Whether it’s because of a tedious project, long hours, burnout, or boredom, slumps happen. We’ve all been there; we’ve all grown tired of our work at times and lost our passion and motivation. Whatever the reason, if you’re in an entrepreneurial slump right now there are a few techniques that might kick it right to the curb.
Reassure Yourself: This is Normal
Being in a slump is not synonymous with failing as an entrepreneur. A slump is a temporary setback where your drive, motivation, and/or resources are lacking. Everyone experiences a slump at some point, whether in business, their tennis game, or their social life. The less seriously you take yourself during this time period the better; remember that you’ve undertaken a monumental endeavor by starting your own business and it’s OK to feel “over it”. Sometimes accepting these feelings is all that’s required to be able to keep moving forward. If not…
Make These Two Lists
Those of you who have experienced a slump may best describe the feeling as exhausted, “blah”, or like your once sparkling vision of success has been greyed out. In order to shift your mind out of this dullness, it can help to make two lists—or have two conversations—one about everything you’re fed up with, and the other about everything that’s going well. While it turns out that “venting” isn’t too helpful as a habitual way of dealing with our feelings, an occasional rant may help diffuse some pent-up, stagnant anger. Plus, by writing down a list of grievances or airing them constructively—like with a friend or therapist—might offer the opportunity for you to see or hear what’s not working about your business and take positive action to remedy it.
Starting with your list of grievances will make your second list—the one about what’s going RIGHT with your company—easier to compose. After you’ve gotten a little complaining out of your system, shift mental and emotional gears and list every single item of business that is going swimmingly. This practice can leave us feeling refreshed and give us a new set of eyes on our business.
As entrepreneurs, it can sometimes be easy to lose perspective—especially for those who do not have a tight team or partner to discuss nitty gritty details with regularly—and making lists like these can be a great way to gain insight into what is actually happening with our business, and not just what we think or feel is happening.
Go On Vacation
When we’ve reached an impasse and there are no clearly marked detours or shortcuts available, sometimes the best strategic maneuver is retreat. As we’ve noted (and as you’re all too aware of), running your own business is hard work. As scary as a vacation may sound, taking a break can save your sanity, give you some much needed rest, and offer your business some room to grow, too. Your taking a vacation can offer your team (if you have one) the opportunity to tackle new, more dynamic projects and problems—the ones that you would normally solve—thus allowing them to deepen their investment in your business, as well as diversify their portfolio of skills.
All business benefits aside, however, the best reason to take a vacation is simply that you feel stuck and need a break. Cut yourself some slack and rest!
If you’re planning a well-earned vacation, you’re going to need to take some steps to make sure your small business will be appropriately managed while you’re gone. This workbook will walk you through that process and give you some tips about how you can make sure your small business will chug along without you while you’re taking a deserved break.