Let’s face it, friends. Entrepreneur life ain’t always easy. When you hit a rough patch, feel overwhelmed with the piling tasks on your plate, or are simply navigating a scratchy period of self-doubt, it can be easy to turn to the holy M to save you. The holy M being: motivation — i.e. externally sourced messages of inspiration, guidance and wisdom.
And while I love me some @jstlbby Insta videos for a hit of motivation, in this article, I’m going to share with you:
Why motivation is exactly what you shouldn’t be seeking if you’re not getting the results you’re looking for;
What grasping after motivation is showing you about your habits;
Where to turn instead to get you back on track and get your results moving in the right direction.
But before we do so, I want to be clear. Surrounding yourself with messages of positivity, encouragement, and kick-in-the-pants perspective is never a bad thing. Consuming uplifting, beneficial content is a top performance habit and should be part of your daily diet as a business owner. When consuming motivational content becomes debilitating is when you find yourself suckling on the teet of external messages of inspiration at the expense of leaning into the uncomfortable task of taking decisive, imperfect action.
When you tell yourself that you’re feeling unmotivated, you’re reinforcing the belief that something “out there”, outside of yourself, will bring you the missing piece you need to start generating results. If you’ve self-diagnosed your problem as a lack of motivation, I’d like to respectfully submit that it’s not a lack of motivation that’s your problem but rather, a lack of focus.
As a digital thought leader and online entrepreneur, it is your responsibility to cultivate the habit of self-sourcing what you need, not rummaging through every podcast, Facebook post, and Instastory for a shard of light and hope. How can you tell if you’re using motivation as a distraction? Ask yourself — Is consuming this content making me passive or active? Have I done anything with the inspiration I’ve been consuming? If the answer is no, it’s time to put down the phone, get out a notebook, and prioritize your focus.
You can remedy 99% of your lack-of-results problem by applying the muscle of focus. Here’s how to do this:
Write down your biggest priority for the next week. A lot of time, overwhelm stems from a lack of focus, and overwhelm entices apathy.
Reverse engineer the steps you need to take each day in order to reach your weekly target.
Block of scheduled chunks of time in your calendar where you’re committing to completing one task at a time.
When you leverage the power of your focus and become your own firestarter, you won’t have any more need to rub your hands over the fires of others. Time to get up, get out there, and get focused!