In the process of reaching success with your business, it’s normal that business owners experience a slump in their progress. The reasons for this can range from a lack of manpower, funding, resources, or opportunities, but there are instances when growth and development come to a halt even when these factors are addressed. Simply put, there is a lack of motivation to move forward.

Lack of motivation or inspiration to achieve progress is rooted in a simple problem: you’ve forgotten the reason why you started in the first place.

Before you ventured into owning or running a business, you had a clear goal of why you wanted to own one. There was a vital reason behind the decision to run a business – whether it was to be a self-sustaining entrepreneur, provide services to others, etc.

This goal is what kept you motivated to run the race because you were trying to achieve something. But if you’re not going anywhere despite the most obvious factors not hampering you down, maybe it’s time to remember why you started.

What Makes Us Forget

When we have goals, it’s easy to keep to them when the whole playing field is clear and it’s the only thing that we see. It’s like looking at an open field and seeing only one object – our focus is on it, and there are no obstacles in our way of getting to our goals.

But as we move forward, we start to see all the little nuances, the little problems, and they become bigger and bigger as the road gets tougher. Suddenly there’s a boulder in our way that we have to circle around. Suddenly there’s a river that we need to cross using a hole-ridden boat that we need to repair. Suddenly there’s a mountain we need to hike through.

In a more realistic scenario, you could encounter any of these problems – sometimes even multiples – that make you forget what it was that you were aiming for in the first place:

  • You or people close to you could get hurt, sick, or even both.
  • You start being troubled by all the little things, the little details, that you start missing the bigger picture.
  • You could be tempted by things that you don’t necessarily need in life, like vices and addictions. Cigarettes, alcohol, unhealthy relationships, junk food, excessive spending, etc.
  • You find yourself being sabotaged by people that want to hinder your and your business’ progress, and you are affected by it.
  • You could be too tired, too broke, or too beaten up by the problems in your life.
  • You allow yourself to be ruled by your fears and insecurities – refusing to step outside of your comfort zone and get your hands dirty for fear that you won’t make it.

What can you do when you’re bombarded with these problems? What can you do when you forget?

Ask Yourself the Most Important Question

In the novel Alice in Wonderland, the Cheshire Cat asks the titular character Alice where she intends to go, and when she tells it that she just wants to go somewhere, it tells her that, if she doesn’t care where she’s going, then any road will take her there.

This is the principle of knowing where you’re going by knowing why you’re going there. You want to be successful, but why do you want to be successful? Not knowing why makes you ignorant of what you need to do to get there. Anyway, any road is fine if you get there when you don’t know where and why you’re going somewhere.

Ask yourself the most important question: Why? Why did you start on this path to achieve your goal?

Answer this question with as much insight on your goals as possible. Something that says “I want my business to succeed because I want to be rich,” is not enough – it has to come from somewhere much more personal, much more empowering.

“I want my business to succeed because I want to provide my current and future customers with the best product or service that I believe they deserve, helping them alleviate their lives in a specific way.”

A stronger answer to the question of “Why?” gives you more motivation, more conviction in the reason why you started down this path because it paints a bigger picture of your goals, making it easier for you to see it despite the obstacles blocking your view.

Remembering why you started gives you the motivation to push through despite the difficulties you encounter along the way. Your business may face hardships – lack of manpower, competition getting ahead of you because you’re not yet technologically-updated, etc. – but the reason why you started on this path in the first place will help you put yourself in the mindset that will propel you to the solution to your problems. It guides you through the obstacles to see the answers.

When you know why you’re going after something, you know what you need to do to get there.

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Garret Norris

Garret is the founder and CEO of Business Coaches Sydney and through his company, remains dedicated as ever to use his training and real life business experience to meet his passion to see business succeed through disciplined management, creative marketing and committed client service.