Tea with the Queen

Strategies to help you with a lack of motivation



Let’s face it, running a small business is tough. There are days when the endless to-do list feels overwhelming, and there is a distinct lack of motivation.

I’ve spoken to many small business owners recently feeling this exact way. Words like “lacking motivation” and “no mojo” are all too common.

But here’s the good news: you’re not alone! Even the most successful entrepreneurs experience dips in motivation. The key is understanding why you’re feeling this way and having some strategies to get your spark back.

Self-reflection is Key

The first step is to identify the root cause of your lack of motivation. Grab a cup of tea and ask yourself some key questions:

  • What energises you? When do you feel most alive and engaged in your work? Is it client interaction, strategising, or a specific task?
  • When are you in flow? This is that state where time seems to fly by and you’re completely absorbed in the activity.
  • Are you bored or burnt out? Honesty is key here. Identifying the culprit can help you course-correct.

Motivation Isn’t Always There

Remember, motivation is like showering – you can’t rely on a once-a-week approach. Here’s the secret: action often precedes motivation.

Feeling stuck in the morning? Start with one small task. Just get yourself moving, and you might surprise yourself by accomplishing more.

What Drains Your Mojo?

For me, I’ve discovered that mojo depletion often comes from three main culprits:

  • Working too many hours: When my schedule explodes, I have to prioritise tasks and conserve energy for what truly matters.
  • Family time neglect: Feeling disconnected from loved ones zaps my motivation. Striking a healthy balance is crucial.
  • No “me” time: Introverts like myself need solitude to recharge. Scheduling time for walks, reading, or quiet reflection fuels my well-being.

Five Ways to Reignite Your Mojo

  • Physical Activity & Self-Care: Make a commitment to activities that nourish your body and mind. Whether it’s a daily walk or a regular massage, prioritise self-care.
  • Embrace Creativity: Schedule time for creative outlets, even if it’s just a few minutes. Painting, writing, or even a crossword puzzle can spark inspiration. Lego is my go-to creative outlet and I always feel so happy afterwards.
  • Connect with Biz Friends: Surround yourself with supportive people. Networking with other business owners or simply catching up with a business bestie can remind you that you’re not alone.
  • Mindfulness & Meditation: Taking a few minutes to meditate can work wonders. There are many guided meditations available online, perfect for beginners. I personally use Insight Timer.
  • Change Your Scenery: Sometimes a simple change of environment can work wonders. Work from a coffee shop, take a long drive, or try a co-working space to get out of your normal setting.

Remember, resurfacing from a lack of motivation is an ongoing process. Experiment with these tips and find what works best for you. 



For a copy of Emma’s book, ‘Go-getter: Raise your mojo, shift your mindset and thrive’ – https://www.emmamcqueen.com.au/book/

Read The Full Transcript

[00:00:00] Emma: I have had a lot of conversations lately with small business owners who are really struggling. Words like I'm lacking motivation. I don't have any mojo. I don't think I've got this business thing in me. Those type of words are being shared and it's hard. It's hard when we feel a lack of motivation, a true lack of motivation.
[00:00:22] There's a lot of terrible news out there at the moment. And we're listening to that and we're absorbing all that. And so it's hard to stay buoyed and motivated all the time. Even I sometimes struggle with motivation. I know that might surprise you. I'm just saying sometimes I have to work at how to bring my mojo back.
[00:00:41] Okay. And so that's what I want to talk to you about today. How do you bring your mojo back? I think one of the things is about self reflection, asking yourself a couple of questions, grab a pen, grab a piece of paper, grab a cuppa. I always say grab a cuppa and sit down and answer these questions for me.
[00:01:00] If you're feeling like you're lacking a little bit of mojo, let's do a bit of digging to find out what's happening for you. The first question I want you to ask yourself is When do you feel the most energised? What are you doing in the moment that you feel the most energized? For me, I feel energized when I'm talking to clients.
[00:01:20] I feel energized when I'm delivering coaching. I feel energized when I'm in front of a room talking to people about some of the things they can do to increase revenue in their business. That makes me energized. I have to do a lot of that. the next question to ask yourself is When do you feel in flow?
[00:01:37] It's a slightly different tweak on the first question. So we first asked, when do you feel most energized? So I want you to pinpoint the actual activities of that. And then when do you feel in flow? For me, I feel in flow first thing in the morning when I'm creating, before I'm consuming anything, when I'm writing, when the time speeds up and [00:02:00] I look up and an hour later I'm done.
[00:02:01] What does that look like for you? And then my final question is, How can you do more of that? How can you build more of that into your day? The other question I would ask is, Are you feeling bored? Genuinely asking yourself, am I feeling bored, is a great question to ask. Am I feeling burnt out? Another great question.
[00:02:25] And just think about what does my gut say when I'm asking myself those questions. Here's the thing. Motivation comes and goes. It's kind of like showering. You can't shower once a week and say, yeah, I've done that. That's good. You'll get stinky. Same as motivation. Motivation comes and goes. You can't rely on motivation necessarily to start you.
[00:02:48] And you can't rely on motivation to keep you going. I think motivation actually comes when you start doing things. So some of my clients have trouble with their motivation levels first thing in the morning. So I ask them just to do one thing, just sit down at the desk, figure out what the one thing is, but get clear on the one thing and then do that thing.
[00:03:07] If they want to get up after that and go for a walk or do whatever they need to do. Awesome. But the chances are they sit there for a bit longer and get a few more things ticked off. So if you're struggling with motivation, don't worry about it. Just walk into your office, do the one thing, see how you feel.
[00:03:24] And then do the next one thing. Easy, hey? Sounds easy, I realise that. For me, when I lose my mojo or my mojo isn't quite there, there's a couple of reasons for that. The first reason is normally, I've worked too many hours. So, my diary is like a Tetris game. Serena manages it very well. So, And sometimes we have to do some trade offs.
[00:03:49] So I've recently had a little bit of time off and we knew that we had to jam the diary. And so on those weeks where my diary is jammed, I really need to [00:04:00] have a look at how much energy I've got and conserve my energy for the work that I need to do. But I know when I feel like I have no motivation or no mojo in the tank that I've worked too many hours.
[00:04:12] I also know when I haven't spent enough time with my family, when they're asking for things of me and I'm getting annoyed or I'm feeling guilty about that. I know I don't have much mojo left and much motivation left, but I also know that they're not getting the very best of me either. And then finally, one of the things where I know I've lost mojo is because I haven't had any time to myself.
[00:04:36] I'm an introvert. I get energy from spending time on my own, whether that's walking or reading or listening to a podcast or listening to some music or just sitting quietly. We all have those busy weeks where you just don't feel like your feet touch the ground at all. And so I know, If I'm lacking some mojo, one of those three things has happened.
[00:04:57] I've worked too many hours. I haven't spent enough time with my family or I haven't had any time to myself. What about you? Do you know when you lose your mojo, do you know why? What's the cause and what's the effect of no motivation or no mojo?
[00:05:15] So once you kind of get that sorted, you can go, ah, right. So I need to dial those things up or down, depending on what it is that you need to do. Very practical. I also have five things that I wanted to talk to you about around how we might get our mojo back. So yes, you can come into your office and do the one thing.
[00:05:31] That's awesome. But there are a couple of other things that you can do. The first thing for me is physical activity or self care. So I try and walk 20, 000 steps a day and I try and do eight of them before breakfast. If I miss that, I'm grumpy and I lose my mojo. So physical activity is very important to me.
[00:05:50] For you, it might be self care. For you, it might be a weekly massage. It might be getting your nails done. What is the thing that you can do to take care of yourself [00:06:00] in a physical way? The next thing is something creative. It could be painting for you. It could be writing. It could be glassblowing. It could be Lego.
[00:06:10] Lego is for me, absolutely. That's my creative outlet. What's your creative outlet? I suspect you might say, I don't have time for creative outlets. Well, you know what? We actually need to create some time for creative outlets. Because all business and all grumpy is no fun. You work out what you love doing Is it a Sudoku? Is it Wordle? Is it, a crossword? What are the things that are creative for you that will just give you a little bit of spark? And then we need to talk about how you You spend your time socially. When things are tough in business, where do you go? Who are you talking to about it? Are you meeting up with a business bestie?
[00:06:50] Are you networking? Are you getting out and about to realize you're not alone? Business is tough at the moment. That's just how it is, but we got to keep going, right? We got to keep going. And so sometimes to get our mojo back, it really helps to hear how other people are faring, how other people are dealing with.
[00:07:09] lack of motivation, lack of business, etc, etc. So that you just feel less alone. my favorite is about mindfulness and meditation. So I have been a meditator for a lot of years now. And if I don't do meditation in the morning, I kind of feel a bit ripped off. Like that's my me time. And so what we want to do if we're lacking motivation is take some time just to be mindful and just to meditate.
[00:07:34] I usually use a called insight timer and Sarah Blondin is my choice. If you want to do some smaller meditations, she does them ranging from 5 minutes to 10 minutes. Perfect for a beginner and perfect if you just want a nice soothing voice in your head. And then my final tip is get out. Change of scenery always helps.
[00:07:56] I work from home a lot so I don't get out a lot so I have to [00:08:00] push myself to get out and about. I go to a coffee shop to review my socials. If I've got a big decision I need to make, or I just feel like I need to get some perspective, I go for a long drive. Uh, if I need to catch up with some business buddies to find out what's going on in their world, I do coworking.
[00:08:18] It's just about getting out of your head and finding some new inspiration. So how do you get your mojo back? Hopefully some of these tips have helped. I would love to hear if you use any of them and if they work.