At different points in the year, things can feel stale and the motivation to uphold your business’s professional standard can disappear. This lack of motivation is totally okay and probably more common than you think. The question then becomes how do you get that energized feeling back and how can you spread it to your team.
Before we get into how to solve this issue let’s wind back and look at some definitions. There are two types of motivation – internal and external. Internal motivation is when we do an activity because we want to even if there isn’t an external reward attached. External motivation is when we do something even if we don’t want to do it because we know there is an external reward on the other end. For example, cleaning your house because it makes you feel good is a form of internal motivation. You’re motivated to clean your house for no other reason than because you like how you feel when it’s all done. In contrast, if you were only cleaning your house because you knew someone important was coming over and you wanted to make a good impression that is external motivation. You’re cleaning your house solely because you have an important visitor coming over and the consequences of their opinion matter to you.
It’s the same with a job or business. Many run businesses because we are detached from any sort of external reward. Others it’s because they have a specific goal, money or time freedom usually, attached. Both of these are valid and sometimes you just “lose the feeling” so to speak well, here are a few ways to get it back!
Let’s start with creating and rewarding mini-goals. Maybe you had a chore chart as a kid or maybe you made one for your kids. This is the same concept and it’s still one of the best ways to stay motivated. You create a list of things to accomplish for the week. Maybe it’s to get a certain number of sales calls or close a certain number or dollar amount of deals. Maybe it’s getting that particularly hated task finished. At the end of the week, you see how close you got and give yourself a small reward for getting your tasks done.
This can extend to your team as well. You can set goals for your team to hit and if they reach these goals they get a reward. This reward can be a cash bonus or a floating holiday or it can be coffee or lunch on you.
Another great way to stay motivated is to revisit your mission statement. This is one of the things I think makes having a true brand strategy so powerful, it gives you built-in motivation in the form of a mission statement. Remembering why you started your business and sharing this passion with your team can be a huge motivator for you and for them.
Create a fun and positive environment for yourself. It’s always a lot easier to do something we like than something we don’t. Make working fun even if you’re working from home full time. Turn stuff into a game. Put an hour on the clock and see how many sales calls you can get done before the buzzer rings. Wear a fun outfit just because you like it. Turn that ‘80s jam all the way up and have a lunchtime dance party. Whatever it is, just find a way to play and have fun during the day. This works for your team too! You can have friendly competitions complete with little plastic trophies for the winner just to make it more fun. In an old job I had, we played customer bingo. Every Monday we chose our bingo board, which was pinned up in the staff workroom, and during the week we marked off if we spoke to “a customer with red hair” or a “customer from a different state”. On Fridays, our boss would see who had bingo and give those people candy bars. It made work that much more fun and gave us a bigger incentive to chat with the customers.
There you have it a few easy ways for you and your team to stay motivated even when things feel a little slow and boring!
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