Remember when you’re business was a tall challenge? You can recreate that.
5 min read
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Every now and then, entrepreneurs feel a little stuck and uninspired about their businesses. What they once approached with passion and excitement now evokes nothing stronger than a pronounced “Meh.”
If that’s the case, then it’s time to stoke the fires. You’re not ready to give up on your business yet, so it’s time to do something about this detachment and fall in love with your company again. To bring back the passion, you need to identify the cause first then implement the right solution. Here are a few reasons that might be behind your lack of enthusiasm, and what to do about them:
You simply forgot why you started your business in the first place.
Once upon a time, you had a strong motivating “why” that fueled your work. This was compelling enough to jostle you out of the status quo and propel you forward to create your own company.
Maybe you’ve become detached from that reason. If that’s the case, the good news is that it’s relatively easy to confirm and to remedy with a single, simple exercise.
The Solution: Get a journal, blank notebook or new word processing file (although experts recommend using pen and paper for this kind of journal work, if possible) and set aside thirty minutes when you won’t be interrupted.
Next, think back to the days immediately before you began to create your business. Journal out a description of how you processed that decision, focusing on the moment you decided for sure to begin your business. Be as descriptive as possible in exploring how you felt and the specific reasons why you felt drawn to the challenge of entrepreneurship.
Periodically review the results of your writing exercise. A good time to do this is every morning before work starts, so you carry those thoughts with you throughout the day.
You’re not feeling challenged.
Perhaps you’re feeling disconnected from your business because you’ve simply mastered your role there. Human beings in general, and entrepreneurs specifically, thrive on challenges. Conquering an obstacle gives us purpose, direction and energy.
The Solution: Find a new challenge that can serve your business in some way. For example, you can decide to learn a new skill that somehow relates to your industry or niche. You can also design a new product or service line to add. Or you can make your company bilingual and lead the way yourself by learning the new language. The point is to challenge yourself in some way. It’s one of the best ways to create that magical state of "flow," which according to research from psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, is an optimal state to fuel creative work.
You’re in a rut.
If it’s not a challenge you’re after but a different kind of workday, it could be that your business life has settled into a routine that doesn’t vary much from day to day. This isn’t the same thing as feeling unchallenged. Rather, a work rut can develop around your physical surroundings, your routine at the office, or any other aspect of your work life.
The Solution: Inject something new into your day. Figure out where the rut has developed, and seek ways to change things up. If it’s your physical surroundings, think about adding some color to the office, buying new furniture, or simply rearranging the furniture you already have.
You’re no longer feeling connected to your team.
Another sort of detachment can develop in connection with the people we work with on a daily basis. If you’ve stopped connecting with your employees as people, it’s easy to start to feel separate and apart from them. The old adage “it’s lonely at the top” is at least partially true.
The Solution: Find ways to reconnect with your workers. Start a mentorship program for students or begin an internship program. Empower the members of your team and encourage them to innovate and develop new ideas. You can also initiate group activities for the office both in and outside of work. Whatever you start, make sure you participate in it as well.
Your business has become too complicated.
Companies that grow rapidly can wind up like a tangled mess of spaghetti noodles, metaphorically speaking. When you create systems at the last minute out of necessity, instead of with careful planning and forethought, you can wind up with a shaky foundation. It can also make it much harder for a CEO or owner to keep the big picture in mind.
The Solution: Streamline and simplify. Ask employees for input on this to help enhance their engagement levels, too.
Before you abandon ship altogether, take a moment to explore why you might be feeling detached from your business and try to rekindle the fire. You might just find a whole new appreciation for your company.