Sometimes we get so bogged down in the day to day running of it that we forget why we started. A harsh client or low sales forecast can make it seem impossible to keep moving forward. That’s when you have to go back to basics and remember why you started. What moved you to start this business? Was it to teach people about healthy lifestyle alternatives or to bring beauty to people’s homes and a smile to someone’s face with gorgeous floral arrangements. Maybe you’re like us and wanted to help small businesses connect with their clients through brand experiences.
Whatever the reason you started, you must reignite the fire and cling to that passion to move forward. We say passion a lot here. And it’s because we truly believe that no one starts a business without it. You don’t start a business thinking how much you are going to hate it. You start a business because you want to make a change, in your life or someone else’s.
So here are five ways to bring back your passion for your business:
The fastest way to lose your passion is to be rejected, to be diminished or to be told you aren’t good enough. As a designer, the hardest lesson I had to learn was that not everyone is going to like what you offer. And that’s ok. We all want clients but sometimes it’s ok to say no. No, I will not be able to take you on as a client. No, I cannot work those hours. No, I will not change the value of my product or decrease the integrity of my work for you. It’s ok not to take on that new client that is going to diminish our work, hog our time or just make us feel undervalued. Maybe it’s as simple as ‘we just have different viewpoints.’ Taking them on as a client might help our budgets in the short term but it will kill our spirit in the long term.
Think back to why you started this business. What did you want to change in your life that made you decide it was time to pull the trigger? Was it to be financially stable, your own boss and make your own hours? Or bigger than that? Did you open a meditation studio because you believe in the power of meditation and the stress relieving properties it has? Whatever the reason, take it down from the mental shelf and dust it off. Write it down. Tape it to the wall next to your computer, put post-it notes on the bathroom mirror. Every day, read them and tell yourself ‘Today, I will inspire someone else. I will remind someone why my business is important.’ In the process of inspiring others, you will begin to inspire yourself again too.
What is your big picture purpose? What are your goals? Where do you see this business in one year, two years, five and ten years? Who will you inspire, change, benefit in that amount of time? Including your own life! Every successful business begins with goals. When we start thinking about the big picture, the goals, the end result of our hard work, we don’t have time to think of the small things bogging us down. I’m not saying don’t do the little things. We have to keep up on those little things to keep the business afloat. But remember why you are doing them. To reach your end goal. And if you are still getting bogged down with the day to day, talk to our friends over at JBR Strategic. They like those little things (like accounting, billing, business planning) and they handle them well.
Who is your biggest ally? Who supported you when you started this business? Who wants to see you succeed? Sometimes when we talk about our business, not everyone understands it or understands why we want to do it. That’s ok, think back to the first tip… not everyone will like what you do. But someone does believe in you and likely has told you so. Spend some time with that person. Talk about the goals you have for your business and what it means to you to succeed. Just having someone to bounce ideas or thoughts off of can get you pumped up again.
Sometimes passion can be where you least expect it. Are you looking at all aspects of your business? What piece of the puzzle are you missing? Take some time to look over your products, service and processes and see what value you can add to them. Here’s an exercise, get a sheet of paper and make two columns. In the first column, list out your products/services. Then, in the next column, list out things you can do to make them better, make them more appealing. If you’re a brewery, maybe you host a beer dinner with a local restaurant! Get creative and put yourself in your client’s shoes. What can you do with your products and services to give them a better brand experience?
We all go through lulls now and then. No need to beat yourself up about it. Acknowledge that you are there and put small, manageable steps in place to slowly reignite the fire.
P.S. We have a Free Branding Series that may prove just the inspiration you are looking for. Sign up here!