Have you ever lacked motivation for your business?

That is the question I asked in my most recent survey of professional organisers. 80% of respondents replied Yes.

I’m not at all surprised. Being in business has many rewards, but there are the stumbles along the way as well. If you think about it, it’s kind of unnatural to be fully motivated all of the time.

With winter on the doorstep, I’m reminded that it can be typical at this time of year to experience the blues. Seasonal affective disorder is well documented, and symptoms include fatigue, depression, hopelessness and social withdrawal. Add to that a possible downturn in business as clients hibernate and you can see why it’s not uncommon to suffer from winter business blues. I heard someone describe that feeling as like wading through mud.

Ok, so it’s reasonably normal. But it doesn’t have to be forever. So, what can you do to snap out of the doldrums?

How to beat the winter business bluesThat’s what I asked in the survey. The answers fell into three broad categories:


Julie Whiting from The Decluttering Co shared that “exercise, eating well, and good social/family connections – having a rich life outside work” get her moving forward and feeling motivated again. She also wrote my favourite line of all respondents – “New clients bring new energy.” They do indeed, Julie!

Karen White from The Sorting Angel said, “Focussing on the person I am visiting and what we can achieve, lively music or calm chill out music is guaranteed to snap me out of that mood. And routines keep me motivated.” Karen, I so agree. I love my routines. Karen also turns to self-care. “Making sure I have had a good sleep and am dressed warmly (some of my clients have no heating); making sure I have enough nourishment and keep hydrated; and reading motivating books and listening to podcasts” get her feeling motivated again.

Personally, I do most of my work sitting at my desk. I do a lot of virtual consulting and quite a bit of writing and creating, which can be hard if I’m not “feeling it”. In that case, I don’t push myself. I listen to what my brain and body need. I take time out and here’s the important thing – that time out is always guilt free.


Louise Dunham from Placement Solutions recommends a face-to-face meeting to snap out of the winter business blues. She also includes mastermind sessions, self help books and lists as a way to move forward.

Nathalie Ricaud from get organised & beyond endorses taking a break. She said, “I’ll be missing the work quickly enough to find the motivation again.” She also endorses accountability. “Working with an external party who will hold me accountable” helps me to move forward.

Another example of accountability is to use time blocking in my calendar. If the calendar says I’ll be writing from 10 till 12 on Friday, that’s exactly what happens. I guess I use my calendar as an accountability buddy.


One thing that helps Natalie Dougan from Habitat Home Organising snap out of the winter business blues is “exposing myself to all things ‘organising’. Articles, podcasts, webinars, other organisers websites and pages, and of course watching the Home Edit!” She added, “Ignoring the problem doesn’t work, it just causes me to feel worse about my lack of motivation because I stop putting an effort in. Using these quiet periods to reset and refocus on where I want my business to go, means I will be ready for the busy periods.”

Amy Kennedy from The Organising Bee says that “future planning and brainstorming areas for change” help her snap out of the doldrums. “Also, touching in with some of my very first clients. They always remind me why I am in business and the significant difference my service has made to their lives.” Great point Amy! Reminds me why we need a Fabulous File.

Amy uses these times productively. “I find when I get unmotivated, it’s a sign that I need to make a change in my business. This has led to the development of new products, collaborations with others or focusing on professional development and learning. For me this has led to introducing productivity coaching into my service offering and collaborating with other businesswomen and authors for the anthology, Goodbye Busy, Hello Happy.

“It’s also a time when I find that reaching out to others in the industry is a great motivator and opens thinking for new ideas. Change seems to be the only way that I have found to get motivated. Sometimes change is small, like modifying my internal processes, sometimes it involves delegation and or stopping working with a specific client or type of client (usually the energy draining or overly demanding ones). Really, my focus is to eliminate whatever it is from my business which is causing me to feel unmotivated and replacing it with areas that my interest is naturally gravitating towards.”

The simplest way to refocus when motivation is lacking is to do just one thing. It doesn’t even matter what that one thing is. It just gets you in motion, and motion creates momentum. Before you know it, you’ll be saying goodbye to the winter business blues.

What other motivation boosters would you add?


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