solopreneurs: 20 ways to keep yourself motivated

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Post on 16-Jul-2015


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Running Solo?20 Ways To Give Yourself a Boost

Tip #1 Laugh!

Laughter releases endorphins, raising spirits and sparking creativity. To give yourself a good case of the giggles:

Compile your favorite silly clips into a YouTube playlist

Bookmark humor sites and spend 10-15 minutes having a chucklePhoto by Simon Vorgrimmler via Flickr

Tip #2 Create an Affirmation Board

Many Ruby employees affix Ruby Raves, our internal affirmation cards, around their desks to keep them motivated.

To build your own board, put up emails, birthday cards and pictures to remind you how awesome you are throughout the day.Tip #3 Move!

Feeling stuck? Get your adrenaline going a quick run, walk or a few yoga poses.

Greatist also an excellent series of fun exercises that can be completed at your desk, including chair dancing!

Tip #4 Learn Something NewYour brain is always looking for connections between pieces of information. Learning something new can bring new perspective to current challenges. Use RSS readers, such as Feedly or Flipboard, to keep up with changes in your industry. Podcasts, such as Entrepreneur on Fire, are also great to provide additional inspiration.

Photo by the Italian voice via FlickrTip #5 Do Your Chores

Break up tough projects with smaller, less involved tasks.

Spend 10-15 minutes completing administrative tasks, such as filing paperwork or cleaning out your downloads folder. Youll give your brain a rest, and check off a few pesky to-do items!

Tip #6 Share Your Task List

Peer pressure is useful motivational tool. At Ruby, team members looking for a little extra accountability can post their projects to our community whiteboard.

Achieve a similar effect with your business through a shared Trello board. Trelloa free, online task management toollays out tasks as individual cards. Invite others via email to view your board to hold you accountable for important tasks.

Tip #7 Run An Errand

Running a personal errand helps gets you out of the house, takes your mind off work, and gives you some time to focus on yourself. Youll return to your work ready to get back to business, having knocked out those nagging to-dos.

Tip #8 Co-Work

A home offices is great for focus, but sometimes you need to meet and mingle with fellow entrepreneurs. Get out of the house and try your local coworking space. These spaces rent desks by the hour, day or month, and provide access to a community of small business owners and freelancers.

Photo by Mindaugas Danysvia FlickrTip #9 Schedule Daily Phone Calls

Make it part of your routine to call a different person from your contacts each day. The variety of topics from person to person get your brain firing, and each call gives you an opportunity to talk through your current project.

Tip #10 Create a Motivational A-Team

Form a group with 2-3 fellow entrepreneurs. Set a timeframe and have each person set one goal to be completed in that timeframe. Meet once a week to review your progress towards the goal. When youre struggling, reach out to your team for motivation and encouragement!

Tip #11 Send An Affirmation

Chances are youre not the only one feeling stuck. Send a friend an e-card or a quick email letting them know theyre doing a great job, or how much you appreciate your friendship. Youll feel great knowing youve helped make someone elses day!

Tip #12 Create a LinkedIn Group

LinkedIn groups are great for asking questions, but are often too large to bounce ideas off others. For more personalized feedback, create a private LinkedIn group for just your direct network. Dont limit yourself to folks only from your industry! Different backgrounds can lead to new insights for your business.

Tip #13 Do a Creative Activity

Drawing, writing a poem or singing a song all activate different parts of the brain and can spark new ideas. Spend a few minutes doodling or writing down a story idea to restore your motivation.

You can also challenge your brain by performing tasks with your non-dominant hand. Switching the mouse to the other side, for example, refocuses your brain and increases creativity.

Photo by Ant PDX via FlickrTip #14 Daily Huddle

At Ruby, team members take 10 minutes each morning to share their focus for the day and any roadblocks they are experiencing.

Using the phone or a videoconferencing platform, invite 3-5 other small business owners to meet and discuss plans for the day. This exercise holds you accountable and forces you to verbalize your daily goals.

Photo by Drew Stepehnsl via FlickrTip #15 Meditate

A little stress is healthy, but a lot reduces motivation and creativity.

Set aside a comforting place in your home or office with low light, little noise and a comfortable rug or pillow. Focus only on your breathing, taking as many deep breaths as you need to feel the tension melt away.

Photo Matt Scott via FlickrTip #17 Review Your Goals

When you run your own business, its easy to become focused on short-term tasks and lose site of long-term goals.

Take 20-30 minutes at the beginning of each day to review your goals and company mission. Make sure your tasks for that day align with your goals to avoid putting effort into out-of-scope projects.

Tip #18 Delegate!

Its easy to get bogged down in the little things that waste your energy (like handling phone calls). Delegate those smaller tasks to other team members or companies like Ruby, so you can spend your time on the activities that will help grow your business.

Tip #16 Video Hangouts

Remote teams often rely on videoconferencing software, such as Skype or Google Hangouts, to connect members visually.

Create a virtual office environment to keep you motivatedcomplete with the click-clack of keyboards, chit chat, and the occasional laughter over a shared meme.

Photo by via FlickrTip #19 Create a WOW Moment

Ruby team members are empowered to deliver exceptional customer experiences, including sending WOW gifts to show clients we care. These gifts not only thrill our clients, but excite our team as well.

Take 10 minutes out of your day to send a thank you, gift or thoughtful email to a client. This small act not only gets your creative juices following, but gives your customers another reason to keep their business with you.

Tip #20 Reward Yourself

Have a sweet tooth? Put a sweet treat, such as an M&M or Skittle, next to each to-do item on your list. When youve completed the task, reward yourself with a little indulgence.

Ruby is the smart and cheerful team of virtual receptionists trained to make a difference in your day. From our offices in Portland, Oregon, we handle your calls with care. We deliver the perfect mix of friendliness, charm, can-do attitude, and professionalism. Best of all, your callers will think we work in your office. Get to know us at

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