Pep-Talking Yourself When You Only Hear an Echo
Everyone faces it. That day when nothing goes right. That week when nothing goes right. We've both had
when nothing seemed to go right. And we're not kidding.
When you work in an office with coworkers around, you can walk into the
and gripe. You might toss a few martinis back at happy
and commiserate. Better yet, you might be each other's support and cheering section. But what do you do when the only voice you hear is your own?
Here are some surefire ways to get and stay motivated in the home office,
when those tough times come calling:
Create an off-site support system. We're not suggesting that you
all day on the telephone crying in your cups to your best friend, but most of us do have support out there. The hardest part is
for support. Rather than wait until you feel really desperate over a weak month of sales or a client who just dropped you, figure out where you're going to
for positive support before you even make the move into the home office, and reach out via e-mail or phone, or a
meeting, when you need a pick-me-up, and do the same in return.
If you feel inspired by motivational
, invest in some tapes/CDs or
them from the library. We don't feel we have to recommend any
”you know all the biggies and plenty of
stars below them. The point is more that the speaker should speak to
Some people swear by motivational resources, and some can't stand them. If you are one who likes tapes and CDs, you may even consider having a motivational "home page" when you boot up on the Internet. Plenty of them out there will start you off each day with a compelling quote like this one from Ralph Waldo Emerson: "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
Find out about people who overcame great odds and succeeded. If you're an avid reader, biographies and autobiographies by and about people like Lance Armstrong, Abraham Lincoln, Amelia Earhardt, Gloria Steinham, Martin Luther King, Jr., and business successes like Bill Gates should get you
Break down all problems into manageable
a cash crunch or a "difficult" client, try to face each problem as an individual one and not compound it all into one great big heaping pile of manure. (We wanted to use another word but our editor wouldn't let us.)
Set goals you can complete and feel good about each day. Few people starting out selling life insurance, for example, are going to sell 5 million dollars in policies their first day. Few
representatives are going to
the "white wall" of nurses and support staff that may stand between them and breaking
a new account first day out of the gate. Sure, it happens. But set some reasonable goals for yourself so each day you feel a sense of accomplishment. For example, don't say, "I will land five new accounts," but "I will contact five new people and land one account."
In light of the previous point, spend some time assessing what makes you tick. Do you like To-Do lists so you can get that thrill of
things off it? (We admit we're both addicted to this!) Do you seem to thrive on setting very high goals for yourself? Do you find you seem to deliberately leave things to the last minute so you can work under pressure? If you really want to learn what motivates you, plug in "personality tests" on a search engine. Our search on Netscape revealed 45,000+ entries. Visiting sites showed tests to determine everything from the best career for you to how to motivate yourself. Most of the tests were free, though some companies sell them as human resources tools. In any case, if motivating yourself is something you're interested in, these tests just might tell you more about your strengths and weaknesses.
If you find your personality (from a test or you just know this about yourself) isn't well-suited to spending huge
of time alone, join the Chamber of Commerce or other organizations so you get out from time to time with peers (and it's a good networking opportunity too). Many careers offer organizations from writer's
to accounting associations. If you live near a major city and went to a university or college with active alumni associations throughout the country, you can go to events with alumni who are usually only too happy to network with people from their old "stomping grounds."
Use imagery to focus on what you hope to accomplish. Positive imagery is a technique used by people on sports
like the Chicago Bulls and LA Lakers to top sales reps and motivational speakers. If it works for them, visualizing success may work for you, too. If you use imagery or its cousin, written affirmations, remember to frame things in the present tense or to use imagery that isn't about what you
do but what you
For example, "I have more than enough time and energy to make my sales quota today," not "I would like to have enough time " If you want to learn more about these techniques, pop in "positive thinking" on an Internet search and go crazy. Similar to buying CDs and tapes of motivational speakers, some of the books/tapes/
/CDs on imagery and affirmations will speak to you, and some will not. The choice is deeply personal and will likely be based on your spiritual beliefs, as well as beliefs about the power of positive thinking.
Remember, always, why you decided to work from home. Was it to find a bit of quality time with your family? To cut down on a grueling commute? To create a business of your own? Whatever the reason, tape it to your forehead, put it on a Post-it
. Remember it on those days when the work at home routine has got you down.
Always remember: Even on your worst day, you only had to commute 60 seconds. Turn on the TV at rush hour and watch all those
lined up in a traffic jam as the anchors flip over to the traffic report. Listen to the traffic reporters on the radio. You walked down the hall. Case closed.