When you’re running a business, sometimes you may feel a bit out of touch with your vision and goals. It’s normal to feel like this at some point in our careers. Everyone has eventually felt tired or demotivated.
Don’t panic! This is the time to step back and see why we feel the way we do and to review what we did in the past that kept us motivated about our businesses.
I’m obsessed with analyzing and planning everything. And yes, motivation is something that can be planned. So, let’s look at some of the ways we can rediscover our motivation.
Why Do You Do What You Do?
For me, this seems like the best first step toward rediscovering your motivation. Before setting up your business or working on your first project, you must know why you do what you do.
Everyone in business out there knows what they do. Some of them have even thought about how they do what they do. However, how many of you have ever thought about why you do what you do?
In my case, I know that I offer translation, interpreting, and copywriting services. I do this by focusing on my clients’ needs and specializing in business, law, finance, and marketing. However, why am I doing all this?
This is a question I asked myself a few years ago when I was starting up. I turned the answer to this question into my unique selling proposition and published it on my website so as not to forget what I’m working for:
“I am aware of how languages can influence professional environments. Honing communication between two cultures has become crucial in today’s globalized world. And that is what I do by means of my translation and interpreting services. Small and medium enterprises and individuals are now able to overcome cultural and linguistic barriers to spread their message and make a big impact on an international scale.”
My passion was (and still is) helping businesses to expand in other marketplaces.
If you’re interested in this business approach, I can’t recommend author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek’s TED Talk, “Start with Why,” highly enough.1
Why Do I Need to Find my Passion in Business?
When you are starting your own business, be aware that there are probably already businesses out there that are doing the same thing you want to do, and many of them are most likely doing it better. However, you probably don’t share the same passion with them. That’s something that makes you unique and stand out from the crowd. Here are some of my objectives that help drive my passion to help my clients, and my business, succeed.
- To work with people that believe in what you believe. A few years ago, I decided to stop bidding for translation/interpreting assignments. (I’m sure that all translators and interpreters who are reading this know that bidding is a very common way of doing business in the industry.)
- To build a loyal community. When a business is looking to hire a freelancer, they also look for people who share the same views. When the vision of two businesses connect, you’ll be more likely to gain a loyal client who will rely on you for his or her assignments.
- To split up your passion into small goals and create an action plan. This is where my obsession for planning everything comes in handy. When you’re sure about your passion in business, you know where you want to be. Now, we’ll have to analyze how we want to get there. You can start asking yourself the following questions:
Some people may think that I’m closing doors to new business opportunities and even losing money. However, people who post jobs for translators to bid on probably don’t share my business objectives. Some probably look for the cheapest translators out there. Fair enough, if that’s what they want. However, all my clients care about is quality for their businesses. They know that by hiring me, their assignments will be focused on the success of their businesses, because that’s my passion and I make sure they know it.
- Where do you see yourself in six months?
- Where do you see yourself in one year?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
Each answer can be split up into monthly goals, and all these goals can be divided into weekly goals. By doing this you’ll be ready to implement an action plan that’s manageable.
What about you? What’s your passion in business? How do you keep being motivated with your business? I’d love to hear from you.
- Watch Simon Sinek’s TED Talk, “Start with Why,” here: http://bit.ly/Sinek-Tedtalk.
David Miralles Pérez is a sworn translator and interpreter in Edinburgh, Scotland. He provides translation, interpreting, transcreation, editing, and proofreading services. He specializes in law, economics, business, and marketing. You can find his blog at http://circalingua.com. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Business Practices will alternate in this space with “The Entrepreneurial Linguist.” This column is not intended to constitute legal, financial, or other business advice. Each individual or company should make its own independent business decisions and consult its own legal, financial, or other advisors as appropriate. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of ATA or its Board of Directors.