8 Simple Motivational Tips to Get Ahead in Business

When I started my first online business – self motivation was a bit of a problem. I hadn’t been someone who’d had problems meeting deadlines or getting work done in previous jobs when I was working for someone else – but with no clear deadlines in place for a lot of what I was going to do – it became harder. Self-motivation is one of the hardest things to master when it comes to setting up your own business – but if done right, it could help you take a step up to the next level.

If you’re looking to get motivated so you can make your business-life a success, hopefully these 8 simple tips will help you like they did me.

1. Do the hardest task first

A lot of people start small to build up momentum. While this can work, I found that I was often really just putting off the hardest, most important tasks. Do them first, then they won’t play on your mind for the rest of the week, and your other (easier) tasks should fall into place.

2. Find a dedicated workspace

It’s all very well working from home – but try not to work in front of the TV or in a room you use for loads of other things. That’s an in-built distraction factory you could do without. I actually started renting a little remote office-space in my local area. I didn’t use it all the time – but when I knew I needed to completely cut out distractions I’d work from there. It made it feel like I was going to work again, which I think gave me the will to act a bit more professionally and get more done.

3. Have a clear plan

Plans are important. If you know exactly what you’ve got to do that week – you’ll be able to stick to it much more easily. Don’t simply do tasks as and when they come – not only is it easier to forget things, it’s also easier to ignore important stuff.

Work through your plan in order, even if you don’t really feel like doing one of the tasks when you get to it. Doing it and not putting it off will actually make you feel better and increase confidence, making the next tasks even easier.

4. Take regular breaks

Working solid through the day isn’t a great idea. Give yourself a break to walk around and get a drink. Just make sure the break isn’t something like watching a bit of TV, where a few minutes could turn into a few hours of procrastination. Grabbing a bit of food and a drink is fine, but don’t use your breaks as an excuse to do something major that’s going to take more than 5-10 minutes. When you’ve built up a head of steam in your work, you don’t want to lose that because you’ve been doing something else for too long. But you also don’t want to burn-out through being too overworked.

5. Avoid distractions

This one kind of ties into a couple that we’ve already looked at – but distractions are bad news.

I used to take my laptop to the local coffee store and do some work there. While I thought the change of environment and extra caffeine was helping me – I was wrong. There was always something going on, something to look at, and something to interact with – and plenty of noise, too. Coffee shops might be fine when you’ve got a few light and easy tasks – but not if you’ve got serious work that needs doing. Leave them as a treat towards the end of the working week when you tie up some loose ends, rather than a regular thing.

If you’ve got a roommate – make sure they know when you’re working so they don’t disturb you. Switch the TV off, and avoid social media. If you use it for work, fine, but there’s a fine-line between productive social media marketing and an excuse to procrastinate. Don’t log-in to your personal accounts.

6. Hold yourself accountable

Tell people what you’re going to do so that they’ll hold you to it. Since you don’t have a boss – give yourself other people to make you accountable to.

7. Listen to music at the right time

You probably don’t want to be listening to music if you’ve got something important to think about. But if you’re on to your easier tasks and what to lighten the mood and give yourself a change of pace – some music could do the job. But don’t let the music become a distraction.

8. Meditate before you get started

5-10 minutes of light meditation at the beginning of the day really helped clear my mind from distractions and get me in a relaxed mood for working. I was no meditation expert – I just looked up a couple of newbie guides online – but it helped get my head in the right space for work and it’s something I continue to use regularly. Give it a try for a week or two, even if it’s not something you’d normally go in for.


About the author

These tips were by Keith Elton. Keith has years of experience in the business world and enjoys sharing his motivation tips with those new to the industry. He also recommends looking up some motivational quotes online if you’re looking for even more inspiration.

Seven Solutions to Common Problems Freelance Professionals Face

The problems that a freelance professional could face are seemingly limitless. From clients who just can’t pay on time to competing with better established firms that are able to undercut your rates, there’s ostensibly no end of problems that affect freelancers.

Businessman silhouette

So why do we do it, i.e. work freelance? For the freedom, for the work-life balance it (supposedly) provides us with and amongst other things, the opportunity to work on projects we enjoy.

Here are seven common problems that freelancers often face and (hopefully) seven viable solutions.

1. You can’t find enough clients to keep your head above water.

This is a common problem many freelancers face and not only when starting out.
There are a number of websites for freelancers to promote themselves and their services on, though don’t limit yourself to one or two, make the most of the abundance of these websites by promoting yourself on as many as you need to, and more importantly, as many as you can manage.

2. Your clients aren’t paying on time (or at all)

This is frustrating and often takes its toll on freelancers’ cash flow. One way to deal with this problem is to ask for a small up-front deposit though bear in mind that this could make your services unappealing to potential clients. This common problem can also be addressed with proper client communication that clearly outlines expected timescales, payment times, etc.

3. Your clients are in different time zones

This is one of the joys of working as a freelancer, i.e. connecting with clients the world over, but it can also be a source of frustration. In addition to proper client communication to the effect that you aren’t rising at 4am for a VoIP meeting, a mutual compromise regarding time zone management is in order. Some freelancers avoid incurring this problem altogether by limiting their clients to manageable time zones.

4. You have to work with different currencies

You can generally expect to have to work with different currencies if you have clients from all four corners of the globe. Currency fluctuations can really harm your bottom line so keep an eye out for currency fluctuations, or alternatively, work in a base currency, e.g. US dollars or the Euro.

5. You’re worried about taxation issues

Taxation is something that we all have to deal with and it’s important to keep your taxation responsibilities under control. Two of your best options here are to work with (for) an umbrella company like GiniWealth or get yourself a good accountant, one with ample experience working with freelancers.

6. You’re experiencing cash flow problems

As a freelancer you’ll generally find that you don’t have the same cash flow options that established businesses do like invoice discounting and factoring. Keeping your personal and business finances distinctly separate is an excellent way of dealing with this, for example paying yourself a small wage and then working out your business finances at convenient times of the year.

7. You find it difficult to enjoy a good work-life balance

A more attractive work-life balance is a prominent reason for freelancing so as to enjoy more time at home with the family, though things have a tendency to work out differently at times. Break up your day with exercise, lunches out, the occasional afternoon (or day) at a local co-working space and set a time to finish work. Many freelancers find that although they have to get up early on occasion it sure beats working into the night and missing out on dinner with the family. Working freelance should be rewarding – Keep it that way.

About the Author:
A London-based company, GiniWealth offers a range of employment solutions including tax efficiency, legal assistance, and tools that help contractors maximise their wealth and expertly plan their future.