How to reignite the spark in your love affair with your hustle, after the honeymoon phase is gone.
I had reached an impasse.
My business was coming up to its third year of operation, and I looked at it one day and realized — well, sh*t, the spark was gone.
I had fallen out of love with my business.
So what the hell was I supposed to do? This was my livelihood. I had planted the seeds and watered this hustle until it blossomed into the successful company it is today.
My startup was one of the 10% to survive when the other 90% failed.
I had finally scaled back from 10+ hour days to 6 hours days, while still maintaining my income.
I‘m lucky enough to run my business from the comfort of my own home, and make an equivalent income as my classmates who graduated with me three years ago.
So what the f*ck do I have to complain about?
Sound like something your inner voice is also telling you these days?
Well, you’re not alone if that’s the case.
Every entrepreneur has moments when, regardless of how much they love their business, they feel a need for a little break from it, because the love and passion for it which once was there is just, inexplicably… gone.
And that’s entirely okay! We all need a break sometimes from our work. That’s necessary to the overall balance.
However, if a vacation is not feasible and you can’t stop because you have bills to pay but need a solution for this problem NOW, here are some of my personal practices for working through any apathetic feelings towards my business with continued passion (or at least enough to get me through the day content):
Remember where you started and how far you’ve come.
Take breather. If you can’t take a full vacation, maybe just take the day.
Or a half-day.
Or even a damn moment.
However much time it is — just take a breather. You deserve it, and clearly need it right now.
And during that breather, I want you to reminisce on some things. Consider the following:
- The first moment you realized you wanted to start your business
- The high feeling you felt as you strategized and carved out the details into the launch of your hustle
- Your initial goals when starting out, and what your vision of “making it” looked like in the beginning
- That feeling of landing your first client
- The moment you knew it was no longer a matter of “if” your business succeeded, but now it was about “how far” it could go
- The undeniable successes and wins you’ve seen throughout your business
- What your business has facilitated and made possible in your life
These are elements I consider when I wake up and the passion for my business just isn’t there. Because sometimes it’s not that the passion is lost forever, it’s about reigniting the spark which once existed.
Practicing gratitude for how far you’ve come is a powerful way to tap into that spark once again.
Reflect on the parts of the business you love, and the ones that don’t bring you joy.
This might mean that you change the trajectory of your offerings or services so that you can get back to what you love to do.
Or, if there’s something you really hate doing in your business, but your operation can’t go without it, hire out those services to someone else.
As the person who has to wear many hats in your hustle, you already have a lot of pressure on your shoulders. Taking on tasks you hate doing is a sure way to build resentment towards your business and lead it down a dark road — but it doesn’t have to be that way!
By hiring someone else to do the dirty work, you open up more time in your schedule to focus on the things you love, and avoid the things you hate. Doing tasks in your business you enjoy is a sure way forward to falling back in love with your business again.
And if you’ve been offering the same services for a long time now, you might be due for a change. Consider the services or offerings you most enjoy producing for clients or customers, vs. the ones you currently offer which don’t provide as much joy.
If something in your business is draining you (of energy or happiness), it is a possible danger to your bottom line.
Be sure you’re feeding your spirit and putting energy into your passion.
I fell into such a sad space.
I couldn’t understand how something which once made me feel so fulfilled suddenly had me feeling so void of purpose and, well… empty.
My business had become a necessary means to a mundane end, because I had bills to pay and groceries to afford.
And I hated that!
I hated that my relationship and love for my business had gone stale, when not long ago it ignited a fire in me unlike any other I’d ever known.
Well, almost unlike any other. The thing that burns my fire even more than entrepreneurship? Writing.
And I knew that I hadn’t been writing nearly enough. My inner writing had been withering up like a prune. She hadn’t been exercised or taken out of her dark enclosure for months and months.
I knew the way to find passion in my business again was to incorporate my other passion into it — so I built writing on Medium into my business model, and am now using it as an additional avenue of income for my business.
And you know what happened?
Both elements began to fuel each other simultaneously.
My writing brought back my happiness and passion for my social media business, and my social media business pushed me to continue writing, diligently and consistently, to increase my overall business income.
It’s a match made in heaven.
Running a business is like any relationship — it will grow and change and we must be flexible to adapt to those changes.
I have friends who I get along really well with during some seasons of life, while other seasons we’re a little distant. It’s not that this feeling will ever go away, it is just a symptom of a bigger shift happening under the surface — things are always subject to change, and we either choose to move with those changes, or we decide to walk away and abandon ship.
So is the case with our businesses. We must recommit to them every day we sit down at our desks and get back to the grind.
Recommitting to your business every single day is not as glamorous as it sounds. Some days it’s done with intrigue, other days it’s done with a groan.
Most days, it’s done simply out of plain, old habit.
But that’s the name of the game.
And if you’re committed to growing and adapting to the changing nature of your relationship with your business, you will be better equipped to wait-out the dry spells until another wave of heart-pounding passion greets you once again.
That’s entrepreneurship for you — it’s the wildest rollercoaster you’ll ever ride on.