The Warrior seemingly has it all: superior expertise, a money-making business idea, reliable systems in place, and a receptive audience. You’ve put in the hard work required for your business, and have emerged victorious from the battle. You’ve got a steady stream of clients, and the money is consistently coming in. So what’s the problem?
You’ve lost your motivation. You find yourself easily distracted and prone to procrastination. Sure, you still want your business to grow, but your get-it-done attitude is a thing of the past. You enjoy your work, and you know that your business is what you’re destined to do, but while the idea of growth sounds good, you always seem to find yourself occupied by something else, often time-wasters like Facebook or your newest iPhone app. Of course, you still do your job, and you do it well—a Warrior sees things through. But you’re ready to clock out at the first reasonable opportunity. The passion and the excitement are gone. You may even be actively sabotaging your continued success. Why?
When you started your business, you probably had a general plan of what your growth trajectory would look like. You had an initial financial benchmark, an income goal that would allow you to live comfortably, pay the bills, stop stressing about money, and take your family on vacation—enough so that your business revolved around your life and not the other way around. And then you did everything required to reach that goal, including putting in late hours, taking on clients you didn’t really want to work with, and accepting uninspiring projects. But it was all in the service of attaining that crucial benchmark goal, so you buckled down and got it done. It was about survival, so you put on your armor, entered the fray, and fought your heart out.
In the meantime, you had the next stage of growth mapped out in your mind. Maybe your goals included hiring staff to multiply your production, opening brick-and-mortar stores, or launching your first mass-market product online, as examples.
The problem is, those goals may not be in line with what you actually want, and you may not even know it. You may have set those goals because they seemed like the practical and logical next steps, based on what you’ve seen in other businesses and what has been suggested to you over time by your friends, family, or mentors. Often, we inherit our goals from outside ourselves, and we blindly charge ahead, not stopping to ask whether they’d ultimately make us feel happy, or make us feel trapped.
But whereas you were willing to do whatever it took to reach your initial financial goal, now that you’re settled and no longer motivated primarily by financial anxiety, your new goals don’t spur you on. After all, you’re a Warrior, not a mercenary. Maybe you don’t enjoy managing people, and don’t really want staff when you get right down to it. Maybe you want freedom and flexibility, not the grind of being tied to a physical store day in and day out. Maybe you prefer one-on-one client relationships over an anonymous mass market.
Whatever your stated goals are, they don’t align with your true desires, so you stall out. Following those goals just isn’t congruent with who you are and what you truly want; it’s no wonder you aren’t putting in the effort to achieve them. When you were under the threat of financial chaos, it was easy to motivate yourself. But now that you’re comfortable and the war is over, why would you be driven to work harder for goals that you don’t really want?
Ask yourself WHY you set those goals. Your answer is likely to be along the lines of practicality—that’s what successful businesses do, that’s what my business coach told me to do, that falls in line with what I’m good at.Now ask yourself what you really want out of your business. The freedom to travel? An opportunity to teach others? The chance to develop an entirely new skill? Something that lets you be creative? Again, ask yourself why those things are important, and you’ll begin to align your goals in a way that is authentic and congruent to you.
Growth doesn’t have to mean opening 10 locations or hiring 100 people. It can mean raising your prices to reflect your demand. It can mean expanding your offerings to incorporate your new skills and exciting ideas, or writing a book or hitting the speaking circuit. Growth can be whatever it is you want, once you work out what that is. You’ll see that there’s a path to growth outside what you thought was the only possible, logical way, and your fighting spirit will return.
Your success so far proves that you’ve got what it takes to run a profitable business. You’re not afraid of hard work, and it’s paid off. At the same time, it’s important to reframe your approach when you feel your motivation starting to wane; it’s a signal that your goals aren’t congruent with what you truly want. When you realign your goals to reflect your passion, you’ll create the unstoppable momentum that leads to growth—on your terms.