How to Manage Your Stress and Stay Motivated When Business is Slow

If you own a business where your profit depends on how many clients walk through your door, it can be hard to stay motivated and cheery when your numbers start to slide. No doubt you may feel stressed, overwhelmed or even think, “Why bother?”

Short of hanging a neon sign outside your establishment to attract attention, there are ways to draw clients to your business and keep stress to a minimum. Here are some tips:

Think back

Remember what it was like when you first started and how much progress you’ve made to date. All businesses start somewhere and it’s definitely not at the top! Life is a journey and looking in the rear view mirror from time to time can bring perspective. Going over your professional timeline from the start to where you are now can give you valuable insight and might spark new ideas on how to improve.

Look ahead

Get a pen and paper and write down specific but realistic goals and list steps on how you’re going to get there. An informal business plan or even finding words that invoke feelings of how you want your establishment to look and feel are good places to start. List small, doable steps in your planner that you know you can accomplish each day, and when you’ve reached your daily, weekly or monthly goals, reward yourself with something small, yet pleasurable.

Expand Your Contacts

Now might be a good time to reach out to those you have professional things in common with. They may be your peers, or perhaps even your competition who might be experiencing the same frustrations you are. Brainstorm together and exchange ideas on what works or doesn’t work for you. Sometimes sharing your feelings with those in the same professional boat can lay the foundation for a good support network.

Listen to your Inner Voice

Find a quiet place and have an honest conversation with yourself. Do you really like what you’re doing? If not, then take some time to figure out why. Adopt a meditation practice, sweat it out at the gym or get back in touch with nature. Taking a course, reading up on a hobby that could turn into a new career or exploring a new avenue in your current one can be some other options. The best formula for staying motivated is to absolutely love what you do.

Use slow times as opportunities to inject creativity into your business. Instead of focusing on the negative, think of ways to liven up your surroundings, or how to market yourself so you can reach the next level of your five-year plan. Visualize yourself with a booming business, then watch those dreams come true!

Guest contributor: Beth Gorbet is the Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Natural Nutritional Practitioners (CANNP). Beth is a writer, product developer of industry services as well as a presenter.

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