Staying Focused and Motivated When Self Employed

artemis

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#1
I have been self-employed for the past eight years. Before that I worked for a company for approximately five years and then before that I was self-employed but owned a large business.

With the large business I owned it became a task master of its own. There was always something to focus on and do, and people to meet with and accomplish work. When I worked for someone else there was always someone setting the criteria for what I needed to do and work on. With me being self-employed now and being my only employee I sometimes struggle keeping myself motivated to do my work.

Does anyone have any tips for how I can keep myself motivated. Right now business is slumping and I really need to be working harder than ever. Previously I have been moved by success or internal motivation. Right now I am just struggling to do the work and put in the time I need to put in for my business to get back to being successful.

Again any tips or suggestions on how to motivate myself would be great. I have a lot of external motivation in the terms of bills owed and such, but I have a hard time connecting that to me doing my actual work.
 
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#2
Well I have no idea what your business is but I am a freelancer and do a little of everything online. I have a wishlist on Amazon and every time I can buy something off of it and mark it off it's great motivation.

I get up earlier than my kids do so that I can work a little and the rest of the day seems easier knowing that I don't have less to do.

I have goals like I want to move me and my kids out of my parents place by the end of this year and that makes me work even harder because that is something I absolutely have to accomplish.

Maybe just set goals for yourself that you absolutely have to accomplish or otherwise your business will go down.
 

LadyJane

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#3
It is very hard to be motivated when I work from home since typically home-based workers make less money than on site workers. (Yes, there are exceptions, depending on profession.) I have to remember why I work from home, which means that money can't be my primary motivating force.

Although you didn't specifically mention working from home, I imagine working for yourself and/or from home are somewhat similar in that we need to find intrinsic rewards for doing so when there's not a lot of money flowing in. My personal motivation is knowing I'm independent. I can stop to take care of myself when I feel the need to, and not wait until I have permission or time.

I have other motivating factors such as my children and their schedules. But I find it personally satisfying to have control over the "what and when" of my work.
 
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#4
Do you have family or anybody depending on you? That would be good motivation. Also, think about what you want from your success. There's a theory that when you think about a goal, your mind works towards achieving that goal.
 
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#5
I agree with family being a great motivation. I, too, am working at home. And I admit sometimes that it also can be stressful and tiring specially because I still have to balance my time with my kids and household chores and working online.

Goal setting can help as well. If you would always think of certain goal(s) then you would strive more to reach those. And also, prioritize things. Do first the things that are more important so your work will be organized.
 

zararina

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#6
Yes, I could agree that having people dependent on you definitely could keep you motivated to work more and earn more. Thinking of the bills to pay monthly could also help you keep working since it is very hard to have many debts. If you also have goals or something you want to buy and achieve it, use it as your motivations. Loving what you are doing is a good way of making yourself more focused.
 

AmazingP

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#7
Being self-employed with no other person looking after you and would probably scold you anytime -- that is the dream for most of us here. The desire to fly on our own wings leads people to start their own venture. Of course, not all will eventually succeed but that is the risk we have to take. To keep you motivated, I suggest that you have a literal list of all the WHYs of the path you have chosen to tread.
 

kevinm

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#8
Some times one does feel low and not motivated enough to work. It fades out as responsibilities or goals become clearer. Clear your head and prioritize things. Set your goals and tell your friend or family about them. This may help as they would ask about your completed work.
 
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#9
We can only motivated if we have a supportive family who's happy with our business. Even if you're alone with your business and no employees it is fine if there are somebody who appreciates what you have right now.
 
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#10
I also suffer from lack of motivation at times. For me, I have simply learned to live without money. This is a good thing, but sometimes I do so well without money that I convince myself I don't need to bother making any at all--which isn't true.

Things that help me are to focus more on work during the mornings and have the afternoons and evenings free to do creative things that I actually want to do. I get burnt out very easily, especially with freelance writing. If I wait until too late in the evening, I will pretty much always convince myself to go lay down and rest and watch television instead.

In the mornings, I feel a lot more driven to work. So if you are scheduling any of your work time later in the day and feeling too tired to do it, maybe shifting some of the workloads onto the morning would work better for you.

Other than that, I just set goals. I'll say, "Just as soon as I hit $20 today, I can rest." (or whatever amount of money you need)
 
A

artistry

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#11
I think that if you are self-employed, you must be a self-starter. Because in essence, you are the one who has to kick start yourself. This is not easy, you nust try to stay motivated, and have things that will help you stay motivated.
 

Max Packer

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#12
There could be dozens of distractions in owning/managing your own business. I think identifying them would help bring some sort of clarity to it.

Is it possible that you are discouraged because the business is now on a slump? Are you feeling the feelings of being burnt out? Tired? So much hard work so little reward? Do you love what you do?

I wish someone shook me up when I had those thoughts like the above.

I found pen and paper works well for me. Sitting down and writing whatever comes in your mind about a particular topic would help to at least empty your cache.
 
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#13
The writing thing is great. Not only can you find out doubts that may be holding you back, but you can then use EFT to remove them and move forward with fresh motivation.
 
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#14
Try to set your goal $20-30 above what your actual goal is. That way you can start a savings fund and use it for things like your car checkup. It creates a feeling of abundance--versus the feeling of scrambling you might get when trying to make the money right as you need it.

I have five different jobs at the moment. I take all the money from one of my jobs (which is a cash in hand job) and stick it in between two books on my book shelf. Then I don't think about it again. That is my "secret" fund. I don't touch it, but if I ever needed it, I'm glad to know it's there.
 
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#15
I have been working as a freelance writer for a few years now so I know first hand the type of discipline it does take to stay on track when your self employed. One of the things that I have done that seems to help is set goals for myself each day. I tell myself what I need to get done for that day and I set out to complete that goal. Some days I make the goal a little smaller due to other commitments such as doctor appointments, but then I tell myself that I am also forfeiting more pay for that day. But I have found that this is one formula that does keep me on track and doing what I have to get done working from home.
 
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#17
Being self-employed can be bitter sweet. It's a lot like playing an individual sport as opposed to a team sport. It helps to get out of the house and around people. I go to the coffee shop from time to time just to be around other people. Motivational CDs can also be good. A regular pep talk can go a long way.
 

MyDigitalpoint

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#18
I believe the critical moment when one is self-employment is when all those efforts seems not bring any monetary result or less money than expected.

I think that one good way of staying focused and motivated when self-employed is setting up goals aside money matters.

Wanting to make a sale a day helps to get yourself focusing on this goal, but failing to accomplish it may ruin all the motivation you built around it.

Yes, try to reach this goal but find an alternative motivation such as finding another way to market your product and service and try again.
 
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#19
Well I have no idea what your business is but I am a freelancer and do a little of everything online. I have a wishlist on Amazon and every time I can buy something off of it and mark it off it's great motivation.

I get up earlier than my kids do so that I can work a little and the rest of the day seems easier knowing that I don't have less to do.

I have goals like I want to move me and my kids out of my parents place by the end of this year and that makes me work even harder because that is something I absolutely have to accomplish.

Maybe just set goals for yourself that you absolutely have to accomplish or otherwise your business will go down.
I like your response to this thread! I am a freelancer myself and do a little bit of everything online as well. I understood (and practice) most of what you mentioned above, but have come to appreciate your last point, setting goals you must accomplish. As a freelancer, I got lulled into believing that my present work situation would continue on forever. When that changed, I had to revamp quick and build new sources of income or I would have been in a very bad shape! I also like your emphasis on specific and concrete goals that are within reach. That is something I have also come to appreciate as well. When you do so many things online, it can be hard to focus on doing what you need to do.
Thank you for posting this!
 

flad264

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#20
Sometimes I think that this is the hardest thing that I used to struggle with when I first became self employed. When I first became self employed I always had the urge to procrastinate nothings that had to be done. I kept thinking to myself that I could just get to it when I am ready the bad thing is I sometimes never got to those tasks.

What I did one day is sat down an evaluated my priorities and thought to myself if I don't get serious now someone I am going to go right back to my day job and be miserable like I used to be before. I began to use that thought for motivation and got my work done. The next problem I had now was because I had the whole day to work on certain task in my business I would spend the whole day just working and I never had a set time to have certain tasks completed by. I then realized that like a day job I had to set working hours for myself. After I set my own working hours and I began to work within a tight schedule of time I began to get a lot more tasks done in my business and I have been doing it this way ever since. It's all about developing a daily routine that you go through that allows you to sit to your guns and get stuff done like a machine on steroids.