Maintaining Your Motivation
by Kelley Robertson
Recently, I was scheduled to speak to a group of sales professionals at the end of a training conference. The attendees had participated in many learning sessions over a two-day periodmost of which were product relatedand I was concerned their attention might be waning by the time I spoke.
Fortunately, the company had structured the entire program to create energy and excitement, and to foster a sense of team enthusiasm. The company developed a conference theme and encouraged vendors to incorporate the theme into their individual presentations. The team with the most energy and participation even received prizes. By this final session, the attendees were excited, highly motivated and charged up. When I left that evening, I knew these individuals would bring a renewed energy and drive to the work place, and I was confident the company would see a definite increase in sales in the weeks ahead.
A conference, training workshop or corporate gathering can be very motivational. It is important to participate in these types of sessions on a regular basis if for no reason but to ignite your personal motivation.
Running a business is tiring and challenging; the constant scrutiny of government regulators and the media is increasing the stress on executives in the natural products area. This accumulated pressure can reduce productivity and act as a de-motivator. Small business owners are required to wear many hatsoften at the same timewhile executives of large organizations often have more problems and office politics to manage on a daily basis. It is not uncommon for the business to drain our energy and motivation, regardless of how much we enjoy the business. One store owner recently told me he thought he had been in business too long, because he had lost his drive and ambition. What was needed was a way to rekindle his energy. Not taking time to recharge and change perspective can lead to frustration with work.
It is therefore imperative to have a personal motivation plan. This means taking advantage of opportunities to maintain motivation. A few suggestions?
Attend a personal development workshop. Identify an area in your business or personal life you would like to improve. At the beginning of each year, determine what types of programs could help, and seek them out. These sessions afford a short break from the daily grind and offer time to develop a different perspective. Training programs, night courses or weekend seminars focused on a specific topic can give a much needed energy boost.
Join a Master Mind group. Meeting with other like-minded people can help you see your business from a different perspective. An effective group will have between six and eight members from a variety of industries and usually meets several times a year. With the right chemistry between members, these meetings not only help improve members businesses but also motivate them to try new approaches and market their businesses differently.
Support your health. As members of the natural products industry, you are aware that eating a well-balanced diet and taking appropriate dietary supplements contribute to a healthy lifestyle. However, following those recommendations is sometimes difficult in a stressful, busy environment. It is beneficial to remember the importance of supporting good health through positive nutritional choices. Also, regular exercise is critical to long-term well-being. Individuals who exercise regularly report a decrease in personal motivation during times when they are not taking time for exercise due to outside commitments. Regular exercise helps the body work more effectively and efficiently. A 10- to 15-minute walk, a short bike ride or a few laps in the pool can defuse the day-to-day business stresses and even help the brain develop new solutions to pressing issues.
Read or listen to motivational material. Instead of reading the daily newspaper with breakfast or coffee in the morning, try reading inspirational material instead. A well-written book that offers sound advice is more motivating than reading about the latest market declines. Listening to motivational tapes or CDs during the daily commute enhances your personal knowledge base.
Take time off. It is not a badge of honor to state, Im too busy to take time off. In todays fast-paced business world, it is critical to take time off for vacation, rest and relaxation. Even a long weekend away can be restful. A true vacation means avoiding E-mail and voicemail. While there may well be hundreds of messages to deal with upon returning, it can be approached with renewed focus and energy.
Lastly, associate with positive people. As I have grown in my own business, I have made it a point to distance myself from negative individuals. They drain other peoples energy, do not support others goals and desires, and are not motivational. On the other hand, positive and optimistic people will uplift the spirits and help others through challenging times.
Kelley Robertson, president of the Robertson Training Group, works with businesses to help them increase sales and motivate employees. He is also the author of Stop, Ask & ListenProven Sales Techniques to Turn Browsers into Buyers. For information on his programs, visit www.RobertsonTrainingGroup.com.