect you to the core of your business have the greatest impact on your energy level. Smile every time you say your business's name, and continually invite new possibilities.
Editor's note: Looking for our "Countdown to Startup" series? We've compiled it into one easy-to-use feature. Click here to read it.