Staying Motivated Running a Virtual Business

I've been self employed most of my life and once in a while, I hit the motivational pit. Lack of motivation was easier to combat when I ran a business with customers. Being accountable for my actions drove me to get up early in the morning and commit my end of the bargain.

However, running websites and publishing premium content is an entirely different animal. I've been doing it full time for almost 4 years now and while we're making a decent living out of it, my motivational juice has dried up. It has nothing to do with lack of passion. I truly love what I do and would not trade it with any other job. It is tougher to maintain a routine when you have no customers because sometimes they can be hell to deal with and that is enough to keep you alert. I also think contentment plays a role in ones waning motivation in business. I've been happier in the last 8-9 months and not only did that bleed my motivation, it also packed a few pounds around my waist and thighs.

I wrote this post to share what I did in the last couple months to reverse the trend and revive some of my motivation back.

1. Create a to do list DAILY and be accountable for every item. Aaron does a good job with this and it rubbed off on me.

2. Have variety with work duties - Lately, I've been doing a lot of offline marketing and it's absolutely awesome because I'm not as tied in front of the computer.

3. Associate with like minded people - It's better if they're more successful than you :) A few months back, Aaron and I met up with Andrew Frame of the Ooma fame. His entrepreneurial energy was contagious and his product, disruptive. I guess I'm extra fascinated with his company because they now carry Ooma at Costco's a tangible product. Andrew is a forum member and it made me proud to see a lot of high caliber minds at our forum.

4. Reward yourself - Only after you've completed the tasks in the to-do list. You will also realize that completing the tasks is already a reward in itself. Fulfillment can be addicting and soon, you will back on track with your motivation.

Published: July 9, 2009 by Giovanna in business


July 16, 2009 - 5:50pm

interesting post giovanna (i looked at your profile and incidentally, we have the same birthday). i recently ran into a similar problem and started creating my to-do-list on a nice moleskin journal (5.25 x 8.25) - it works great and has a nice bookmark as well). it's awesome because sometimes to do more than you think and a lot of times, less than you think. the checklist keeps you accountable.

while i know you and aaron are passionate about seo, please don't ever stop what you're doing (seobook). it's been invaluable to my business (and personal) development. i'm sure many more people will concur.

i'm still green in the whole internet marketing, but look forward to learning more and actually start to contribute on the forums.

July 17, 2009 - 1:21am

Hi Giovanna,

Nice one. It's defintely a worthy topic, and something people need to take into consideration. I like your point about variety, I think it's also very important to feel fulfilled in your work also.

I'm only guessing here but I imagine a lot of people that make a living solely from virtual business' would find it easy to spend a lot of time at home and would need to make more of a concious effort to get out - seeing as they're not forced too by a job :p

Add new comment

(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.