You started your ecommerce business out of passion. But what happens when that passion is temporarily misplaced? How do you get it back?
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For ecommerce professionals who have to wear all the hats, burnout is a real thing. Add to that the stress of COVID, a lot of people are at a crossroads.
Studies have shown that entrepreneurs are prone to burnout if they are “extremely passionate about work and more socially isolated, have limited safety nets, and operate in high uncertainty.”
In the absence of boredom, one would remain trapped in unfulfilling situations, and miss out on many emotionally, cognitively, and socially rewarding experiences. Boredom is both a warning that we are not doing what we want to be doing and a ‘push’ that motivates us to switch goals and projects.
It’s easy to forget the passion that made you pursue your business in the first place, here are some ways to reignite that creative, entrepreneurial spark.
In this article:
Monotony: it’s time to shake things up
Per the Eight Reasons Why We Get Bored, the first and foremost is linked to monotony of the mind. Dr. Shahram Heshmat explains, “Boredom is similar to mental fatigue and is caused by repetition and lack of interest in the details of our tasks (such as tasks that require continuous attention…). Any experience that is predictable and repetitive becomes boring. In general, too much of the same thing and too little stimulation can cause in its victim an absence of desire and a feeling of entrapment.”
- How is your work-life balance? Give yourself extra time off — you deserve it.
- Can you perform certain tasks differently? Change your routine and bust through the boredom of repetition.
One way to set a new routine is to theme your days: Mondays are for marketing, Tuesdays are for accounting, Wednesdays are for shipping/receiving, etc. Having different tasks daily can help break up the sameness that can sometimes take over.
The lesson here is that there isn’t one right way to shake things up for you and your business. You might end up trying a few things that don’t work before you find what makes sense for you. And that’s okay.
Novelty: adding new products or services
Maybe what you’re missing is the excitement of NEW.
Sometimes what we need to reignite our passion (for our business) is to create something new, like a new product or perhaps a new bundle. This can be a great way to bring back the initial excitement from when we first launched.
Take more risks in your business by trying new things, like special offers or events like live tutorials may be just what the entrepreneur doctor ordered. Create two offers and call us in the morning.
Entertainment: the right playlist for the job
Music is good for your health, improving both mood and memory while reducing stress and anxiety. Further studies have shown that background music has certain cognitive effects on adults, including increased productivity.
Music releases the dopamine in your brain, which helps transform your overall mood and behavior. That said, creating a playlist can be a great way to help stimulate the dopamine on a daily basis.
The trick is to find the music that suits the tasks at hand. Tiffany DaSilva, founder of Flowjo, has different playlists depending on the day’s schedule. “It’s all about layering for me. First, I put on Coffitivity because for some reason the sounds of people talking in a café really help me stay focused. Then, I usually play either Louisiana Swamp Blues or Afrobeats depending on the type of work I’m doing over it.”
Outsource: so you can focus on what you love
Sometimes, as entrepreneurs, we take on more than we should. And oftentimes, some of these daily tasks can easily be outsourced. Sure, it’s hard to let go but it’s often necessary because then we can get back to our passions.
Outsourcing doesn’t have to be a big, bad word. In fact, it often leads to business growth, as it did for the founders of Speak Skincare. Their tips? Vet your [outsourcing] options, provide direction, trust professionals and maximize your investment.
When looking to outsource certain jobs, consider your strengths and hire (experts) for your weaknesses. What tasks can be outsourced? Any and all tasks, like marketing, sales, accounting, inventory management and fulfillment, product photography, and everything in between.
Your why: go back to the beginning
As Simon Sinek famously says, “Start with why.”
Getting back to your “why,” the reason you started your business, can often reignite those feelings you had earlier on.
Flowjo’s DaSilva explains, “One of the biggest ways I keep things fresh in my business is usually taking a step back and ignoring what everyone else is doing. I try to connect with why I started the business to begin with and try to find my way back.”
If you need a why-refresher, make a list of all the reasons you started your business in the first place (make more money, do what you love, don’t report to anyone, work-life balance, create something new, innovate, stand-out, etc.).
Then, consider what you still love and what makes you less excited when you think about your business. What are your business goals for the next year? Three years? Five years? Looking forward to your successes can help reignite that passion.
And sometimes, putting a sticky note on your wall or laptop with your Why in black marker can help to remind you on a regular basis, like an affirmation.
Community: joining ecommerce groups
As entrepreneurs, we’re often left to our own devices, which can get lonely. Not having colleagues to bounce ideas off of, troubleshoot issues, or share wins brings its own set of challenges.
That’s why finding like-minded entrepreneurs, specifically ecommerce entrepreneurs, can be instrumental in your success. Not only can they act as peers but you might also find the mentor or coach you didn’t know you needed.
Surrounding yourself with people who get it can make all the difference in the world. Joining communities and groups can be helpful and help bring back some of that passion.
Here are some ecommerce groups you can join:
Self-care: A little self-care never hurt anyone
Self-care is the buzzword du jour. But it’s never been more relevant (or needed) than during a worldwide pandemic and quarantine.
Maybe you’re overworking or maybe you need a little pick-me-up, either way self-care is the remedy.
Dr. Matthew Glowiak, a clinical faculty member in Southern New Hampshire University’s master’s in clinical mental health counseling program, explains, “By taking some time out to engage in self-care, you may relieve the pressures of everyday life and reset yourself to get back to a healthy point where productivity is once again maximized.”
It’s important to remember that self-care is different for everyone, and there shouldn’t be any shame in what brings you peace. For some, that might be a bubble bath and some soothing jazz, while for others it can be lifting weights or running a marathon.
For Alexandre Naggar, founder of RSD Bikes, self-care means riding bikes (yes, plural) 3-5 times per week. “It’s good for the body and the mind,” he explains, as well as spending time with his wife and twin daughters.
Get your passion back
It happens to most entrepreneurs that you lose a bit (or a lot) of your passion at some point or another.
The trick is finding creative ways to bring that same passion back that fueled you to start your own business in the first place. Remember: what works for you, knowing that can be different than everyone else and that’s ok.