Remove Yourself From the RUT!

It happens to all of us. Suddenly, nothing seems to be working with your business. You’ve lost passion and motivation is nowhere to be seen. You’re not alone. And the good news is, if you find yourself in a business rut, we’ve got a few ideas to get you through it and on the road to success again.

#1 – CALL IT WHAT IT IS

The first step to solving your problem is admitting you’ve got one. Say it out loud, acknowledge that this is happening. You may even consider telling a trusted friend or colleague who can encourage you through a lull. And ignoring the problem could just get you deeper into a rut.

#2 – IDENTIFY THE ISSUE

In your downturn, it’s not going to be easy to pinpoint exactlyone problem. But, if you’re feeling a lack of energy in your work, it’s important to know if you’ve lost passion in your career, or if there are smaller issues causing you to want to give up, whether it’s for a day or for longer. Figure out where your dark cloud is coming from and you’ll be a step closer to solving the problem and getting yourself “back in business.”

#3 – BRAIN DUMP

Business owners and entrepreneurs tend to focus on the “public” side of the business and let the “behind the scenes” work suffer. Chances are, there are things you want to accomplish in your business, but you lack the time to do them because the daily business itself gets in your way. Take some time to write down or type out every single idea that comes to mind – don’t focus on whether it’s a good idea or a bad idea, just write it down. As you write, you’ll feel inspiration starting to bubble up and you’ll realize what your next step will be.

#4 – FIND A MENTOR

If you don’t already have someone in your life who inspires and convicts you, it’s time to find one. This doesn’t necessarily need to be someone in your same industry, but someone that you admire professionally and personally. If it’s hard to think of a mentor in your network, find one online – even long distance! Search for others whose businesses or professional style you admire. If you haven’t met personally, send a short email telling them about yourself and asking about mentorship. The worst that can happen is you get a “no” and you move on to the next.

#5 – LEARN SOMETHING NEW

When you feel knowledgable, you’ll feel better about yourself and your work. There are a myriad of options available for affordable online courses and free webinars in every topic under the sun – marketing, social media, sales. If business is really bumming you out these days, use your time to learn something completely new. Take an art class or learn a new language. The confidence you’ll gain from a new skill could be just what you need to change your attitude.

#6 – ENJOY YOUR “DOWN” TIME

If you know you’re going to be slacking off a little during your slump, why not use your downtime better? Instead of sitting in front of your computer for 30 minutes and trying to convince yourself to work, take a 30 minute walk around your neighborhood. Or, take your “work” to the beach or the mountains, and give yourself a mini-vacation to inspire your mind.

#8 – SET REASONABLE GOALS

A mile-long to-do list can be just enough to keep you in your slump. Don’t try or expect to conquer it all at once. Set goals you know you can accomplish. For example: Between 9am and 10am, I’ll make three phone calls. Or: By lunchtime, I will have accomplished x, y, and z. Break your work into small pieces and handle only the next thing.

Remember, setbacks are normal. It’s a part of the game. Acknowledge that there are things you can learn from this. Recognize that you will eventually emerge, ready to take on your work with a new and inspired vision for your business.