When you’re feeling frustrated and overwhelmed because you’re not reaching your goals with your business, it’s easy to lack joy in your day-to-day.
You might wake up and long to crawl back into bed so you can put on reruns of Friends, even though you’ve seen each episode a million times and can quote Monica like nobody’s business. And even though you have deadlines to meet.
You might be craving a day where you don’t have to make any major decisions or feel the pressure of owing someone an email, or a product in the mail, or an explanation.
And you might even be wishing that you had access to a very secluded tropical island so you can just sit there with your latest thriller novel and not be bothered by anyone or anything.
Lacking joy in your business is a surefire way to put off things that you really need to get done. It’s also how you end up isolating yourself from your online community and setting yourself up to feel guilty.
And it’s how you wind up procrastinating and putting things off that you really, really actually want to do.
Because you’re lacking the energy to do the things you need to do and feeling guilty doing the things you want to do.
But there are a few things that you can try to try to rekindle some of that joy you had in the beginning. Use one or all of the following to get that joy back so you can move forward with your business again.
Remember why you started your own business in the first place.
We start our businesses for a myriad of reasons.
It might be because you hated the drama at your office and now working from home allows you to work alone (without the drama).
Or maybe you suffer from a chronic illness.
Perhaps you just love what you do so much that you can’t imagine doing anything else. But the rollercoaster of owning a business is zapping all the joy out of things.
For me, it was a combination of things that caused me to finally call it quits with my full-time gig as an elementary art teacher. It was the stress of having to manage 600 kids between two schools. It was having to stand for long periods of time when my body wasn’t healthy enough to do so. It was the burning desire to help people who were creatives to build their own businesses. And it was the fact that every day when I got home from my job, I was exhausted which meant that I had zero time for my biz.
Go back to what caused you to jump into the whole online business thing in the first place. Think about why you started your business and remind yourself of the benefits.
It’s easy to lose sight of these things if you’re not taking the time to remind yourself.
But when you remind yourself of the benefits, you’ll be able to jump back in and get stuff done. Because you know it’s so much better than the alternative.
Start each day out with self-care.
You might feel like you hear about self-care a lot and that it’s just being hyped up. But people are talking about it so much because we’ve all had a period of time where we’ve undervalued the practice.
And it’s SO important to have a self-care practice to keep the joy alive in our businesses.
You’ll come to resent a business where you never allow yourself to take a break. You will resent a business that isn’t designed to give you a nice lunch hour or a couple of short breaks throughout the day.
Even at a 9-to-5, we are typically able to take a lunch break and a couple of personal breaks.
I generally like to start my day off with self-care. This wasn’t always the case but for the past year, I’ve allowed myself to take time in the morning to read or listen to music. I’ve done face masks even before I open my computer.
It really makes a difference to my mood and to how I feel about my business when I do something that I enjoy in the morning.
I challenge you to try this yourself. Go ahead and see how this will change your perspective on your business.
Leave room in your day for the things you really want to be working on.
If you’re currently taking client work to pay the bills or you’re selling something in your Etsy shop just because you know it sells but you secretly hate doing it, then you’ll want to pay attention.
Every day you need time to do that one thing that you absolutely love to do.
Be sure to set aside at least an hour to cultivate your creativity. If you allow yourself a little bit of time each day, you’ll be happier and it will be easier to do the other work that you don’t love as much.
I’ll take at least an hour to learn something new or to do something creative. It truly helps me to feel like business isn’t all work.
Stop doing the things you hate.
I decided this year to eliminate most of the things in my business that in the past I hated to do. I asked myself, why am I continuing to do things that I absolutely hate?
It may take time for you to shift out of doing the things that you hate doing in your business. But if you start taking the time to reflect on what isn’t serving you and then figuring out how you can stop doing those things, you’ll be able to stop doing them completely at some point. Especially if you have a plan.
Make a new plan.
When I decided that I no longer wanted to do web design, I had to sit down and really evaluate what I wanted to do with my business.
Did I want to start over completely? Or morph my current business into something that I actually enjoy.
If your business is no longer serving you, remember that you’re the boss. You can just make a new plan.
You don’t need permission from anyone. You mostly need a plan.
Figure out how much time you can devote to this new plan that energizes and excites you. And evaluate how much time you need to devote to finishing things out that you no longer wish to do. Set a date on when the new plan will be 100% in place.
Come up with concrete goals that support your overall vision.
Next year is going to bring some more major shifts for my business. I’m not doing away with anything that I currently offer or really changing the things I offer. I’m just concentrating now on how I can streamline everything to create more time for myself.
I’m batching all of my content and planning out all of my promotions ahead of time. I’ve hired a lovely VA to help me accomplish these goals.
The reason? I want to be able to devote the majority of my time to a new venture. Yet I still want to give as much value to my community as I currently do now.
The only way that I can make this happen is to come up with concrete goals.
During the month of November, I sat down and really thought about what my goals are for the next year, then I put a plan in place to make those goals a reality.
You have to have the vision first, though, in order to make those goals happen. So take some time and write out concrete goals, then reverse engineer how you can tackle them.
Write out one thing you love about your business every single day.
By writing out what you love and what you’re grateful for, you’ll automatically feel more joy when it comes to your business.
Gratitude is one of the easiest ways to bring more joy into your life.
You can just write one thing each day, or you can write an entire journal entry.
Whatever you do, remember that gratitude is a powerful thing that has the ability to power you forward. And as a bonus side effect, your positive feelings will be contagious to those around you.
Read your testimonials.
Whenever I suggest to a client to use a testimonial in their marketing or on their website, they go looking high and low for kind words from customers.
And every single time, my clients tell me what a joy it was to read through all of those kind words.
If you’ve lost sight of what you love about your business or just need a pick-me-up, go grab those testimonials and a cup of tea.
I guarantee that you’ll feel a tiny spark of joy about your business.
Keeping the joy alive when it comes to your business can take a little bit of work. But if you try to do even just a few of the things on this list, you’ll probably start feeling joy about your business again in no time.
And occasionally, we all really do need a day off where we can just hide in our blanket burrito and catch up with our old Friends on Netflix.
If you are stuck on creating plans or really would like help to plan your 2019, my biz bestie and I are hosting a 2-hour Planning Party in early January. You can check out the details here and get on the waitlist.
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