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Staying Motivated

It can be hard to start and run a business. How can you stay motivated for the long haul?

Reasons for small business failure range from lack of sufficient money, failure to plan, economic conditions, to lack of interest! Yes, many businesses fail because their owners lose interest in the business.

This can be due to many factors, from family pressure to burnout. How can you stay focused and motivated to make sure you achieve your goals?

The first step it to make sure you really do want to own and operate your business and that you have chosen the right business, before you ever open the doors. There are a few articles on this site that can help. Choosing the Right Small Business is one of them.

Next, create a poster-sized “Motivation” board where you can visualize your dreams every day, like the sample on the right.

Just get a piece of poster board then browse through some magazines and photos selecting those that have meaning for you. Think of the rewards you hope for—more family time, more freedom, more money, more opportunity for self-expression, opportunity to help others, etc. Then, choose pictures that represent those things and attach them to the board with tape or glue. Make sure there is some physical representation of you—a photograph or drawing that stands for you.

Use your favorite quotes (print them in a large font, then cut out & attach if your penmanship needs help), names of your support team, people who inspire you. Write “mock” articles or headlines touting your success. Write a huge check to yourself representing your future worth (Jim Carey wrote himself a check for $10 million years before he achieved success in the movies and carried it in his wallet.). Put it all on the board. Use markers or crayons or paint to color your poster in your favorite colors.

Add some symbols that represent you; things you believe in. For example, if you love butterflies, put a butterfly on your poster. If you are a Christian, put a cross on there. If you are Buddhist, add a dharma wheel. Anything that has meaning for you will help, be it your astrological sign or a replica of your tattoo.

Once you are happy with your poster, put it somewhere that you will see it every day! Take pictures of it and print copies. Use it as your wallpaper on your computer. Put a copy under your pillow – whatever it takes to keep it in your line of sight every day.

This Motivation poster will reinforce and reinvigorate you, reminding you of the positive aspects of your dreams. And, this type of visualization exercise is a well-documented self-help technique that works. The human subconscious will create what you tell it is real. Seeing your poster everyday will help your subconscious help you create the life you want. And, we can all use a little help now and then!

For more ways to use visualization, I highly recommend Shakti Gawain's Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life , which is where I learned how to use stuff like the motivation poster. (She calls it a treasure map.)

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