5 Steps to Make Yourself Happy, Get What You Want and Stay Motivated

In several of my online communities this week, we’ve been discussing how hard it can be to stay motivated when you’re not meeting your goals, or when you’re feeling down or in a funk. And with summer coming soon, we mom entrepreneurs need plans to help us keep focused and on track through the summer months when chaos with kids reigns.

After giving it some thought, I’ve come up with five simple ways for mom business owners to keep happy and motivated.

Stop comparing yourself to others.

Comparing yourself to others doesn’t make you better and won’t help you achieve your goals. In fact, it most often causes us to feel inadequate and more like a failure, since we’re focusing on our fears while admiring someone else’s top achievements. Not a healthy plan for happiness. Your job is to evaluate your priorities, set your goals according to those priorities, and take action on those goals. Who knows what goals those other folks have?

Remember, too, that whatever you believe is true. So if you believe you’re not good enough, smart enough, thin enough, rich enough, experienced enough, etc., you will go searching around until you find “proof” that your belief is true. When you compare yourself to others, you’re usually trying to prove some limiting self-belief that you actually need to kick to the curb.

Stop trying to do what everyone else thinks you should do.

Everyone you know, whether you ask them for it or not, probably has an opinion about you, your house, your life, your kids, your work, etc. So what? Those opinions aren’t nearly as important as your own determination of your priorities. Of course, it is completely normal to want others to validate what you feel. I get it. But the real judge is you. Trust yourself and act according to your own priorities and goals. As others see you doing that, they will likely admire you for doing just that. Hey–I do! 🙂

Clean up the company you keep.

Do your friends, family and the people you see and talk to on a regular basis make you feel good about yourself? Do they respect your goals and honor your priorities and boundaries? If not, it’s time to do some clean up work in your community. Surround yourself with people who support you, believe in you, want to see you achieve success on your own terms. Stop letting the energy vampires and nay-sayers have any of your time. They don’t deserve it if they’re more interested in you following their agenda than supporting you in following your own.

Try something new.

I love this quote from Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” If you’re stuck in a rut, feeling drained, unable to focus, it may be that you just need to shake things up a bit, either in business or in life. Think about your kids: it’s amazing how proud they feel when they try and accomplish something new, isn’t it? When was the last time you did the same? The jolt of confidence in learning to dance, play the piano, shooting a video, or starting a blog can be totally invigorating in several areas of your life.

Take time to enjoy the present.

As they say, “The present is a gift.” I’ve coached so many women whose entire focus has been on how they’ve done things in the past. Ask them how things are going and they’ll tell you: “Well, it’s better than last year, when we . . .” Or when brainstorming a new business plan or marketing strategy with them, they’ll consistently refer to the way they have always done things. Other mompreneurs I coach are totally focused on what is going to happen in the future. Everything to them revolves around “the next–the next time, the next customer, the next opportunity. While it’s great to learn from the past and to use it as a benchmark, and it’s necessary to look forward and envision the future we want, it’s a crime to miss out on the present. There’s a reason gratitude journals are so popular. Start keeping one so you can intentionally enjoy where you are today, wherever that may be.

Do you have a favorite tip for being happy or staying motivated? I’d love to hear it in the comments below.

Photo credit: Lindsay Holmes via Etsy
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Amazing kids

About a month ago I was invited to speak to a group of “at-risk” high school students in the metro Detroit area. These students had elected to be part of a summer-study course to learn about Global Trade Markets, and ultimately, to learn what it takes to get a job in today’s global economy.

I was floored when I met these students–mostly minorities of one sort or another, with bonus points for unconventional hairstyles, clothes, piercings and tattoos.

But their appearance wasn’t what surprised me. They were doing the work of entrepreneurs in this four-week long seminar, looking for problems and creatively collaborating to engineer money-making solutions. They were studying the cultures of our overseas neighbors to better understand the challenges and pitfalls that could occur when doing business in a global model. They were taking ownership of their model “companies” and doing what it took to get their ideas to work. These kids were motivated, creative, ambitious, willing to learn and dedicated.

All this while living in a home where important basics were missing: one or more parents, proper supervision, love, a healthy, safe environment, the list goes on…

I challenged them in my presentation to take the entrepreneurial strategies and skills they were using to create global businesses and apply them to their lives. I asked them to consider themselves CEO of a company called Your Life, Inc. As they were getting ready to finish school and begin calling the shots in their lives (where currently many of them were surviving circumstances no one should have to), this challenge shook them up a bit.

They had already demonstrated to themselves that they could do everything it took to give a company a successful vision, to figure out their biggest obstacles and create a plan to overcome them, and to keep themselves focused on their end goals until they reached them. So what would keep them from doing the same to accomplish their own dreams?

The students were very engaged, asking questions, offering examples, sharing their ideas. I was totally inspired by their openness and willingness to take responsibility for their lives and go after what they believed in. I would love to teach this concept/strategy to other high school students so they walk out of school and into the world with the knowledge and power to achieve their goals.

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Thinking of starting a home-based business? Careful…

If you’ve been entertaining this thought, chances are you’ve met various women who sell Arbonne, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Creative Memories, to name a few home-based businesses targeted at SAHMs. These are all great businesses–I personally know and/or have coached women in these kinds of direct sales businesses who love their work. But is direct sales for you?

There are as many possibilities for self-employment as you can imagine. But to start with, what compels you to want to work? Is it something you need to do, want to do, feel you should do, or a combination? And what do you need from your work–flexibility, time off, high income potential, low investment, security, working by yourself or as part of a team…?

You can sign up for any of a huge number of home-based businesses geared towards SAHMs, but if you want to be happy, satisfied, and successful, you should probably start by figuring out what it is you want. Not just what job you want, but what that job would get you, such as: a break from mommyhood, some spending money, an outlet for your creativity or self-expression, the opportunity to contribute to the family, some adult interaction, financial security, etc.

Once you know what you want (i.e., what motivates you), it will narrow down your choices and help you choose a business that meets your conditions of satisfaction. I would make sure that the work you choose to do fits in with your family values and supports your commitments to your spouse/significant other. Otherwise, you could create some issues in a part of your life that might not already exist.

Are you a consultant for one of the above-mentioned direct sales companies? If so, please tell us a little about yourself and why you love/don’t love your job. It would help to understand what motivated you to start your business and whether it is meeting your expectations now.

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