Consistency will keep your business alive and thriving year after year.
We all love to get pumped up. Love it when someone in our circle spreads cheer and positivity. It feeds into our very being and sparks us to take action. But just like the first infatuating phase of love, motivation is short-lived. It is not sustainable in business.
I know why Nike wrote the slogan “Just Do It,” and can even envision when this magical phrase was seized upon that dancing and cake sharing at the Nike headquarters ensued.
As I raised my children, we talked about this slogan a lot. All the years that I would instill in them the value of simply keeping their end of the agreement in their schoolwork, this slogan applied. “Did you agree that you would do the homework?” “Okay, then you need to meet your teacher halfway.” When they got older, I would receive texts, “Mom, you were right! I can’t believe how much just doing the work has improved my grade!”
This is the secret to sustained success. It is not that you will do whatever anyone else is doing: write a blog, establish social channels. It is that you will do it over and over and over again.
You will do it for months on end and follow the same nauseating circuit: publication then posting to Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn and Pinterest and your LinkedIn company page and Google+ (purely for the ranking benefits.) You will do it when you post or publish something that teeters on the cusp of virality, and when there are crickets meeting your efforts, too. You will do it when there is NO reward waiting for you but the satisfaction that you can manage your own actions and the promises you make to yourself.
Consistency is the ONLY sustainable action that will keep your business alive year after year.
You can USE motivation, podcasts, articles, books and other media to charge up and permeate your body with the energy to take action, but if you are relying on other people to provide that boost to you, you are missing the point.
ANYONE can discover the fire of another and employ it to improve their results.
But if you can return each time to the tasks that will only slowly pay off over time, if you can keep the belief in yourself alive without fail, then you will have the keys to your proverbial kingdom.
Motivation is like coffee. It enhances what is already there. At the base, if you don’t have the patience to receive what you think you have coming, this is going to be a tough road. Coffee wears off and so does motivation. There better be something else lying in wait.
When you get started, and when it seems as though you are hollering into a tunnel, don’t pay this lack of appreciation any mind. Instead, stand in that echo chamber and yell out your message again. Instead, pay attention to the ripples that return to you. What can you learn? Instead, use your insights of the people who find value in your message to further your mission and engagement. Then do it again, and again. Do it ceaselessly, when you are tired, doubting, ready to hang it up and “get a real job.” Do it because you believed in yourself at one point and because you can still believe in yourself.
Dutifully caretake your pages and then go about your life. Don’t wait for an epiphany to shortcut success to come streaking in.
Building a business takes grueling work and you must be on your own side. You cannot be your antagonist and expect that you will succeed.
Whenever I am feeling tired, sad, sick, or unmotivated, I do not look for outside sources to bolster my confidence and to give me the oomph I need to push me out of inaction.
I sit down and take a plain notepad and write a to-do list out. These are tasks I know I must accomplish for the health of my business. It’s a non-emotional exercise and it simply requires action. I don’t allow myself to think. I focus on making my body perform the action. That’s it.
There are more days when I am emboldened by my own spirit and working is not a challenge at all. But there will always be the moments when we are battling fatigue or stress and we can certainly get into a shouting match with ourselves.
Or, maybe you know how to justify the lack of action well? We are all guilty of caving into those temptations from time to time. Of course, we are. We are human.
Conversely, we can steady the line. Keep marching on. Do exactly what we said we were going to do for as long as it takes.
Not for accolades. For nothing more than honoring our own word and proving we have the mettle to perform on any day, under any circumstance.
Because we want it so badly, nothing will stand in our way. Not a lack of drive on a dreary Friday, not a lack of resources, not rejection, or even snowballing and intimidating success.
We want it so bad we will fight for it no matter what. That was the agreement we made when we started our startup, wasn’t it? Your agreement with yourself is just as important as any you would make with another person. Don’t sell that point short!
Use motivation as a secondary tool to kick your butt on the days you need it.
Every day, take care of your business and your media and you will find yourself reaching your goals that much sooner. All because you combined steady hunger with persistence to meet your loftiest dreams.
Original article appeared at The Good Men Project. Reprinted with permission.
Photo credit: Getty Images