There is an interesting phenomenon in business that I like to refer to as unintentional business hibernation. This state most often occurs after a negative or traumatic period in our lives. It could be a natural disaster, a health issue, receiving bad news about someone close to us, a period of depression, a lousy business deal, financial distress, strained relationship or a life-changing event.
Any number of situations can cause us to lose confidence or motivation and affect our mindset in a negative way. People react at different levels to match the personal impact of their situation. This can be anything from a temporary lack of motivation, right through to entering survival mode and getting back to basics – both in their personal lives and in their business.
In business, this usually takes the form of only dealing with clients who contact them, (not making any calls themselves), only working on current projects, (not working on future goals), and doing just enough to keep afloat.
For a time, this can be a necessity. But it is essential that we claw our way back into the ‘waking world’. An ongoing health issue, for example, can leave us feeling unmotivated and even unworthy – how can we do our best for a client if we aren’t feeling one hundred percent?
The answer is to be present and ‘live in the now’ when working for that client. Forget about how little sleep you had, empty your mind of how much you still have to get done after the meeting or later in the day, and focus completely on what is right in front of you.
The Slippery Slope Of Inaction
Hibernation can also come in the form of minimising interaction with others or taking less action. This is a dangerous position to be in. The less interaction you have with others, the fewer people will know or learn about your business, the further from your mind they will be, and the fewer referrals or work you will get from them, which will, in turn, slow down your business.
The less action you take, the less will get done, the longer it will take to get things finished, the more procrastination sets in and the less motivated you will be.
That’s when your income starts to drop, your stress levels increase, and your sense of self-worth and confidence gets even more depleted, leaving you with considerably less energy and motivation.
Mindset And Action Determine Success
The amount of enthusiasm, planning, action and interaction you have in your business directly relates to how much your business will succeed and grow.
As a small business owner, you cannot separate the effect your own mindset and beliefs have on your business. If your alarm goes off and you decide to go back to sleep instead of actively starting your day, the universe will say “Oh, this person doesn’t want any work, new clients, cool projects or money today,” because that’s exactly what your actions – triggered by your thoughts, are portraying.
Have you ever been in the situation where you really didn’t want to go to a meeting, then to discover that the meeting has been postponed or cancelled?
On the other hand, if you are actively looking for new opportunities, new clients, new professional relationships, and taking action towards these, then they will show up.
So don’t hit the snooze button on life – get up and get moving.
Motivation and Energy Boosters
Here are a few tips to get you moving forward again, and help you to regain your productivity:
If you are struggling with energy first thing in the morning, start your day with a walk in the fresh air, or take some time to meditate. Either way, use this time to clear your head, to imagine your ultimate business model, or picture your ideal day and how well things are going to work out today.
During The Day
If you are stressed during the day, take a five or ten-minute break to recharge. Stand outside in the sunshine. Breathe. Appreciate the world around you and be thankful for who and what you already have in your life.
If you hit a wall mid-afternoon, have a glass of water or green tea. Eat foods that boost your concentration such as bananas, oatmeal, dark chocolate, blueberries, salmon or eggs. Put on some inspirational or motivational music – anything from rock to baroque – whatever gets your blood pumping. (If you share an office, you may need to buy some headphones for this!)
Utilise Your Unique Patterns
Learn your patterns of high and low energy, and schedule appropriate activities around these times. Book meetings for high concentration times. Block out time for projects in high productivity times. Don’t check your emails or potentially even answer your phone (depending on your business) during this time.
Low energy and motivation times are good for paperwork or mundane tasks that still need to be completed by you. The last half hour before the weekend is a great time to tidy your desk and office, and write up priorities and goals for the upcoming week.
Remember to step outside your cave (or office), bask in the sunshine, go out and meet someone new, and explore the terrain of new opportunities.
Article by Darlene Mathieson
• Business Consultant, Traction Business Acceleration Ltd
• Co-Owner, Simply Reading – Creative Learning Tools
• Motorsport Champion