The nature of being an SBO invites burnout. That’s because, if we’re doing it right, we come home every night on empty – bedraggled, worn out, totally spent. That can take its toll over time.
I know I’m approaching burnout when I begin having weird fantasies. In addition to the one about two showgirls and Las Vegas, the more telling one is to dream about working behind the counter at a Quick Trip, putting in my time, punching out, and going home. Ahhhh! When I hit that point, I know it’s time to find some way to re-ignite the fire … usually with a new fire.
Example: I pretty much ran out steam in 2009. Many of my existing clients were folding up like cheap lawn chairs. The others were watching their budgets like a wino counting change after a slow day. Even worse, I had put my creative brain on auto pilot. The game had changed, and I missed the signs.
Worst of all, in the middle of all this, I hit burnout. I watched everything collapse with a yawn. Bad news at every turn.
Then I finally woke up. I didn’t know how I was going to remake my business, but I knew I was going to. I spent months talking to folks, exploring options, analyzing what I had done wrong, what I could do to make it right. All I knew for sure was that I had a golden opportunity to start fresh.
And I did. I am retooling my business, linking with other pros, and expanding from marketing consultant to business coach, pulling out the stops, capitalizing on my 30 years of business, and providing businesses with full-service management, marketing and sales strategies.
The goal is simple: Help my clients boost their incomes and enhance their lifestyles, integrating business success with personal balance.
Am I fired up? You bet. Giving it all I got! Sometimes I strain an emotional arm swinging at fastballs that lead to strike outs, but I’m also hitting a few home runs out of the park, and that’s my goal each and every day.
What about you? Getting a bit stale? Here’s how to re-ignite the fire in your belly:
# 1: Have goals and dreams … goals and dreams so real and important to you that you can taste them, feel them, see them.
What stirs your soul? Where do you want to be next year? At age 55? At age 60? At age 90?
Let yourself dream without any of the “yeah, but…” stuff that can cause you to lose confidence or faith in yourself.
Not sure what you want? Get out of town for a few days. (I used to get in the car and go, returning three or four days later with a new dream in tow.) Take a week in a monastery or in a fishing cabin up nort’ in Canada or the UP. Ideas will come. Dreams will emerge. That click click click of the auto-igniter in your soul will finally catch an idea and burst into hot flames.
Talk to people … successful people. Listen to their advice. Very often, one of them will see the solution to your problem, the answer to your questions immediately.
# 2: Feed the flame with motivational books. Corny. No way. In fact, drag a few along with you on your dream quest. I personally love “The One Minute Millionaire” and my old favorite, “Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude,” as well as Covey’s “Seven Habits.”
# 3: Go for it. This ain’t no pony ride. There are no sure things. Sure, there is always the risk of failure. So? If you fall flat, get up. There’s no rule that says we only get one shot. Truth is, we get as many second chances as we are willing to take.
# 4: Remember who you are. If you’re a business owner with the soul of an entrepreneur, that’s both the good news and the bad news. As you well know (and this is my business motto): “There’s only one thing worse than working for yourself … and that’s working for somebody else!”
The bottom line: If you’re doing it right – if you’re giving your business and your life your all, you will hit a wall from time to time; you will burn out. It’s part of what makes an SBO an SBO. The trick is to get up and go out – again and again and as often as necessary – to re-ignite your soul, reconnect to your old dream or find a new one … and get back in the game.
Work hard. Make money. Have fun. And never stop dreaming!
And by the way, if you’re interested in taking your business to the next level, give me a call. I’m so confident that I can help you boost your business results that I’ll give you a three-hour conference, no charge. Just cover my travel expenses. Let’s make money and have fun together!
The Freestyle Entrepreneur
204 Lakeview Drive
Algoma, WI 54201
January 4, 2010
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