How do you keep motivated when you work for yourself? This is a question that Joanne Dewberry recently brought up on her blog and it has really got me thinking!
It has been a funny old year for me as I feel that I was far more motivated last year having been shortlisted for a number of awards and won a special achievement award in the Mumsclub Awards 2010. But this year, for a number of reasons I have been somewhat lacking my usual burst of energy.
I think one of the most important things about finding motivation is doing what you know or love to a certain extent. If you are confident and enjoy what you do then you will have more enthusiasm for it.
I feel lucky to be in a position where I can work from home – I am not saying that it is easy but it certainly allows me the flexibility that rarely comes with a full time job.
Now looking back across the years that I have been self employed and thinking about what has kept me motivated – even through those more difficult times I came up with this!
Motherhood – without a doubt my main motivation was being able to spend more time with my children. I wanted to be able to cherish every moment of their early days – their first steps, tastes, words etc. I felt torn between this and going back to a steady income but I knew in my heart what was right for us as a family and I have never regretted that decision.
Orders – The more orders that come in the more motivated I am, I seem to work better under pressure! It is so encouraging to receive positive feedback from a customer who is happy with what I have created for them and even more encouraging when customers return and order more!
Time – most importantly with my children. Time to work flexibly too but time is a difficult thing for someone who runs thier own business because it's very difficult finding a good balance - where you are not devoting every waking hour to your work or feeling it is actually having the opposite affect and taking you away from your family. Lack of time is a serious factor for a Mum who chooses to run her own business and is something that we all learn to work around. It always amazes me how much you can adapt to suit your visions!
Incentive – my main incentive is my children. I don’t work to make a living (not yet anyway!) At the moment I work to supplement our household income and in doing so I am able to remain at home with my children while they are young. I don’t have to worry about not being home if my children are poorly.
Vigor – I want to share one of my favourite quotes here: "They who lack talent expect things to happen without effort. They ascribe failure to a lack of inspiration or ability, or to misfortune, rather than to insufficient application. At the core of every true talent there is an awareness of the difficulties inherent in any achievement, and the confidence that by persistence and patience something worthwhile will be realized. Thus talent is a species of vigor.” Eric Hoffer
Talent – I have never been great at accepting praise but it is something I am working (really & truly!) I have such wonderful feedback from my customers who say I am very talented in what I do. I know that I have improved greatly from when I set up my business initially and it is the nurturing of this talent, learning new skills and techniques that will benefit my business that keep me motivated during any quieter times.
Income – at the moment I work to supplement our household income but in time I have far larger plans (I want to conquer the world…..Ahem, ok perhaps not!) BUT I do have huge aspirations and a mind that is bursting with ideas of where I want to take my business and how I want to do this. I know that the time to prove I can do this and put my plan into action is when my son starts school fulltime – I will then have the daytime between 9:30am and 3:30pm to make my business work the way I envision it can (and will!)
Occupation – this is who I am, this is what I do – I like being my own boss, I like having the freedom to make the decisions.
New Ideas – no business can develop or grow without new ideas and this is a constant factor in mine! I am always developing new ideas and on the lookout for inspiration! It's just having the confidence to develop those ideas, the motivation to put them into action that can lead you to take those first steps towards success!!
I run http://www.enhance-me.com/ a service that specialises in Magical Photo Portraits, I can turn your ordinary photograph into anything!