We are the change

Is your business firing you up or burning you out?

I love the buzz of start up businesses. There’s so much energy, passion and enthusiasm, ready to bring ideas to life, set wheels in motion and put plans into action.

We all start fired up. But the late nights and constant learning curve can take their toll.

A few setbacks later, with a big dose of self-doubt, we can find ourselves running on empty and heading for burnout.

There’s a lot to be said about taking time out to rest and recharge, switching off, spending time out of your business and enjoying the fruits of your labour.

But what about re-energising within your business?

Wouldn’t it be great to reconnect with all that energy, passion & enthusiasm to see you through the tough patches?

Besides, who says that work always has to be tiring anyway?

What difference would it make to your business if you came away from each day charged up and ready for the next?

Are you running your business it in a way that energises you?

Here are some thoughts to get you started.

Play to your strengths

We hear this a lot, but do we actually do it? Or do we devote so much attention to improving our weaknesses that we forget about our strengths? Sometimes our strengths come so naturally that we take them for granted.

Yet our strengths are the things that strengthen us.

What would you happily do all day, work hard at, and be buzzing from at the end of the day?

For me it’s to do with encouraging and enabling people. Which is why I love coaching and training. But that’s also why I focus on marketing methods that involve actively connecting with people – like networking rather than say search engine optimisation.

They say you can do anything, but not everything. So why not choose the things that play to your strengths?

What are your strengths? Are you taking full advantage of them in your business?


Do the candle test.

Draw a candle. Write down all your business activities which energise you next to the flame. Put the ones that drain you by the wax.

How much of your time is spent “in the flame”, and how much is “in the wax”?

How does this affect your energy levels?

Many people start off doing what they love as a core business, then find the rest of the business takes over. Other people love the chase of the getting business in, and are less  enamoured by the delivery and follow through.

For some, simply restructuring their day can make a big difference. Making sure each day has its highlights as well as the more mundane stuff. Somewhat like how parents entice kids to eat vegetables by mixing them with food that they like. You might also find there are certain times of day when you can whittle through the less enjoyable tasks.

Others choose to outsource some of the ‘wax’ to free them up to spend more time ‘in the flame’.

What could you do to work more in the flame and less in the wax?


It’s not just what you do, it’s how you do it

Does the thought of sitting in an office all day to work on your business plan bore you to death?

If so, why not change how you do it?

What would make it more inspiring, energetic or fun?

A friend of mine took her business plan outdoors, and combined it with a countryside trail, setting each milestone of the trail as a target for nailing each part of the strategy. By the end of the day, not only was she full of energy, but she also had a fantastic business plan to show for it.

On the other hand, if you know that you work best in a structured, organised environment, then give yourself enough time to plan and pay attention to the detail.

The key is knowing what energises you and applying that to how you do things as well as what you do. If you come alive when presented with a challenge, set yourself a challenge. If you know you work best with people, seek out partnerships, collaborations and accountability partners.

After all, the more appealing the task, the less energy you waste avoiding it, and the more enjoyment and satisfaction you get from accomplishing it.


Understand what fuels you

Anytime you find yourself obligated to do something, because you feel you ‘should’, the chances are it will be draining, however necessary it is to your business.

A photographer I was working with the other day knew that she loved the people side of her business – meeting clients, getting to know them and taking their pictures – but once she got to editing and producing the final photos, she found this laborious and draining.

In her mind, this was when she was locked away from people for hours on end, working away at the technical details.

However, when she started taking a creative approach to this process, rather than a technical one, and aligned it with her core motivation – helping people – her whole perspective changed, and so did her energy. It was no longer just about clicking on a computer and getting the technical details right. It became a vital part of delighting her customers with something creative and personal.

It’s amazing what a shift in mindset can do to unlock your energy. What fuels you? How much of your day to day business is aligned with that core motivation?


Celebrate to Recharge

It’s amazing how often we get to the end of a big project or a busy period and slump. Or go straight into the next thing without skipping a beat. Yet simply taking the time to celebrate and reward your achievements can be a real energy boost and give us more momentum for what’s next.

Try it now – what have you recently accomplished that you’ve yet to acknowledge? How will you celebrate?


Next time you’re feeling run down in your business, check your candle. Are you fully fired up? Or are you drowning in wax? How will you adapt your business to give you more energy?

I’d love to know your thoughts and experiences with this. Do share them in the comments below.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

  1. IT Rush says

    Nice, cheering up once in a while, doing some activities that is not related to what you are doing will definitely give some easing power specially if you feel burned already with what you are doing.

    1. Grace Marshall says

      Things that charge us up can be unrelated to our business for sure. They can also be very relevant. Taking time out of your business from time to time is healthy, and coupled with energising within your business can make a powerful combination. Thanks for stopping by to comment.

  2. Farrel says

    Yes, I do agree on your statement about being a productive person. Your post is packed with great information about business. Your candle test is very interesting and lots of ideas to be gained. I will try to do this one. I can share about someone who fuels me to pursue my business are my “friends”. They are the one who make me feel having a family. It makes my whole day more productive with them.

  3. Cricket CC says

    Great Post illustrating a candle! I liked it! Thanks for the post.

  4. Marianne Cantwell says

    Love it Grace! Especially it’s not what you do it’s how you do it. It’s so easy to make a business into yet another job, and focus on the ‘job description’ but as you say the beauty of what we do is the flexibility to change that description and its environment at any time 🙂

    1. Grace Marshall says

      Thanks Marianne! I love it when people start thinking creatively about how they run their business. So many possibilities 🙂

  5. Eren Mckay says

    I’ve found that when I wake up and wait for inspiration I end up not feeling very motivated. Waiting for it to fall out of the sky doesn’t work for me. Instead, when I start to take action and do the things that make a difference for the bottom line.. that’s when I get very fired up. Loved your candle test.
    All the best,

    1. Grace Marshall says

      Thanks Eren! I’m delighted you love it. Absolutely agree with you about taking action and being inspired as you do it. There’s a saying that goes “If you want to find energy, get moving” 🙂

  6. Ever Ramirez says

    Love your candle test, the comparison of fulfillment related to the warmth of the heat ,the unpleasantness related to the coldness of the wax, and the advice to recharge yourself; i used to keep going till exhausted and end up making mistakes.
    Great blog.