Strategy

12 tips to stave off boredom while running a business

“Your business will always be exciting, if you let it be.”

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Building a business is one of the most exciting efforts you can take in life. Failure comes with economic dangers (although it’s also a learning opportunity). Success, on the other hand, allows entrepreneurs to determine the type of work they want to do and the products and services they want to sell. The sky’s the limit.

But what does success actually look like? In some cases … boredom. After all, entrepreneurs put in years of hard work to get the business to a place where it can run itself or a competent staff can sustain it. What’s the role of a founder then? Inverse reached out to 12 entrepreneurs to ask how they deal with business boredom.

12. Alex Willen, founder of Cooper's Treats

“I tend to immerse myself in new things too much, to the point where I'm thinking about them constantly. Then, after a few weeks, I get bored and move onto something else. To avoid that boredom, I've been limiting the amount of time I allow myself to spend on Cooper's Treats. I only let myself work four days a week for six hours a day maximum. That's really kept my enthusiasm going. Cooper's Treats is always in the back of my mind, so I'm really excited when I get to spend time on it. It also really helps me to prioritize and not just make unnecessary changes for the sake of it. When I know I can only spend a limited amount of time each day, I do the stuff that matters as opposed to the things that are fun or easy.”

11. Rorie Devine, founder and CEO, Gro.Team

“Your business will always be exciting, if you let it be. Having new challenges each month is what keeps it fresh to the regular office job. Because we get to work with clients, no two are ever the same, meaning that the work does not get boring. On a personal level, I always strive to do something different each month. While working remotely, I have been teaching myself how to play guitar. While it does not help the company directly, it allows for me to work on my discipline and patience. I have also done online classes to learn more around business and how I can be a better boss. You can always better yourself.”

“Take a step back and find something to do just because you enjoy it.”

10. Casey Halloran, co-founder and CEO, Costa Rican Vacations

“Invariably, there will be some degree of boredom after a business starts to work well. To keep things interesting, I try to see it as a game that requires setting new rules and goals. For a few years that meant doggedly pursuing profit. Then I set goals for customer loyalty. Later, that meant more community impact. Recently, I set goals for helping teammates advance their careers. Last but not least, now in my 40s, I have goals for the business to help me enjoy quality time with my family. I've had a few ‘mid-business-life crises’ that required me to step back and pursue other angles to remain creatively stimulated. My ‘time in the woods’ offered me a new perspective and appreciation for my original business. It's important for founding entrepreneurs to understand that boredom is a normal part of the owner lifecycle and to embrace it.”

9. Glen Wilde, CEO and founder of Diet to Success

“To stay motivated, I recommend giving yourself room to pursue other interests. This can be hobbies that you pursue purely for pleasure or other business-related projects. For me, I'm a seasoned and avid traveler, having been to over 80 countries and counting. A change of scenery and other activities, such as charity work, keeps me motivated at maintaining my business; it reminds me that I have a life outside that business. It's not necessary to travel the world like I frequently do. Just have some form of passion outside of work. For some people, maybe that's spending more time with family or maintaining a blog for your hobby. Here's a good barometer: How much does work make up your life? If you say 80 percent or more, then it's only a matter of time before boredom or burnout kicks in. Take a step back and find something to do just because you enjoy it.”

Erik Rivera, CEO of ThriveTalk

“The trick I use not to let boredom swamp me is to practice gratitude. When I feel bored with entrepreneurship and my endeavors, I can generally link it with my own ingratitude. I remind myself that I chose this path. I remind myself that owning a company was a dream of mine and that I have achieved that dream. I practice being thankful in that I am healthy enough and of able body and mind to pursue an entrepreneurial life. I give thanks that I can offer help to those who need it. If I stay consistent with my gratitude, I never get bored.”

8. Samantha Moss, Editor and Content Ambassador at Romantific

“I have been a content ambassador for quite a long time now, and I cannot deny the fact that I get bored with my business routine every once in a while. When I start to get bored, I find different ways to ignite the fire in me by remembering all the struggles I encountered and by reminding myself of the reason why I started the business. Three ways I combat boredom is mentoring others, continuing to learn new methods to improve your business and delegating tasks that make me feel bored.”

7. Dennis Bell, founder and CEO of Byblos Coffee

“Getting bored while running a business is common. I always try to do different things every week to keep me going. In the first week, I will manage all my emails, respond and clear them out, and work on improving my website and publishing content. During the second week, I'll do business meetings with different people to keep me updated and gain new ideas that I can apply to my business. These tasks get my interest level to its peak, which is a good thing to being more productive. I stop what I'm doing if it gets boring. I meditate and think peacefully to relax. Doing the next task is a great way to avoid wasting time. Instead of forcing myself to do it, relaxing and moving on helps a lot.”

“If you’ve gone as far as you can, shift to something new and start over.”

6. Sonya Schwartz, founder of Her Norm

“I have been in the dating industry for many years now, and I have never felt bored because this is my passion.To prevent boredom from striking, research and ask for brilliant ideas from your team to make things more interesting for you and for your clients. Second, check on new trends that can be incorporated in the business that you are in. It is a lot like a marriage. If you seem busy or your love life has become uninteresting, spice it up. Make things work by experimenting or going back to the good old days when everything is sizzling hot. If you do not seem to have the drive to continue on, sell the business to someone who you know can follow through with what you have started.”

5. Aaron Emmel, founder and program director of pharmacytechscholar.com

“Much work went into creating our platform, but once we launched and established our customer acquisition channels, there wasn't much else to do. I've found that the saving grace to stave off boredom has been to invest a genuine interest in our customers. By continually engaging them, being responsive to their feedback, and trying my best to support them even after they've completed our funnel, I remain motivated to invest in making the business as good as it can be.”

4. Ben Taylor, founder of www.homeworkingclub.com

“Sometimes boredom can be burnout in disguise, or just a sign you need to revamp your product offering or start to work on an additional service. Distance is the key to working this out. You need downtime, away from the business, to determine your next move. The inspiration — for me at least — comes when walking beside a warm beach or in an unfamiliar city. Don’t try to force a decision when you’re in the thick of it — it may not be the right one.”

3. Todd Ramlin, manager of Cable Compare

“I disagree with the premise that boredom is inevitable. It’s all how you mentally frame what you’re doing. Sure, you may achieve some goals and plateau but that doesn’t equate to boredom; it’s a milestone that indicates it’s time to set new goals. If you’ve gone as far as you can with your current pursuit, shift to something new and start over. There’s more to do in the world than can be done in any one lifetime. Boredom is just energy and ambition in search of something worthy to do with it. Next time you feel bored, reframe your thinking and find something to channel your restless energy into.”

2. Tom Mumford, co-founder of Undergrads LLC

“Boredom isn't exclusive to business; it happens when you grow accustomed to anything. The key to coping with that sense of boredom is to incorporate a degree of variance in strategies, processes, etc. Having said that, don't vary something simply because you're bored, because certain things should stay the same in order to avoid risk down the road. Channel boredom into re-examining smaller aspects of the business that could use improvement, and get creative in coming up with remedies and strategies to make those smaller aspects play a bigger role in the business.”

1. Camille Chulick, co-founder of Averr Aglow

“We’ve managed to help over 20,000 people with our products, so there hasn’t been much downtime for boredom. If I ever do feel like I’m in a rut, all I have to do is spend some time on our social media platforms. There’s nothing more invigorating for a business owner than to spend time around people who have a lot to say about your products. The positive talk is great, but even complaints and concerns are beneficial because they keep me grounded and remind me that I need to always be striving to perfect every single thing we offer. It’s also important to remind yourself that your job cannot be your entire life. It might seem like it at times, especially when you’re first getting started. But you have to remember that you’re a whole person with a life outside of your business. If you don’t take care of your personal needs you won’t be able to be your best self when it comes time for work.”

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