Keeping motivated

Sometimes it’s hard to keep motivated when things aren’t going to plan. For the self-employed, it can be particularly difficult. That’s because any knock backs are felt more personally than when you work for a company.

If you’re part of a corporate team applying for a contract, it’s easier to cope (or blame others) for any failures. When it’s your business, the buck stops with you. It can be a real knock to the confidence and frustrating not to be given a piece of work you know you could do – and do well.

Having ‘skin’ in the business

Being self-employed has lots of benefits. However, if you don’t get a piece of work, it has an impact on your livelihood in a way that it wouldn’t if you were conventionally employed. As one self-employed friend of mine recently said: ‘It’s different if you’ve got skin in the business’.

The plus side of having ‘skin in the business’ is that it makes you hungry. Being self-employed to me is about being able to do something I love. It’s about being my own boss and the mistress of my own destiny. It’s about really wanting to succeed and to do well. But it also means that the success – or failure – of the business is down to me.

So when I get knocked back, especially if I’m not given any feedback (read my earlier blog about this), it can be really hard both emotionally and practically.

Luckily, I’m resilient and generally a positive person. Also, I often do win contracts! I don’t beat myself up too much and try to focus on my successes rather than my failures. If feedback is given, I also try to learn from any shortcomings so that I can improve the next time around.

The restorative benefit of Herefordshire

If all else fails, a walk in the Herefordshire countryside or a chat with my partner or a close friend soon perks me up. (Of course, being self-employed I am at liberty to do this whenever I want!)

I would love to hear your tips on how you motivate yourself after a knock back. Please share below.

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