Question from a VA:
“I am starting to have a problem with motivation. When I first started upon my quest to become a Virtual Assistant, I read everything in sight, took many notes, and subscribed to all I could. I even created a notebook and studied as if I were in college again. But now my eagerness and motivation seems to be tapering, and I am afraid I may lose sight of my goal and stop it before it even begins. Any suggestions?”
I loved your question because it sounds like just me …. and many others. You’re really not alone in this. My husband laughs at me because of my never-ending ‘fads’. I get crazes about things – new hobbies, new foods, new health products, new everything. This may or may not apply to you, I’m just giving you my take on it.
I get an all-consuming excited feeling, a fire in my belly. If it’s something that I can read up on, I might order a ton of books from the library or the internet. I feel like I NEED THEM ALL NOW and cannot wait for them to arrive, so I can learn all I can about my new craze and be an instant expert. But sometimes, by the time the books arrive, I’ve lost interest and gone onto something else.
I love that all-consuming feeling of enthusiasm, of promising new pastures just waiting to be discovered. But as you’re realizing, when that fire starts to wane, your motivation and interest levels start to taper off as well. Not too serious if it’s about a new hobby, but not ideal when it’s about starting a new business.
So, how to overcome your lagging motivation? Let me think back to when I started up this VA business, which could so easily have been just another passing fad. I would say that the biggest reason that my motivation stayed constant was that I never lost sight of the reasons WHY I wanted to be a VA. On a daily basis, I KNEW WHY I wanted it. I knew I hated my job and commuting 2 hours a day to work. I knew I didn’t like being told what to do and when to do it. I was tired of the office politics and tedious power games at work.
The Law of Attraction says that you shouldn’t focus on what you don’t want. Instead you should focus on what you DO want. So, often I visualized myself in my own home office, running my own business. That helped too. But I found that reminding myself of what I didn’t want was just as powerful, if not MORE powerful than imagining what I did want! You have to see what works best for you.
I took a long term view as well. I asked myself where I wanted to be in 5 years time. Did I still want to be working for the man, or did I want to run my own show? Did I still want to be standing on the train for 2 hours a day, or did I want to stroll down the corridor to my own office in about… oh, 30 seconds? These things were enough to keep me going.
Think of your business as a marathon to be run, steadily but surely with your eyes on the prize, rather than an all-out sprint to the finish line.
Have you written out a plan for your VA business which includes your goals and visions? I didn’t write out a business and marketing plan straight away, but when I did I found it was very useful for keeping me on the straight and narrow.
Keep in touch with other VAs as well. I found it really useful to drop a friendly email to a VA and ask them how they’re doing. Quite often, their reply will keep you focused on achieving the same level of success that they have.
Read motivational articles and books. There’s a ton of them on the market – I have quite a few by Anthony Robbins which help. Just a little reading every morning will be enough to stoke the fire.
So, in summary, I think that connecting to your reasons WHY you want this, writing out a plan, keeping in touch with successful VAs and reading motivational books are essential to keep your motivation levels constant.
Do any of you have any other tips to add? Everyone is different, so there may be some other motivators that I haven’t written about so far! Feel free to share…