Maybe you’re tired. Overworked. Overwhelmed. If your inbox pings one more time, so help you, you will sell your business (or quit your job), empty your savings account, and hop the next flight to Zanzibar.
Houston, you have a problem.
Because authentic marketing requires passion. You must believe that the world needs what you’re promoting – otherwise your words will ring hollow and nobody will hear you.
But what if your roaring bonfire of passion for your business has fizzled to a heap of charcoal?
First of all, make sure you’re getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, and eating a vegetable once in a while. It’s hard to be passionate when you are physically drained.
Next, follow this ten-step process to relight your fire.
Pro tip: Our free Passion Kindling Workbook has detailed prompts to help you identify your next steps.
It also has spaces for your answers, so you can refer back to the workbook in the future whenever you need a pick-me-up.
Ten Steps to Rekindle Your Business Passion
1. Envision success
Close your eyes and take deep breaths. Relax your shoulders. Unclench your jaw. Create a moment of peacefulness.
Now, let’s have some fun. Center your mind on your business, whether it’s a struggling family venture, a nonprofit you work for, or just the spark of an idea. What does business success look like for you? Lines of customers out the door? A record year-end donation campaign? A downtown storefront?
Imagine that ideal scene. Flesh it out. Make it real.
Dream up a scene you can watch like a movie. Imagine surveying your new storefront with pride or reporting your campaign results to a surprised and grateful board of directors. What does success look like? How does it feel?
Make your ideal scene a sort of “happy place” you can return to and get strength from when the going gets tough. Set a reminder to spend five minutes every morning reliving this scene.
2. Find your why
Articulate your deeper reason for wanting your business to succeed. Maybe you want to make the most elegantly designed widgets in the world. Maybe you want to leave your mark on your town. Maybe you want to help people who have the problem your product solves.
It’s not about money. Even if your off-the-cuff answer is “Because I want to get rich,” ask why. What will that wealth give you? Freedom from the need to work? A feeling of security?
Come up with a mission statement that embodies your soul-deep reasons for doing what you do. Write it somewhere you’ll see it every day.
Or, better yet, make it a manifesto and put it on your website. Let your customers see your passion and share your mission.
3. Chart your course
A sense of progress is critical to human happiness. Once you have your big-picture view of business success, identify milestones for the near future so you can feel successful as often as you can.
4. Involve someone
It takes a village to make a business successful. Don’t try to go it alone. Even if you are a solopreneur with a budget so small it makes your accountant cry, you can still enlist help – at least in the form of emotional support – from friends, family and colleagues.
Stuck on a thorny problem? Reach out to someone who has been there and might be tickled to share his or her insights. Ask a kid for advice. You never know where a solution will come from.
Launching a business but everybody you know works a 9-5? Join (or start) a local coffee chat for entrepreneurs.
5. Empty your brain
Even if everything else is fine, you may still suffer from a paucity of passion if you are carrying around your entire to-do list in your head.
(“File articles of incorporation, ask Janice about merits of Aweber versus Mailchimp, reschedule dentist appointment, fix leaky faucet in the downstairs bathroom, write project narrative for grant application, ask Ahmed for a reference letter, pick up milk and spinach…“)
Remembering takes cognitive work. Spend a few minutes with a notepad and do a brain dump. Write down everything on your plate and on your mind. Once you know you aren’t going to forget to send a birthday card to Aunt Carol because you wrote it down, you’ll be able to dedicate full attention to your business.
6. Outsource scut work
No matter how psyched you are about your business, there is something about it that you hate doing. Filling out tax forms, perhaps. Or calling that one lucrative, but perpetually cranky client. When this task is on your to-do list, it casts a pall over the entire day.
Identify the dreaded task and figure out a way to make it less awful. Can you pay somebody else to do it? Can you call Mr. Crankypants from the parking lot – outside the pub where your friends are about to meet you for happy hour?
7. Go away
Sometimes you just need a break. Schedule a getaway every three to six months to recharge your batteries. No extra money? Spend the weekend camping at a state park. Go visit your old college roommate who lives two hours away.
8. Learn something
Reconnect with your passion for your field by learning something new about it. Or shore up your skills in an area where you feel weak. Take a class, hire a coach, find a mentor, subscribe to industry blogs and publications, join a LinkedIn group, read a book, attend a seminar. Stretch your mind.
9. Pass it on
You don’t have to be a bona fide media-recognized expert to have valuable knowledge. Find a way to share what you know with someone who needs it. Mentor a high school kid – or an emerging entrepreneur. Volunteer for an organization that would be grateful for your expertise. Giving feels good.
10. Applaud yourself
When’s the last time you patted yourself on the back for all that you’ve accomplished thus far in your business journey and in your life as a whole? Bet it’s been a while.
Treat yourself to an afternoon or at least a few hours in a place conducive to reflection, such as a conservatory or a café in a museum. Bring a journal. Make a list of achievements big and small of which you can be proud. Let yourself feel good about where you are on your journey – and about what amazing things lie ahead.