Many creative entrepreneurs or business owners start their journeys full of enthusiasm and passion.
They’re bursting with ideas and full of excitement and motivation to bring their amazing products and services to life.
They soon begin to gain traction with their marketing, they gain clients and customers, and their business begins to take off – work doesn’t feel like work at all!
It’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s energising, and it’s purposeful.
But a few years down the line many entrepreneurs or creative business owners find themselves caught up in a relentless daily grind while juggling a never-ending list of tasks and responsibilities.
They’re not having much fun anymore, their passion is dwindling, they’ve lost touch with their purpose, and they struggle to remember why they started out in the first place.
But entrepreneurs are fighters and so they soldier on!
They believe it’s just a blip, they’re sure that the fun, excitement, and energy will return…
But months and years go by…the sparks of joy and slithers of momentum become shorter-lived, and they find themselves merely surviving, rather than thriving as they pour more of themselves into their work.
If this has touched a nerve with you then read on.
To get the magic back in your business, you’ve got to put the sparkle back in you!
It’s crucial to focus on your personal and professional wellbeing, because if you’re not thriving then your business can’t either.
So let’s get you thriving again, shall we?
Let’s boost that outlook of yours onto higher positivity planes and get that passion, excitement, and motivation back to enable you to continue delivering your wonderful products and services to more people who need them – after all, that’s what you started out on this journey for, wasn’t it?
First and foremost you have to prioritise yourself because nothing works unless you do.
Yes, entrepreneurship and running your own business often demands long hours and dedication, but neglecting self-care leads to burnout and a lacklustre outlook on your business (and life!)
Make self-care a priority and a non-negotiable in your daily routine.
At the very basic level, this includes regular exercise, a balanced diet, keeping hydrated, mindfulness practices, and quality sleep.
Taking proper care of yourself is the only way you’ll have the energy and mental clarity needed to navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship.
Honestly, before you try anything else, start here and get this all in order and consistent first.
Set Clear Goals
Thriving in business requires a clear direction – You may have lost that over the years following the money or the market – many end up with “accidental businesses” creating products and services that don’t bring them joy, and serving people who aren’t their ideal clients or customers.
Take a pause and asses where you’re at now and cast your mind back to where you initially set out to go.
Are you there? And if not, do you still want to go there?
You’re allowed to change your mind but you must set out for a specific destination if you ever want to get there…so specify your destination!
Setting both short-term and long-term goals will motivate you along the way and ensure you stay focused and on track to your bigger, and more purpose-defining, goals.
And decide now how you’re going to celebrate each milestone goal along the way – this will bring that enthusiasm and passion back and energise you to keep going.
Always make sure your goals are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound otherwise you won’t be able to recognise progress and this will demotivate and derail you very quickly.
All living things are designed to grow, and continually learning and having new experiences enables us to grow.
It energises us because gaining knowledge empowers us and builds self-confidence to lead us move outside of our comfort zone and onto bigger and better things.
The world is fast-evolving so your personal development and business success depends on you continually learning.
Make ongoing education a part of your routine, whether it’s through online courses, attending conferences, reading industry publications, or seeking mentorship.
The more you learn, the better equipped you’ll be to thrive in life and business.
Effective Time Management
Time is your most precious resource, and so to thrive both in life and entrepreneurship you must learn to manage your time effectively.
If you don’t manage your own time then I assure you that others will do it for you, and I can also assure you that it will not get you to where you want to go in life.
Implementing time management techniques, such as the Pomodoro technique or time blocking can increase productivity massively as does delegating tasks, but also simply saying “no” more often can give you back control of your time and free up energy, and brain power, for strategic thinking and essential business activities.
Life is a rollercoaster for everyone, but the entrepreneurial journey is a particularly strong ride! – it’s not for the faint-hearted and so embracing resilience is key to thriving in the face of adversity.
Setbacks are necessary for growth so instead of viewing them negatively, use them as opportunities to learn and improve – ask yourself
“how can I turn this setback into a get-back?”
A strong support network, both personally and professionally, will help you weather the storms that inevitably come your way so choose your circle wisely and ensure you have support around you be it through family and friends, accountability groups, masterminds, coaches, or mentors etc.
Nurture a Growth Mindset
A growth mindset is the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed through hard work, dedication, and learning.
It is an empowering one to adopt and nurture and the chances are highly likely you already have one if you’re on the entrepreneurial journey or running your own business, but you must continually nurture it.
Think of your mind as a muscle that needs to be exercised and challenged in order for it to grow and strengthen.
Nurturing a growth mindset can make a significant difference in your ability to thrive and when you view challenges as opportunities for growth and innovation, you’re more likely to overcome obstacles and find success in whatever you do.
Build a Strong Team
No entrepreneur or business owner can thrive without a reliable and dedicated team to lighten the load which frees them up to stay more in their ‘zone of genius’.
If it’s just you in your business at the moment then look to hire some help immediately!
You cannot do it all, and if you’re trying to do it all then you are not doing much of it well.
Just an ad hoc VA to help with graphic design, emails, admin, social media, copywriting, etc. can ease a lot of mental strain and free up your precious energy and resources to work on the things you need to in order to drive the business forward and thrive.
Your network can form part of your team too – from business communities, accountability groups, coaches and mentors, etc. – they allow you to sound out your thoughts and bounce ideas around so you’re making better decisions and taking the right action.
Innovate and Adapt
Stagnation can quickly lead to survival mode, and once you’re there it’s hard to get out.
You must keep moving forward, pushing outside of your comfort zone, and trying new and different things.
Don’t get hung up on “failure” interpret it simply as learning and something to take the lesson and then quickly move on with.
Remember “turn those set-backs into get-backs” and keep innovating and adapting to the changing circumstances – because circumstances will always be changing!
Disassociate yourself from your business activities and don’t take things personally or overly identify with aspects of it as this will only make it harder to innovate and adapt which we all need to do constantly with the world changing and evolving at such a fast rate.
Be proactive in your approach to things and keep challenging yourself and getting comfortable with being uncomfortable so you can pivot when necessary and not have an identity crisis about it (I speak from experience with this one!) this will ensure you don’t get stuck and can thrive in the long run.
Network and Collaborate
Don’t underestimate the power of networking and collaboration, and this is far quicker and easier to do in person than online – the online world is noisy and distracting and it’s harder to cut through and connect on a meaningful level through screens.
Building meaningful relationships can open doors to new opportunities, partnerships, and collaborations.
Invest in your networks, both with your time and energy, as well as financially.
Attend industry events, join professional associations, and follow up and engage with peers online.
Your connections have the power to re-energise you and re-ignite your passion for life and business more than anything else; they can also do the opposite so be mindful of that and choose your network wisely.
I always say to tune into how you feel after you’ve left someone (or a group of people) as quite often when we’re in the presence of bad energy we we block our true feelings to just “survive’ the situation, but your true feelings will reveal themselves later on so tune into that to decide whether you want to see the person/people again.
What would life be without recognition and celebration of the things that are meaningful to us?
Pretty dull, right?
You must celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they may seem. Because recognising and celebrating your successes is crucial for maintaining a positive outlook on your business and life.
If you never praised a child for their achievements, do you think they’d bother pushing themselves to achieve anything?
No, highly unlikely.
We all need encouragement and all of us respond well to rewards, so ensure you are motivating yourself with regular reflection sessions each week/month to recognise your progress and celebrate it.
It’s so easy for these to pass you by if you don’t take the time out to look for them, and by not taking the time out you will struggle to re-energise and motivate yourself which keeps you stuck in survival mode instead of setting new goals and continuing to grow and thrive.
Implementing these 10 practices ensures that your business ownership or creative entrepreneurial journey remains fulfilling and sustainable and allows you personally to thrive, not just merely survive.
Take time for self-care, set clear goals, commit to continuous learning, manage your time effectively, embrace resilience, nurture a growth mindset, build a strong team, innovate and adapt, network and collaborate, and celebrate your achievements.
You don’t have to integrate these all in one hit, instead build them in in one by one, and over the coming months you will feel so much better about things and begin working in a way far more conducive to you and your passion and purpose.
Eventually, you’ll be able to thrive again in all that you do and I promise this will lead to greater success and overall satisfaction both in your personal life and your career.
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Love Cam xx