How to stay motivated

Struggling to stay motivated to work on your blog? To write that blog post?

It happens. In fact, in my recent survey of EDGE subscribers, I had a few people actually ask how I stay motivated. When you go out and run Google searches, you see that it is apparently a pretty common thing.

For those of you who asked, if you think I’m immune to losing motivation, you’d be wrong. 🙂 It happens to all of us sometimes.

In fact, for me, I really lost it with my first online business (my tech blog). I had been running that site for so long that I lost interest in it. I toyed with the idea of shutting it down for several years. My mastermind group at the time told me I needed to ditch it so that I could free up the mental bandwidth for other things I was more motivated by (namely, Blog Marketing Academy). I finally did sell that site, but I should have done it earlier. That tech site was getting surpassed in the marketplace, but I stopped giving a crap about it.

So, I definitely understand losing one’s motivation.

Even here at BMA, I sometimes just don’t feel like working. There are 2 things I’ve learned about those times when I just don’t feel like working…

  1. Don’t force it. Unless I’m sitting there with a hardcore deadline (which isn’t often), I’ve found I’m better off not to force myself to sit there and work if I’m not into it. The work quality wouldn’t be there, so I’m better off leaving the office and coming back later.
  2. The fact that I feel that way means there is a SYSTEM breakdown. If things were systematized correctly, that wouldn’t happen. Lacking motivation is a symptom of a system which has constraints.

A system is a series of predictable steps that one does in order to get a particular outcome.

When you’re executing a system, it is usually easier to stay motivated. You’re not left with a load of confusion on what to do next. You don’t have overwhelm. You just follow the system. You feel the satisfaction of completing steps and you feel like you’re going somewhere.

That’s a system.

When you don’t have a system, but you try to force your way through the confusion anyway… that’s when it is much easier to lose your mojo.

The answer, then, is to re-visit your system. Stop trying to execute a confusion. Just stop working. Put on your “planner” hat and instead work on the system itself. Some things to look at:

  • Is the outcome that you’re shooting for clear? If not, make it clear.
  • Do you know the steps you need to take to get that outcome?
  • If the steps are too big, can you break them down into smaller steps?
  • Are there specific conditional steps in there that might be “on hold” because you need to get outside information, figure something out, etc.? Take the time to figure it out and “unstick” that situation. Then, return to your system.
  • Ask yourself honestly: Do YOU need to be the one doing that system? Perhaps you should just systematize that thing and hand it off to somebody else if you just don’t like doing it.

Putting systems together might seem like a natural fit for a more developed business. It might feel as if this is something which isn’t as applicable to you if you’re operating alone… or just starting out.

But, it applies just the same.

When you see the steady progress and you feel the satisfaction of checking off those to-do items, it is much easier to stay motivated. The answer is having a system taped out well enough where you can actually do that.

When you see real RESULTS from what you’re doing, it is much easier to stay motivated. Once again, the answer is having a system in place that actually directly points at the outcome you want. Know the outcome you want and ensure the things you’re spending your time on will actually get you there.

When you’re losing motivation, there’s a good chance that it’s just a symptom of your lack of systems.

Inside THE LAB, my goal is to provide those systems. The Online Business Roadmap is a big system. The checklists and worksheets throughout the training are, themselves, systems. I’m going to be putting together those TRACKS inside the LAB (coming soon) that will be repeatable systems.

So, systems can be learned and adopted from the outside. But, you should also come up with your own. For anything you feel is a constraint (and losing your motivation is a constraint), you then look at the system. Fix the system. Give yourself those steps and get clear on the outcome you’re aiming at.

It is much easier that way.

– David Risley