How To Keep Going When You Lose Motivation
I’m about to break 5700 pieces of marketing advice in one post.
First, I’m going to start it by drawing attention to the fact that I haven’t written anything in a solid month, which as we all know is a big ol’ no no in the blogging world.
Then I’m going to go on to explain why I haven’t written anything, which is a story full of things we aren’t supposed to admit to our potential clients or the world at large, lest they think we aren’t super entrepreneurs who are hardcore “on” all the time. (Spoiler alert: None of us are)
But first, if we’re being honest, writing wasn’t the only thing I didn’t do… I’m not sure I worked out one day last month, after establishing a great workout routine the 4 months prior. I sucked at getting enough water. I ate so bad (some of the time). I stopped doing my morning routine. I quit reading for the most part. I didn’t post on social media enough.
Actually, if you made a list of things that good entrepreneurs do every day, I probably didn’t do 90% of it. A fact that I didn’t even realize until I started writing this post.
Anywho. I know in the scheme of things not posting on my blog basically doesn’t matter at all, but I made myself a promise late last year that I would blog once a week for an entire year. You know, for consistency and whatnot. And for the most part I’ve kept that promise… missing a day here or there, but picking right back up the next week. It was a glorious streak unlike any I’d seen before.
And then May happened. And I don’t know if your May was anything like mine, but mine effing sucked.
I’m a big believer in (accurate) astrology, and the word for May on my favorite astrology blog was “Instability”. It could not have been more correct.
Nothing big happened, and honestly nothing that terrible happened. It was just a really busy month mixed with a series of “C’mon?! Seriously?!” moments, seemingly one after the other.
Health issues came up that required time and attention, big projects came to an end and had to be finalized, several issues popped up around immediate friends and family, and I experienced an unexpected slowdown in work.
To cap the month off, just as I thought May’s reign of not-quite-terror-but-definitely-suckiness was over, a tree fell on our campsite during a Memorial Day camping trip, denting my boyfriend’s car and scaring the ever loving hell out of us.
All of that stuff wasn’t really the reason I haven’t written though. I could have found the time to write, and I definitely had the time to drink more water and not eat three Krispy Kremes in one sitting (Don’t judge. We’ve all been there.)
The main reason was that once my motivation train derailed I couldn’t get it back on the damn tracks to save my life.
Every week my calendar would remind me to publish a blog post, and every week I would dismiss the reminder and feel like a little more of a failure. It was a fabulous month.
I tried several times to think of something to write about. I’d go look at my swipe file of great ideas, scroll through, huff at the lack of anything I felt called to write about, and wander off in search of more donuts. That might be a slight exaggeration, but it’s close.
Then, as week six of my poor life choices spiral closed in on me, I realized something.
I stopped writing right after my course launch. Which, by the way, kinda sucked. In the process of making sure I had a ton of valuable content I somehow failed to actually *brand* the course correctly, so that the right people would be able to find it and take advantage of it.
I know, right?
This was probably one of my most discouraging moments in business. I’m a branding designer, and had gotten so close to my own project that I missed some very key things that were crystal clear to others.
So I responded, as one does, by pouting in the metaphorical corner and eating donuts. I worked on client work and did the bare minimum I needed to do to meet my obligations, but otherwise put very little effort into building a better business or a better life. Call it a funk, depression, pouting, overwhelm, burnout, whatever you want. It definitely put a damper on the goal progression.
Until finally I realized I had to at least try to snap out of it. I sat down in the floor with my moleskin notebook and pretty pens and made a plan to correct the branding problems and publish the course in a smarter way, and inch toward the rest of my goals on a daily basis.
I set super simple, easy to achieve goals. I literally set a goal to work out once a week for the next month... just once. I worked out nearly every day from January to the end of April and I was super proud of myself last week for hitting the gym one time.
I’m focusing on working with my energy instead of against it.
Which brings us to here and now. To me admitting to you that I've sucked at running a business for the last month. Which is kind of a scary thing to do honestly... it would be much easier to pretend I hadn't sucked, or to make up a flowery excuse.
But that wouldn't help anyone. And I know I’m not the only one who’s been on the struggle bus lately. We all find ourselves here once in a while, whether we want to admit it or not… entrepreneurism is a crazy ride sometimes, and when the world gets crazy around us it can be hard to handle it all.
If you’re in that spot and are having trouble getting motivated, just know it’s okay. It will pass. Everything is a season and our energy comes in waves. Punishing yourself for being in a low time won’t raise you up. So give yourself a break, get your must-do’s done but then do something that lights you up.
Eat the donuts, keep putting one foot in front of the other, maybe start watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (it helps). Then pick yourself up however works for you and get back on track.
What do you do when you're having trouble getting or staying motivated? Is that something you've dealt with lately?