If entrepreneurship were a person or organization, you’d say it had great PR. Among young people, 'owner' is the most popular job title on Facebook, and surveys show just about no one in this generation aspires to become a corporate executive while more than half want to become entrepreneurs.
But of course, where’s there’s hype, there’s also often a painful come down to reality.
Just think of weddings, suggests blog Freelance Switch in a great recent post. "The pipe dreams we’re sold of entrepreneurship are much like the fairy tale weddings seen in magazines," says the post, drawing a telling comparison. "But the fairy tales don’t show the stress, financial pressure, and excessive work hours that are part and parcel of many businesses… You can have a beautiful wedding with a $100,000 dress, a unicorn-drawn carriage, and champagne fountains. But the real work of marriage begins when the honeymoon’s over and the day-to-day craft of constructing a lifelong relationship begins."
Same goes with becoming an entrepreneur. Starting a business is actually the easy part. Keeping it going is the hard bit. So what can you do if you’ve moved past the excitement of starting up and find your initial passion is starting to fade? Freelance Switch offers several tips to bring back the spark, including:
Rethink 'Follow Your Passion'
"'Follow your passion' is a catchphrase that’s soared in popularity over the past 20 years. It’s good advice, as long as you know what passion means,” the post cautions. “To go back to the marriage analogy, the passion myth is a lot like the romantic myth of the one true love. The truth is, there are many people in the world who you could have a successful marriage with. Likewise, there are many potential business niches you could develop a passion for. There are many business ideas that would be ‘right’ for you and would fit your skills and abilities. Passion is something that grows over time slowly."
So when you’re wondering if you made the corrent choice about which business to start, remind yourself "just because your business isn’t perfect doesn’t mean it’s not the right one for you. The only way you can develop a true passion for your business is to stick with it."
There are few better ways to keep your business fresh than learning something new -- and updating your skills probably won’t hurt your chances of success either. "Whatever business you’re in, you are your own boss, which gives you the opportunity to try your hand at different skills," notes the post. "Even if your venture into new territory isn’t as successful as you’d like it to be, you’ll learn new things about your business, and you’ll start to see things in a different way."
Take a Break
This suggestion may sound simple, but as Freelance Switch points out for business owners, it’s generally easier said than done. “Even if you’re a one man band, chances are that your business doesn’t need you as much as you think it does. Why not take a break from one another?” asks the post (generally works for marital burnout too!) before going on to suggest several ways to accomplish this from additional outsourcing to a full-on sabbatical.
Check out the complete post for another four suggestions to help you get fired up for your business again.
What are your tips for keeping your enthusiasm up over the long haul?