Do you have days where it would be so easy to give up? Days when you’ve completely lost your entrepreneurial passion?
It’s safe to say that the last 12 months have been full of struggles for most of the world’s population. When everything feels out of our control, it’s easy to lose positivity in all parts of our life, especially in our business.
Every single business owner has moments where it all seems too hard. Times when our entrepreneurial passion is at an all time low. Times when you just want to go back to bed and hide for the day!
Luckily, if you catch yourself in this state of mind early enough, it’s much easier to reignite your passion and get back on track.
Signs You've Lost Your Entrepreneurial Passion
There isn’t a simple quiz you can take to decide whether you’ve lost your entrepreneurial passion or not. The signs look different for everyone, but there are some things to ask yourself that might signal whether you’re in need of change.
Have you Stopped Looking After Yourself? This can take shape in many ways. Maybe you’ve stopped prioritising a good night’s sleep, a well-cooked meal, or some time to yourself outside of work. Whatever it is, if you aren’t taking care of yourself, there’s a decent chance your business and drive is suffering because of it.
Have you Been Unusually Anxious? Feeling stressed is a normal part of running a business, but it should never consume you. If you find yourself overwhelmed with anxiety from the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep, it’s time to address these issues.
Have you Found It Harder To Stay Focused? If you’re struggling with dwindling productivity levels and your mind keeps wandering even when you’re doing tasks you’re familiar with, this is a pretty big sign of burnout. While it’s normal to feel this way once or twice, if every day is draining to get through, you’ve definitely lost your passion.
Have you Become Increasingly Irritable? From your home life to work life, if you’re quick to get annoyed with the people and situations around you, it might not just be a bad mood but a giveaway that you need to rediscover what you love about being an entrepreneur.
Have you Forgotten When You Last Felt Energised? We’ve all had days where we were so exhausted that we didn’t work as well, but this shouldn’t be a regular occurrence. A healthy leader feels energised by their work, so if you can’t remember a time recently where your love for your work revived you, it’s time to switch things up
Have you Stopped Caring? When you’ve lost interest altogether with your work, this is another sign you may have lost your passion. If you have no drive for big picture thinking and just spend your days going through the motions to keep things functioning, you are in need of some changes that will help you long-term.
11 Strategies to Help Rediscover That Entrepreneurial Passion
Go back to your WHY. Rediscovering that passion you had in the beginning can help you remember what’s important. Ask yourself questions like:
- Why did you start your business?
- What did you first love about being an entrepreneur?
- What do you want your life/business to look like?
- What’s changed?
- What can you do to get back to your ‘why’?
- What are you doing that takes you away from your ‘passion’ (your zone of genius)?
Our BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) is by 2030 to be New Zealand’s most respected VA company with a team of 500 happy contractors. Scary? Definitely. Motivating when we’re struggling? Most definitely!
We’re taught that we need to make our goals realistic. While this can be helpful for short-term achievements, it can mean we don’t dream as big as we could. When you first started your business, you probably had big ideas of where you wanted to end up, but as time passed you lost sight of that goal. This makes us feel disillusioned, therefore you won’t give yourself permission to dream big. But, by taking a chance with bold (BHAG) goals, if you adopt a positive mindset and stay motivated, your dreams will keep that passion alive.
How do you actually stay motivated?
Writing down your motivations might seem trivial, but we easily lose sight of what drives us when we’re focused on getting through each day. By taking the time to actively write down what motivates you, whether it’s an industry leader you look up to, a BHAG, a need to help others or a desire to leave your mark in this world, doing this will keep the things you’re passionate about front of mind.
When you became your own boss for the first time, you were in love with the ability to build your dream. To work for yourself. That honeymoon period may be over but with a bit of work you can recapture that excitement.
- Surround yourself with happy people.
- Give yourself time to be a bit down, then move on … and up.
- Write down what you have to be grateful for.
- Play music!
- Celebrate your achievements.
- Dance in your break … like there’s no one watching!
- Smile, it’s contagious.
Being a strong leader means being assertive and proactive. Rather than being complacent and waiting for the right time (which will never come), you need to go out and seek change if you want it. You (and only you) are responsible for ensuring that your business runs in the exact way you want it to. This doesn’t mean you have to become a bossy dictator who lacks compassion or refuses to listen to anyone, but if you are unhappy with your circumstances and the ways things are functioning, you must take initiative to find solutions. This will rub off on your team members to create a workplace culture of like-minded people.
A strong entrepreneur sets an example for their employees. A good way to do this is to adopt the mindset of a coach. No matter what struggles you are facing or how bleak your circumstances are, a coach can’t let their team know they have doubts or insecurities or else the whole team will mimic that behaviour. You don’t need to coddle your team and pretend everything is fine when they aren’t, but you should always have an encouraging attitude in the face of obstacles.
Even if you have to fake it till you make it!
Sometimes when everything is going wrong, the best thing you can do is laugh. If you can find a sense of irony in a miserable situation and laugh it off with your team around you, this will help keep everyone’s spirits high even if it doesn’t change your circumstances. By keeping your cool, you can move forward faster and keep your drive intact.
Remember that all leaders experience setbacks, and you will make it through the bad times so long as you have a positive mentality and channel that entrepreneurial passion you know is still there.
A missed opportunity for some business leaders is an inability to accept or reach out for help. Strong entrepreneurs are self-aware enough to know when they need help and either accept it when offered or seek it out.
The most successful clients we have work with coaches, mentors and industry leaders. We work with a coach.
Then you have help for your overwhelm. The wonderful thing about being a business owner in this age of remote work is you never have to be challenged by borders when it comes to finding the skills you need.
Don’t do everything yourself. Find the help you need to make sure you are on track, with that space and direction you’ll find your entrepreneurial passion flooding back.
Focusing on your outlook as opposed to dwelling on setbacks is another important way to regain your business passion. Setbacks happen, when they do learn from them and move on. Planning for different outcomes is healthy, what isn’t healthy is getting caught up in the worst case possible. If you fixate over what could or did go wrong and what you could do in the future or have done to avoid hardships, then all you will end up attracting is negative outcomes.
With a level of optimism and planning for the best, you will be more receptive to positive opportunities.
At the end of the day, you as the leader are the one in charge, so everything comes down to you. If and when something goes wrong, it’s never helpful to pass blame onto others. Even if someone else is at fault, highlighting their shortcomings isn’t a productive way to fix any situation, no matter what scale the problem is. Instead, a strong leader will think of ways to correct the problem, focusing on solutions rather than problems.
If you set an example by pointing out your team’s mistakes and complaining, this will encourage a negative work culture that will fester and drag you and your business down.
This is one of the most important ways to reignite your entrepreneurial passion and should have a domino effect in improving your business.
Everything from exercising, to taking up a hobby, to getting rest and spending quality time with loved ones are things that should be (if they aren’t already) a priority. Doing these little things every day will help release the stress and anxiety of being a leader that tears away at your passion.
Something as simple as going for a walk will give you something to look forward to after you’ve finished work or will be a way to start your day off positively, and it gives you a decent amount of time to take your mind off of work. It’s one of the first things people overlook when they get caught up in running a business, but it’s one of the most detrimental things to do as it will drain your energy.
By investing time and care into your personal life and health, you are restoring enthusiasm that can be funnelled back into your business to make it better than ever.
Finally, be kind to yourself! Running a business can be a lonely and stressful calling … on the other hand you get to chose who you work with, and for. You are in control of your own destiny and have the ability to make the changes needed to rediscover your entrepreneurial passion. I’ve been there, what worked for me what bringing in a coach to help me step back, identify what wasn’t working and put a plan in place to change it. Sometimes you need to stop before you can move forward.
I’ll always have days where I want to give up, but they are the exception to the rule … and hey, no one ever has good days every single day of the year. Surely!