Who hasn’t heard terrible tales of contractors and employees who just can’t be motivated to do more than the bare minimum required of them? We’ve all heard those stories, and some of us have had to address situations where these stories have happened in our small businesses, contracts, or projects.
How do you get around this from happening? Or perhaps the question should be, can you avoid this from happening? The truth of the matter is that sometimes you can, and sometimes you can’t. And sometimes, all it takes is your leadership to be inspiring to others.
Believe in yourself. Believe in what you do. Believe in your products and/or services. And believe in your people.
The greatest motivator is self-confidence and confidence in others. Self-confidence and confidence inspires you and those around you to continue doing their best work, and that translates into more successes and fewer mistakes or failures.
Will mistakes still happen? Of course they will. Will there still be failures? Of course there will be. But there will also be more risk-taking and greater effort to push past what’s been accomplished in the past.
Keep a consistent schedule.
Many people have the idea that if they have an open-door policy that this creates a more effective business. That may be true in some situations, but not in most.If you want to establish an effective business, you must have a consistent schedule that you and others can count on. Don’t fritter away time answering every email as it pops up in your inbox. Answer your email two or three times a day. There generally isn’t anything sent via email that needs your immediate attention unless it’s been preceded with a phone call from someone alerting you to the email he or she is about to send to you requires your immediate attention.
Enjoy your work.
After all, isn’t that why you became a small business owner or an entrepreneur? When the work you do stops being your passion and starts to be your prison, it’s time to review what you’re doing and why.
An unhappy business owner or entrepreneur is the farthest thing from inspiring, and no one wants to work with or for someone who hates what he or she is doing. Re-evaluate what you do and why you do it on a regular basis. Touch base with yourself and ask yourself it there’s anything you can do to stoke the fire that led you to this career in the first place. Then do it!
Keep stock of who and what inspires you to do what you do every day.
It doesn’t have to be anyone famous. It could be your family. It could be a celebrity. It could be a historical figure. It could even be a colleague. It might even be an era when what you do came into its own!
In other words, when things get tough, don’t just re-evaluate what you do and why you do it, remind yourself of the inspiration that led you to this career. And don’t be afraid to keep adding to the list of who and what inspires you. When it comes to inspiration, there’s no limit as to how many people or what events can be on anyone’s list.
Keep sight of your short-term and long-term goals.
Working just for the sake of working won’t be nearly as inspiring as have set short-term and long-term goals you can celebrate as you reach, and then surpass, them. This doesn’t mean you need to obsess over whether you are meeting those milestones by set dates (although that’s always a great feelings as well). What you need to focus on is meeting those milestones to the best of your ability … give or take some time (which falls within that wiggle room you built into your plan).
Make your short-term and long-term goals manageable and reasonable.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t have at least one pie-in-the-sky dream of success. That doesn’t mean it’s where they live though. While it might be great to dream about a multi-million dollar contract landing on your desk tomorrow morning, the more manageable and reasonable goal revolves around cultivating situations that might actually lead to a multi-million dollar contract landing on your desk at some point in the future.
Chunk up your goals into workable units. For example, if you want to write 8 books in a year, you need to know that means you have to complete each book over a six-week period more or less. Can you do this? If not, scale back your expectations to a workable level, then move forward with your plan to write multiple books in a year.
Look to the future in a positive way.
If you keep to reasonable timelines and achievable milestones, each success will add to your positive outlook on what you do as a business person. It will inspire you to continue doing what you do well. It will bring optimism and hope to the future you perceive for yourself and your business which, of course, extends to your colleagues, contractors, and employees.
Being positive and inspiring won’t guarantee success but it will give you a huge advantage over business owners and entrepreneurs who gripe about how bad the economy is. And just because you’re positive and inspiring in your outlook on business doesn’t mean you’re overlooking the negative realities that exist out there that impact on what you do. What it does mean is that you are leaving yourself open to happening upon unexpected situations and opportunities that will allow your business to flourish. And after all, wouldn’t it be foolish to look a gift horse in the mouth … especially one of your own making?