Guest post by Jonny Gibaud
For those of you out there who already have or currently own their own business (and lets throw blogs under that heading too), you will know that running and building a successful business is far from a mirror smooth, downhill trail-blaze. In fact, sometimes it can be more like a ragged, cliff face accent with just a pair of flip-flops on and a large water buffalo attached to your back.
Sometimes things just don't go as planned, passions dip and a week-long, ice cream and sugar binge comes worryingly close to being a reality.
Welcome to the world of business. Now here are some things to help you when the your passion starts to die, which it will from time to time. No biggie.
As a serial business owner myself I wanted to give some really useful, and above all actionable, tips and tricks to help you get through those low times in business (or blogging) when your passion might start to flag and before the world collapses on top of you. So here are five great tips to add some gasoline when the flames of passion for you business or blog seem to be dipping a little low.
5 Ways to Reignite the Passion in Your Business or Blog
1. Take A Break
First things first people, if you feel your passion dying and the stresses starting to build, the first thing you need to do is give in to them. Take a break, have a Kit Kat and just give yourself some time to relax and some space to breathe.
Sometimes the simple act of taking a weekend off completely from the inner workings of your business baby is enough to turbo charge your passion come Monday morning.
Personally, when I can't seem to keep the rain from soaking and killing my passion I find the best weekends are spent out in the country with people who couldn't care less about my business, doing something that will have absolutely no productive impact on the bottom line of my accounts – like combining shotguns, clay pigeons and tractors in a backwater field in Wales like I did last week (though not recommended on basic health and safety grounds).
If your passion starts to dip or takes a serious dive of Olympic proportions, first thing is to take a few days off.
2. Partner Up Cowboy (or Girl)
For some, being the lone ranger in the business world works, but I would imagine that for most, it is a long and lonely existence and most of the time you don’t even get a horse or a cool set of shiny spurs.
Part of the joy of building and growing a business is the relationships you develop along the way and possibly the most rewarding of these is the relationship you can develop with your business partner or partners.
If your fire is being smothered at the moment, then it might just be because you haven't got enough people around you helping to fan the flames. Your business passion is like a large bonfire. In the beginning it is all flame and roar and marshmallows, but over time the heart of the fire gets hotter but the flames are gone. Without others to help you shield it from the rain and wind your passion fire can very quickly be extinguished right on the cusp of really great things.
Sometimes, combining your passion with a partners results in serious Miami heat wave temperatures.
Whatever business you are in, and whatever problems are causing your ebbing passion, someone out there has been through it before; many, many others in fact. The nice thing about business is that you will rarely, if ever, face a problem that hasn’t hounded another budding entrepreneur and so you can take some comfort in that.
If you want a firecracker boost there is no better way then getting the autobiography of a great businessman you admire and reading through their own trials and tribulations, especially the parts where they made a real hash of things.
Sometimes you will find answers, sometimes encouragement and sometimes the size of their problems will be so huge, it makes yours seem rather trivial and quite easily overcome.
If reading about the life of Richard Branson, Robert Kiyosaki, or Henry Ford doesn't put some chili power down your pants and heats things up a bit, then I don’t know what will.
To relight the passion, get the old books of the shelf and give them a dusting or go give Jeff Beso at Amazon a call.
4. Share your business
Being an entrepreneur is fun and exciting, most of the time. That is why we do what we do and take the risks. People respect it because so few have the guts to take the risk and face almost certain failure (9 in 10 businesses fail in the first 5 years, and of those that make it another 9 in 10 fail in the second 5 years).
Most of the time, people are happy to hear about the ins and outs of your business because they will never experience the journey.
Now obviously there is a knack to naturally having your business come up in conversation without having to crowbar it in with about as much subtlety as a group of elephants performing an extended version of the Swan Lake ballet.
However, if the chance does come up to talk about what you are up to then take it. Sometimes this small interaction with another person, explaining what you are doing and your plans for expansion helps to cement your vision into your own head and gets you inspired to make it a reality once again.
You will find most people big up what they are doing in business when they talk about it and sometimes this is a good thing. If you are going to dream about building a company, you might as well dream big.
However, if your recipients eyes are starting to glaze over then it is best to steer the conversation back to something more typical…like football or shoes.
Let others help fan your passion back into life by letting them in on some of your journey.
5. Revisit Your Vision
As a business owner, you should have a strong vision and mission statement, both for yourself and for your business. If you don't have a strong mission statement then you are going to struggle to keep the fire of passion burning strong anyway, regardless of the natural highs and lows in the entrepreneurs journey.
When the fire in your business is starting to dwindle, it is time to reflect back on the mission statement and the vision you have for your company.
If your mission doesn't get your heart racing just a bit quicker than a Skoda on a ramp then perhaps you have the wrong mission, or it is simple not big enough.
For my Emergency Food Storage company our mission is to “make sure that every European has access to food and water when they need it most” and for my blog The Life Thing “to help 10,000 people to come alive and live life with a sense of adventure”. These are mission statements that get my blood pumping and me out of bed in the mornings.
Set a flamethrower going on your passion by revisiting or refining your killer mission for your business.
That's it Business and Blog Passion Seekers
So there you have it, five tips to help you get that warm, passionate fuzzy feeling back. Remember your passion is like a bonfire and it will go out if you don’t tend to it. A bit of gasoline is great for a quick flame but it's all the other things you do that will keep it burning long into the night.
How do you reignite those old feelings of passion when they start to wane?
Jonny Gibaud is a designer, writer and entrepreneur who travels the world seeking adventure. He co-founded the UK's biggest food storage company EFS and explores adventurous living on his blog The Life Thing.