We all know that running your own business can seem fun, exciting, and liberating at first. Everything is new, and the potential you can reach with running your own business is limitless! But after the honeymoon phase wears off, most of us are met with the stress of making our business work, and finding ways to grow and succeed. Along with the constant time and effort we put in, it’s hard to feel motivated, especially where most of us work alone.
For all those out there who feel lost with their business, or feel unmotivated to keep going, this is for you! Here is a list of 5 things that keep me inspired to continue.
The cost of running a business can seem like a lot - everything from subscription payments, to advertisements. But if we compare it to what it was like, even 20 years ago, to start a business, it’s so much more accessible! In the past you would have had to buy inventory in bulk, rent a retail space, hire staff, take out a loan, etc. Now a days, you can build an online business for between $30 - $50 a month.
This is always a nice reminder, because sometimes it’s easy to feel that the amount we spend on running a business is a lot, but in reality it doesn’t have to be. Along with that, with the movement to ecommerce, starting a business is accessible to everyone.
There is a great article I read the other day, from the Ask forums, that walks through the costs of starting a dropshipping business. It breaks it down by ads, subscriptions, miscellaneous costs, etc. It goes to show you that a little can go along way. Check it out here if you are curious too!
I can’t stress this enough, but there is SO MUCH free advice out there! When your feeling stuck, and you are not sure what else to try, put time into reading! Whether it is blog posts, courses, youtube videos, success stories - you can find valuable information about running a successful business anywhere. There are also experts of marketing, coding, customizing sites, designing - you name it, you can find hundreds of pieces of material about whichever topics you are interested in.
Yes, it does take time to sift through the numerous articles and information available to you - and sure, not all information is good information - but I think it’s pretty amazing that it is an option we all have, whether we take advantage of it or not. Take an extra hour or two you would spend watching Netflix, or scrolling through your social media, and put that time into reading one new article a day. It’s a great way to get inspired and motivated as well!
On the bandwagon of free advice, remember you have support as well! With Shopify specifically, they offer 24/7 free support over phones, chats, and emails. You can ask them just about any question too, which many do not take advantage of. You can ask them everything from “what’s the best app for product reviews” to “how do I grow my business, and take it to the next level of success?” They are always happy to provide helpful guidance on ways to improve your site - whether it is suggestions on changing the layout and design, other sales channels you could try out, or even marketing tips and suggestions. Think about it, their support team talks to thousands of people a day, and they are constantly exposed to online shops - who else would know better what works and what doesn’t work.
Even with Oberlo, there is free support whenever you need it through email! So you are always welcome to reach out to them too for advice, help, and guidance however you need. All this to say, don’t be scared to ask for help! Worst case, you don’t find the advice helpful, best case it sparks an idea or new direction to take that you hadn’t thought of.
There are also other support platforms, such as entrepreneur facebook groups and communities, reddit forums, Shopify and Oberlo forums. Just remember, there is always help available to you, so don’t get discouraged and feel like you are on your own in this journey.
Try and remember all the reasons you started your business in the first place! Maybe it was the freedom to work from home, to be around your family, or to work in remote places and travel. Maybe it was to get away from a 9 - 5 job, or have the ability to express yourself creatively. Whatever your reasons were, remind yourself of those and keep pushing forward - no matter what issues you run into.
When you start looking at failure or defeat as an experience you learned from and can move forward from, every bump in the road can be an opportunity for a new direction or understanding, rather than something that has set you back.
An interesting story I heard a while back was from a family who said that every single night at dinner they would share with each other how they failed at something that day. By doing so, they began to see failure not as something negative, but opportunities for growth and exploration.
So let’s be okay with our failures, learn from them, move forward, and remember all the reasons we started in the first place!
Lastly, if you’re feeling disconnected from your business or the direction you want to take, one of the best ways to get reinspired is to surround yourself with others who are in the same mindset as you!
Other than building relationships with online communities (which there are plenty of), work in a space that is surrounded by people doing the same things as you. For example, there are many work spaces/buildings which allow people to come for the day and work in. There are entrepreneur meetups, business events you can attend, or conferences you can go to.
If none of those are accessible to you, even just going to a cafe, or going to a library, a study hall, or any place that is surrounded by others who are working can help motivate you and get you into the mindset to work.
All that to say, the times I felt most invigorated and excited to work was after spending time with others who were doing similar things, or attending events with other like-minded individuals, so keep an eye out for anything in your area, and don’t be afraid to get out there and be a part of the community. That can sometimes give you the push you need.
I hope that these five things helped re-inspire you if you were feeling a bit disconnected from your business, or overwhelmed with the work. None of this is to say that running an online business isn’t hard, it definitely is and it takes a lot of work! But so does anything great in life, so please let me know how you stay inspired! Let’s grow this list together.