Fortunately, the company had structured the entire program to create energy, excitement and to foster team enthusiasm. They had a theme and encouraged their vendors to incorporate the theme into each of their presentations. They awarded prizes for the team with the most energy and highest level of participation, and by the time dinner was served, the group was pumped. They were excited. And they were highly motivated and charged up. When I left that evening, I knew that they would bring a renewed energy and drive to their workplace. I was also confident that the company would see an increase in their sales in the weeks to follow.
It reminded me how motivational a conference, training workshop or corporate gathering can be. It reinforced the importance of participating in sessions like these on a regular basis, if for no other reason, then to ignite personal motivation.
Running a business is tiring, stressful and challenging. Small business owners wear many hats, often at the same time, while executives of large organizations often have more problems and politics to manage on a daily basis. It is not uncommon for the business to drain our energy and motivation, regardless of how much we enjoy the business. If you do not take time to recharge your batteries and refresh your perspective it’s easy to get frustrated with your business.
That is why it is imperative to have a personal motivation plan. This means taking advantage of opportunities that will help you maintain your motivation. Here are a few suggestions to help get you started.
Attend a personal development workshop. Identify an area in your business or personal life that you would like to improve. At the beginning of each year, I determine what types of programs I want to attend. I find that these sessions give me a short break from the daily grind of my business and help me see things from a different perspective. Training programs, night courses, or weekend seminars that focus on a specific topic can give you a much-needed boost in your energy.
Join a Master Mind group. Meeting with other like-minded people can help you see your business from a different perspective. An effective group will have between six and eight members from a variety of industries and will usually meet several times a year. If you have the right chemistry between members, these meetings will help you improve your business and also motivate you to try new approaches and market your business differently.
Exercise. I am an avid runner and have completed two marathons and several half marathons. I occasionally find myself in a position when I cannot run for a period of time due to illness, injury, or the demands of work. Without fail, I notice a decrease in my personal motivation during these times. Regular exercise helps you work more effectively and efficiently. Although I usually find myself thinking about work related issues during my runs, I develop more creative solutions when I am exercising.
Read or listen to motivational material. Instead of reading the daily newspaper at breakfast or coffee, read inspirational material instead. A book that offers sound advice is more motivating than reading about the latest market declines. Listening to motivational tapes or CD’s for one hour each day can give you the equivalent of a university degree in a few years time.
Take time off. It is not a badge of honor to state, “I’m too busy to take time off.” In today’s fast-paced world, it is critical to take time off for rest and relaxation. Even a long weekend away from your business can be restful. A true vacation also means completely avoiding email and voicemail. Yes, you will have hundreds of messages to deal with when you return, but you will have a renewed focus and energy to do this.
Associate with positive people. I have made it a point in the latter part of my career to distance myself from negative individuals. They drain your energy, will not support your goals and desires and do little to motivate you. On the other hand, positive and optimistic people will uplift your spirits and help you through challenging times.