How The Self-Employed Can Stay Motivated During Challenging Times

Life is full of uncertainty and unexpected situations. And occasionally, these unforeseen events can shift your life in an unanticipated direction. For a small business owner, these changes can be even more dramatic, because our work, by nature, is always full of questionable opportunities, unsure situations, and frequent changes of course.

Yep, most business owners like stability in other areas of their lives specifically because there’s always a big question mark hanging over their work life – regardless of how much money they make!

Unfortunately, there’s no getting through life without a certain amount of challenge. So, how can a solo entrepreneur, freelancer, contractor, or small business owner balance life’s unexpected dilemmas while keeping it business as usual?

Well, I think it requires a disciplined focus on the rewards of self-employment and taking good care of yourself through the bumpy patches that inevitably happen from time to time.

Here’s what I do:

Change of Scenery
Sometimes, getting out for a lunch or drive alone is just what I need to clear my mind so that I can refocus on my work. I not so secretly like to go through the Taco Bell drive-thru and eat it in my car alone while listening to my music. Try it… It’s very therapeutic. The #1 combo with Dr. Pepper is my favorite.

Someone who isn’t connected to the particular problem in your life can provide a little relief when times are not so good. Look for those who ask lots of questions and who aren’t judgmental.

Nothing like a good run or swim to clear the brain. I always feel better after burning some calories. This is why I always lose pounds during tough times. I guess there’s an upside to turmoil!

Rejuvenated Interest in Business
Nothing makes you feel better than securing a new customer or getting praise for a job well done. Sometimes, burning the midnight oil for a few nights when things really suck can help shed new light on what your future holds

…And of Course, Music
Yes, I’m a big music lover. …And playing my favorite tunes can help me reconnect with myself and take my mind off of the crap that may be swirling around me.

My top 10 songs for making me feel happy

Everybody’s Talkin’ – Harry Nilsson
A perfectly written song about escaping the B.S. in life

Daybreak – Barry Manilow
A sickeningly sweet, upbeat song that will perk anyone up….

That’s Entertainment – The Jam
Wonderful lyrics that remind me that my life isn’t so bad.

Johnny Nash – I Can See Clearly Now
My favorite song when I was three, and I still love it!What’s There Not to Love about a Moog Synthesizer.

Popcorn – Hot Butter

Another Park – Another Sunday
Reminds me of being a kid in the Bay Area. Love this song.

Blue Rondo a la Turk – Dave Brubeck Quartet
A jazz classic that inspires me to be creative.

La Vie en Rose –  Edith Piaf, Louis Armstrong
Small business owners do need to see life through rose-colored glasses.

Fire – The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
An incredibly strange song that always makes me laugh and forget my problems.

Try a Little Tenderness

Hard to believe that this song was first recorded in 1932 by the Ray Noble Orchestra – Otis Redding’s version starts off slow and builds to such a crescendo that you’re ready to get back to work. When times are tough, do give yourself a little tenderness.


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2 responses to “How The Self-Employed Can Stay Motivated During Challenging Times

  1. Julie, great post. As a small business owner, I can definitely relate. I’m going to download those songs to my iPhone!

    • Hey Mike:

      Thanks for the comments. I love seeing your pix that you’ve been posting. Your photography is really incredible! Hope Sally and Aaron are well. We miss you guys!!

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