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It’s an inevitable part of the life of the businessperson. The buzz in your head,  the energy, and the passion you bring to work, sometimes gives way to an uninspired trudge-along mode of doing things. You gradually lose the sense of the novelty of what you’re doing, and your enterprise becomes one prolonged boring chore. There’s no fire, no excitement, no ‘roll-up-the-sleeves-and-do-it’ feel rushing through your veins; it’s just you going through the motions. If you think that what I’ve just described will never befall you as an entrepreneur, I have bad news for you: it’s going to come, and it’ll bog you down big time. It’s safe to say that the very nature of entrepreneurship guarantees that this sort of patch will unfold before you, as you journey through the venture building experience. The best you can do is to prepare for it. Thankfully, there are many ways to beat the dull spirit phase and get your mojo back. And No! Ditching your present business for a more ‘interesting’ one isn’t a good idea (unless the problem really is with your current business). When we’re in this situation, there’s a tendency for our minds to slowly stray from the work we have on our hands to something ‘more promising.’ Aliko Dangote, the founder of a business conglomerate, the Dangote Group, says that such distractions don’t offer us the true way to greater fulfilment. “What you need to do is to be very focused as a person, and to be dedicated to what you are doing”, he advises. “It’s not really good for you to try something, and after a while, you say it doesn’t work, and you jump into something else.” He insists that “business doesn’t like this”, perhaps referring to the fact that you’re likely to be punished by the realities of the business world, if you keep jumping entrepreneurial ship for weak reasons. So, where’s the way out of the poor motivation rut? Here are a few things you could do to resurrect your enthusiasm for your business.
  1. Pinpoint the source of the problem, and deal with it

Dig into your daily routine, and scour your thought life. What has drained you of passion? Asking this question is crucial to finding a lasting solution to the problem. Without this, the best you’ll manage is a cosmetic ‘fix’, a momentary wound dressing that would just allow the problem fester without being noticed, until it blows up in your face. Sometimes, the lack of drive is the result of a prolonged preoccupation with the details and processes of the business, at the expense of moments of reflection. We forget why we started it all in the first place, and think it’s about sales figures and beating deadlines. These are not inspiring reasons to stay in business for the long haul. At other times, there are issues in our personal lives that sap our energies and leave us lethargic and detached from the joys and pains of work. Stress could take its toll, making us mentally exhausted. Even your diet could be a factor. Whatever the origins of the problem are, find them out and tackle them head-on.
  1. Constantly think of what your business could become
Why let yourself be constrained by the mundane details of everyday work? Why not take some time to stand back and dream of what your small business could become? There’s a grand scheme of things, a greater future inviting you to take the leap forward. Think of the ones who have surmounted hardships tougher than yours, to become standout figures in their spheres, their industries, their world. Surely, your story could be similar- a rise from obscurity to fulfilled dreams. Who says it can’t? Hopefully, you found the preceding words inspiring. But they’re also true. You’ll be encouraged to zealously sink your teeth into building your business if you make it a regular habit to picture a more successful version of you in, say, five years from now. It should get your adrenaline running again.
  1. Read, think, listen to, and say positive things

Embrace positivity. Read inspirational biographies, listen to audio recordings of motivational speeches, think positively (and pragmatically), believe the best for yourself (and work with this in mind), and talk as an optimistic and courageous person. You’ll be energized to keep going if you make this a part of you. Avoid hanging out with people, who have a bleak perspective on life. It’s good to have persons, who aren’t afraid to tell you the truth even when it’s not sweet. But do your best to minimize interraction with people, who seem to have negative comments to make about everything. Negativity is the foundation of apathy; it drains enthusiasm and shuts out courage.
  1. Prioritize goals and tasks

Big dreams are okay. But you can’t swallow one big dream at once; if you try to do this, you’ll mess it up and end up walking away from it disappointed and disillusioned. Instead, cut your grand target into smaller chunks that you can chew, one at a time. Media entrepreneur Mo Abudu has this to say: “We need to ensure that whatever big dreams we have, we break those dreams down so we can achieve them in byte sizes.” Begin small, and grow in phases. Prioritize your tasks, and handle the most important ones first, (importance may mean urgency, size of the potential financial reward, etc). This way, we’ll be less likely to be deflated by the enormity of the work that lies before us.
  1. Get advice from more experienced businesspeople
How about meeting with people, who lost their drive and then got it back? You can find out how they did so by talking to them. There’s probably someone you know, who can help you with this. In fact, you can be sure that anyone, who has been in a business for several years will have a personal story to tell, one you will be encouraged by. Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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This article was first published on 11th December 2017


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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