Right now I’d like to encourage you to do a bit of a self-diagnosis on your motivation levels. How has your motivation been over the past week or month or even over the last year? And I’m talking to you specifically as a business owner, as an entrepreneur, somebody who’s really going for it and trying to build and create something that’s exciting.
As you know, any goal like this that’s big and requires months or usually years of your efforts, sustained effort, there are going to be some high points and exciting times and there are also going to be some low points, times where things don’t go as expected or don’t go as planned or you just personally are not connected to what you’re doing.
Times when you’re feeling demotivated. It’s going to happen.
Feeling motivation all over again or re-motivating yourself, so to speak, doesn’t necessarily just happen by default, unless you’re one of these tiny percentage of people out there that are always motivated and on fire and passionate, the rest of us actually have to consciously do this.
We have to consciously make ourselves feel motivated all over again, and it’s very, very important you know how to do this when you hit those low points, when you hit those roadblocks that can knock you off track.
In this presentation, what I’d like to do is give you some strategies to help you feel motivated when you need it the most.
In particular, if you can walk away with one or two ideas here that you can implement starting today so that any time you even notice your passion levels, your motivational levels dipping, you can implement one of these ideas, get back on track, get productive again and keep your eye on the prize, where you’re going, these goals you are trying to achieve.
With that, let’s dive in.
The first tip is physical exertion. By now, you know the fact that mind and body are tightly connected.
In fact, you can’t change one without changing the other.
You need to take a look right now at what your motivational levels have been at and how that relates to how you’ve been using your physical body.
A lot of us as entrepreneurs, especially in this day and age, we do a lot of things digitally and online and in front of computers. Our physical routines are naturally lending themselves to lower levels of excitement and motivational because we’re sitting around.
We’re not moving. We’re not using our bodies the way we would if we were in other lines of work.
This can have a very detrimental effect on your thinking and on your mood and so on.
It’s time for you to think about how do you actually use your body on a daily basis, and can you use it as a tool to increase your level of motivation, increase the mood and the happiness that you feel and also that level of excitement and passion you have for your work.
A couple of quick examples would be, again, going back to the idea of somebody who works in front of a computer a lot, maybe that’s you, or even if you don’t but you’re not using your body to its full extent throughout the day, how can you change the physical state of your body?
Can you go from a sitting position to a standing position? Once you stand, how can you use some stretch movements or running on the spot, yoga positions, jumping jacks, pushups, sit-ups, whatever it may be to literally change how you’re using your body in that moment.
Just a few minutes of sustained pressure or exertion on your muscles, on the physical structure of your body, will create a chemical change in your body which will also have an effect mentally.
You’ve seen this before. Anytime you’ve gone for a walk, you’ve probably felt a little bit better. Walking is another really good example.
So with this first particularly example here, physical exertion, take a few moments right now, you might even want to pause the video, and write down five or six different ideas of things you can do with very minimal effort and even minimal time spent where you can use your physical body to your advantage to create a positive momentum and a sense of motivation in your life.
Especially when you hit those low points, whether it’s a low energy point, low level of motivation, maybe you’ve even hit a state where you’re feeling a lack of confidence in yourself, that’s a sense of demotivation.
You can bring it back to a high level again, by using your body.
But you need to have some specific strategies that you’re going to use when it comes to physical exertion.
Write down, like I said, five or six that work for you, for your work environment that you can implement quickly, without needing a lot of planning.
You’re not going to go skating, throwing some skates on and finding a skating rink. It’s got to be quick. Going for a walk, doing jumping jacks, whatever it may be.
Write those down and whatever order of preference you have and use them. Try them out the next time you’re feeling demotivated.
The next one is audio programs. Here I’m talking specifically about either audiobooks, audio versions of inspirational/motivational type of material, or audio recordings of great speeches that have been recorded live that you can listen back to and capture the essence of the moment, what that speaker was talking about.
These are great little strategies that you can implement, and again, in a very short period of time.
Let’s say, for example, your daily routine involves a work period followed by a break period for some food, snack and so on, maybe another work period after that.
Instead of just getting up to prepare that food, you could quickly throw on a set of earphones plugged into your phone that’s in your pocket, so your hands are free, and you listen to a specific segment from an audio program.
Now, if you plan it in advance, which is even better, you can take a segment that’s relevant to some of the tips and advice you need right now.
As an example, maybe you’ve been really hectic and chaotic and kind of feeling out of control recently. You can go and find a passage from an audiobook or you can find a speech given by somebody who’s really good at the concept of calming down, finding peace, serenity, getting centered all over again.
You put that audio on for that 15 minutes while you prepare your meal.
Your conscious mind can now be occupied with this entirely new perspective, while you go about doing all the other things.
We’re not losing any time. You can still prepare your meal, still do all the things you were doing before, but you’re adding this extra layer of almost distraction.
Instead of fussing over and stressing over all the things you have to do, while you’re preparing your lunch, you’re totally taking your mind and focusing it in a different direction.
You’re reminding yourself to get centered, to calm yourself down, remembering to breathe and doing all these different things that are good for your own mental and physical health, but at the same time getting you back in touch with who you need to be from a motivational perspective.
See, if you’re feeling calm and confident about your work and you’re able to do that over your lunchbreak or over your snack break, when you get back to your desk or back to your working environment, you’ll be far more productive and motivated to get things done.
So try audio programs out and remember that audio programs are great not just for in the car when you’re driving but anytime you do something that’s not specifically concentration or focused on your work task at hand, like preparing a meal.
You can use this to your advantage to actually get some study time in and motivation time that will fuel you moving forward.
The next one is reading. This is a pretty obvious one, but I wanted to mention it because reading is something that most, if not all successful do, and they do it far more than the average person.
I think there are surveys that took a survey of the most successful CEOs in North America, and they average 52 books a year.
Now, obviously there’s a ton of information coming in and you’re not going to be able to implement it all, but there’s a sense of inspiration and motivation that comes naturally from reading.
Again, like we talked about in the very beginning of this presentation, unless you’re one of these freaks of nature who’s always naturally motivated, you have to motivate yourself and sometimes reading for a little while can really do that for you.
But here’s what I found.
You really want to be able to find a unique time every day, ideally at the same time every day, to do your reading.
Some people like to do this in the early morning hours, before they start their day, before they’ve checked their email or their text messages or voicemail. They carve out 30 or 60 minutes to sit down and read a new book or reread an old book that was very helpful to them.
It inspired new ideas, it inspires creative thinking, it reminds you of valuable life lessons that you know but maybe you forgot to practice.
There’s no shortage of good books and good reading material out there, from leadership, business development, general personal development and inspiration and even sometimes fictional novels can have a profound effect on your levels of motivation.
What I’m going to suggest to you right now is to start carving out time, at least a few times a week, if not every single day, to actually sit down and read good books that cause you to feel a sense of motivation and remind you of the things you need to be thinking about so that you feel good about yourself and you feel exciting to attack your day and go after the major items on your to-do list rather than feeling overwhelmed and like you have to be there.
This is your goal. You should want to do it. Reading will be a huge way for you to stay connected to that sense of passion and inspiration and motivation.
The next one is the idea of your future vision. Now, I want you to think back to some of the goals you’re working on right now, maybe the ones you’ve been at for a long time, multiple years as an example.
When you first set up those goals, they were driven by something. They were driven by an internal desire to do something that ultimately is your vision. It’s a vision of yourself in the future, being, doing and having different things.
But what happens to a lot of us is we set those goals, we get busy working and we get so caught up in the day-to-day that we actually forget. We forget entirely what that future vision was.
Very quick exercise you can do to kind of re-motivate, reenergize yourself, is the future vision exercise. You can do it on something as simple as a piece of paper, in a notebook, on a handheld device, even on your computer if you want.
All you do is reconnect with all of those visions of yourself in the future that originally inspired you to begin on the journey that you’re on right now.
You might want to start off with something like, “I see myself as,” and then you think. “In the future, I see myself as a wealthy entrepreneur. I see myself as a success, an inspiration to others,” and so on and so forth.
Whatever it is that really drives you to do what you do. You’re reconnecting with your reason why. You’re reconnecting with some of the tangible results that you’re hoping to create.
You’re allowing yourself to experience what that end result is going to feel like, once you achieve it.
That, if nothing else, will remind you of the path that you’re on and recreate that sense of motivation that you might have lost in the day-to-day minutia.
Don’t forget about your future vision and don’t forget to use this exercise to your advantage, even if you take five minutes a day on your lunchbreak, in the morning, even at the end of the day to kind of reenergize yourself.
Know where your future vision is, and use it as a motivator.
Something to Prove
So the next one is sometimes called a negative motivator, and this is where you remind yourself that you have something to prove.
Because I guarantee you, if you’ve got a big goal and you’ve been working at it for a while now, for sure by now you’ve run into somebody or a group of people that have told you all the reasons why you can’t do it, why your idea is dumb, why you should give up and so on.
Has that happened to you? I’m going to guess it has. It happens to anybody that strives for success.
Most of us that are success bound and determined to make things happen, will use that as fuel versus using it as a roadblock.
You need to remind yourself, if you’re in a state where you’re really low and you’re down and you can’t seem to get any work done, you can’t seem to be productive, maybe you’ve even lost touch with your confidence, here’s where the something to prove exercise, this negative motivator can really help you.
Spend four or five minutes really dwelling on that person that told you it couldn’t be done or told you that your idea was stupid or that you’d never achieve whatever it is you’re setting out to do.
Let that anger, let that sense of disappointment in the person, whatever that negative emotion, however it manifests itself for you, let it well up inside and then channel it forward into positive productivity.
The “I’ll show you” mentality is huge and has affected so many entrepreneurs.
Now obviously, this isn’t a space you want to be spending a ton of your time. I don’t want you dwelling for hours and hours a day on all these negative people in your life. You’re going to use those negative messages as tools to flip a switch that says, “I’m motivated to prove these people wrong. I’m motivated to show them what I’m made of.”
That’s a sense of high energy, high level of motivation that you can channel directly into your work, directly into being productive and that can carry over for days, weeks, right to the end of a project and that project might be the stepping stone you need right now to get to that next level.
So don’t forget that you’re always trying to prove something not just to yourself, but to the doubters in your world and you can make it happen. Use them as tools. Use them as fuel for motivation to get things done.
The next one is really interesting, and it’s about environment. Your environment plays a huge role on your levels of motivation and passion and excitement for your goals.
Some people are naturally lucky to be surrounded by positive people and they live in a great environment that supports their success and their well-being.
But many other people aren’t. It’s up to them to actually put themselves into environments where they can get that positive support and encouragement they need to succeed.
For you as a business owner, it’s important for you to take a look at the environments that you spend time in.
This ranges right across the board, from your family life to your working environment, be it colleagues, partners, customers and so on, to the environments in terms of your digital world.
Where do you spend time with communities you’re involved in online, Facebook groups, forums, Skype groups, things of that nature?
Every single one of these environments that you go into and you spend time on and you socialize and interact with other people, are either going to help you move towards your goals and feel good about them and feel encouraged to keep going, or they’re going to pull you away from that, make you feel lousy and make you lose a ton of energy and drive.
It’s up to you to evaluate which ones are worthy of your time and which ones you need to stop spending so much time in and maybe cut out entirely.
What you want to do right now, I’m going to suggest this exercise to you, is take a few minutes to think about all the different environments, whether they’re physical, in reality, in real-world environments, or they’re virtual where you’re spending time online and write them all down and understand how they affect you both positively and negatively.
Then from there, obviously you want to look at how you can increase the amount of time you spend in the positive environments and maybe even have to actually enter a new positive environment.
One great example of this is a mastermind group.
There are tons of different mastermind groups available nowadays, where people of a like mind, maybe similar business owners getting together to build each other up and share ideas, maybe you need to be spending an hour a day in there instead of an hour a day in some other group where you’re complaining about the world and the bad things going wrong and who’s doing what wrong and which government policy and so on.
A simple switch of that environment could change your entire life, could change your entire set of motivation.
So do a full environment audit and then give yourself the opportunity to spend as many hours a day as possible in environments that support you rather than harm you.
The next one is really, really simple, really obvious, but it has to be mentioned and I wanted to remind you of it just in case.
Trigger songs. Exciting music that pumps you up, makes you feel good and gets you out of a rut, if you happen to be in one right now.
What kind of music do you like? Is there a certain genre? Is there a certain artist? Is there music from your high school days that you’ve forgotten about that really makes you feel great in the moment?
Take some time today to go back and make your own little playlist. You can add a playlist on YouTube. There are all different kinds of different apps nowadays. You can download the music. Maybe you already own it.
Pick and choose moments in your day where you play a single song. How long is a song? They range from three to five minutes, maybe.
Put your headphones on or you go to your car, whatever you need to do, and get the tunes cranking and let yourself actually feel the music, feel the excitement that it gives you and that radiates through you, and allow that to carry you into the next section of your day.
Sometimes you don’t have to do things that are all that complicated. A quick song will switch your mood from low to high, get back to being productive and working on whatever it is you need to work on to move towards your goals again.
Don’t forget about using music to your advantage when it comes to motivation.
Along the lines of music, another similar ones is video, YouTube being a huge one.
Now, when you go to YouTube or any video service really, but particularly YouTube and you start searching for things like motivational videos, inspirational speeches, there is an unbelievable amount of results that will pop up and some unbelievably excellent videos that can motivate and inspire you.
One of the particular things I like to do almost on a daily basis, at least a few times a week, is in the early morning hours, maybe if I’m reading, I’ll finish a reading session by watching a few minutes of motivational videos on YouTube.
I have certain playlists, I have certain speakers I like listening to.
But the combination of seeing motivational issues combined with motivational audio, gives you a different type of experience.
Think of the last time you watched a movie that really moved you and inspired you. Same idea, just smaller doses in the form of three to five-minute videos on YouTube.
All you need to do is brainstorm various key phrases, like inspirational speeches, motivational videos, and search through ones that give you that sort of five-minute kick, that little quick burst of motivation.
It may seem like a quick fix or a pill that you’re taking, but as we talked about earlier, sometimes motivation is not just naturally born into you. Sometimes it’s created.
And if you don’t have the ability right now to do some of the other exercises we’ve been talking about, maybe a quick trip to YouTube, watching a video that uplifts you, is all you need to go into that next phone call you’re about to have, having a high level of energy and being engaged with your customer, your partner, whoever it is, versus having a low level of energy and not being as productive or excitable or persuasive if you’re on a sales call, for example.
So don’t forget that you have these tools like YouTube at your disposal for free, that can really give you a boost of motivation in a matter of minutes, if you need it.
The next one is really interesting. It’s the concept of deadlines, and if you’ve ever crammed for an exam in college or university, trying to get everything into your brain at the last minute before the exam started, you kind of know what I’m talking about here.
The pressure of deadlines is huge. There’s nothing more motivating than knowing there’s a huge deadline hitting tomorrow morning and you’re not done yet.
I don’t care if you’re feeling sick, if your computer is broken, whatever it may be, you usually figure it out. You get really, really resourceful because you don’t want to miss the deadline.
The pain of missing the deadline is too strong, and you do whatever it takes to make sure that you don’t miss it.
Well, why not use that concept to your advantage?
If you know that you go through certain periods of low productivity, where you maybe feel sorry for yourself or you’re lazy or your bored and even though you know you should be working you choose to procrastinate instead, maybe the answer is that you don’t have enough deadlines set up for yourself.
Think about it for a minute. When was the last time you set a really aggressive deadline that forced you to deliver?
Maybe it’s been a while. Maybe right now is the time for you to do it and you give yourself something you need to accomplish in the next 24 hours or in the next week or in the next month, depending on the scale, that will get you motivated again despite how you’re feeling right now in this moment, even if you’re feeling horrible.
A new deadline will give you a sudden burst of energy and excitement and a sense of urgency to get things done.
Sometimes it’s about going beyond your comfort zone and using almost a pain motivator to get yourself going, but usually the pressure of that deadline will also get you excited again, and that excitement that you may of lost that we talked about earlier, will be reinvigorated and reignited for you, as soon as you have some kind of either short or even medium-term deadline to work towards.
If you don’t have one, create one right now so you can begin working towards it and get motivated again.
The last one I want to mention here is a crisis situation. Now, these aren’t necessarily things you want to create, but you can embrace them when they do happen, as a way of reframing what’s happening for you.
Let me give you an example, rather than talking so generically right now.
If you’re a business owner and you’re selling stuff to clients or maybe you have a big customer base that’s buying product from you, there’s a good chance that something is going to go wrong.
A customer or a client is not going to get what they expect, something is not going to be delivered correctly, a system is going to break, somebody is going to be upset along the line.
This is a really common example in the business world.
When that happen, and if it happens to the wrong person, you might have a really angry customer on your hands who’s threatening all kinds of action and threatening to really cause your life to become miserable for the next short period of time.
Well, rather than looking at that situation as something horrible that you never want to have happen, embrace the fact that it is going to happen, it’s the nature of the beast when it comes to business, and use it to its advantage.
So the next time some sort of crisis situation, like this one I just cited for you happens, look for the gift in the fact that, A, you have to solve the crisis, B, you’re not going to have any time to think about it so you’ll have instant motivation, you’ll have a high level of energy to be productive, to be driven to correct this thing, and, C, you’ll have an opportunity to actually correct a problem, right a wrong that you potentially have caused in your customers’ eyes, turn that customer around to loving you again and you’ve reaped the rewards of having this huge burst of energy just by virtue of solving that problem.
So sometimes crisis situations, yeah they’re uncomfortable, but they can have a motivational benefit to you.
Here’s the thing I found. When I deal with crisis situations, I’m sure you would agree here, you fixed a problem, now you’re kind of ready to go.
You’re on high alert and you’re energized to do something new.
As soon as you solve the crisis, remember that was a motivator, it was a gift from the Gods to get you into action again, leap right into your next to-do. Use that motivation to do something productive that you may have been procrastinating before.
Now you can reframe this. Anytime there’s a new crisis situation, yeah, it might suck for a little while, but there is a gift here of a built-in motivator that you will use and will become a huge advantage to you once that crisis is over and you’ll be productive all over again.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this. This has been kind of a new look or a unique look at some specific self-motivation tips that will help you when you’re feeling low.
You can try one or more of these at any given time and share these ideas with other people as well. Share them with people in your organization. Share them with your customers.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this presentation, and all the best. Best of luck.