Mindset & motivation

How to develop discipline to work on your business even when you don’t feel like it

by Michaela fong

Mindset & motivation

How to develop discipline to work on your business even when you don’t feel like it

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How to develop discipline to work on your business even when you don’t feel like it - Small Biz Babes Community Podcast


Do you ever struggle to find motivation to work on your business, especially when things aren’t going as planned? Trust me, I’ve been there too and it’s totally normal to feel that way.

It’s even harder to show up for your business when you aren’t seeing results yet. Those early stages of business can be a real uphill battle, and sometimes, finding the motivation and discipline you need to keep going can feel nearly impossible. So, how do you stay on track with your goals when you’re feeling discouraged and overwhelmed by allll the things you have to get done to move your business forward?

After several years in business, I’ve figured out a thing or two when it comes to staying on course, even when I don’t feel like it. The truth is, discipline doesn’t just show up today when you are supposed to do “the task”. Building discipline is like building a muscle — it takes time and practice. So keep reading if you’re up for learning about 3 actionable strategies you can start using right away to boost YOUR discipline.

Get clarity on your goals and vision for your life

You don’t build discipline by just pushing through a task when you don’t feel like it. You have to know why you’re doing what you’re doing, which means you need a clear vision for your goals and life first. 

Honestly, it’s the most important thing you can do for your business. If you’re not crystal clear on your big-picture goals and why they’re important to you, that means you don’t have a clear, purposeful direction. And that makes it even harder to find the discipline and motivation you need to move forward on the hard things.

Let me give you examples of some big-picture goals:

  • Replace my full-time income with my business, so I can work from home 
  • Scale my business to the point where I can reduce my work time by half and still earn [specific amount of money] so I can spend more time with family 
  • Double my profits so next year I can purchase an investment property for Airbnb

Now, can you see how these goals would give you a clear vision of where your life is heading? Your goals shouldn’t be broad like, “start a business,” make more sales,” or “be more consistent on social media.” They should be clear and have an emotional connection so strong, it becomes the driving force for positive change to make it possible.

One of my personal big-picture goals is to grow my business to the point where I own an investment property in Slovakia (where my family lives) and run it globally for the financial and location freedom!

It’s become a motivating reason for me to show up, even on days when I don’t feel like recording reels or doing the less enjoyable parts of running a business.

When you’ve got a big-picture goal that’s clear in your mind — it becomes your life’s focus

It makes it easier to decide what’s worth your time and what’s not, both in your business and personal life, ultimately helping you make choices that align with that grand vision. As of right now, I’ve been saying NO to speaking events and brand collaborations because they aren’t my priority right now in this stage of life and business

I’ve also said NO to running two businesses and chose to only run one — one that’s the most supportive of my current big-picture goal and it’s been one of the most transformational decisions I’ve made. We have to protect our time, focus, and energy because it’s limited. We can’t do it all. But we can do what matters the most. 

Which takes me to my second point. Like I said, discipline doesn’t start today. First, it starts with clarity on your goals and vision. It also starts when you have…

Have patience with yourself 

Typically, most of us are slow to learn a new skill and it can be incredibly frustrating, right?

I remember when I created my first TikTok, it took me 2 hours to create one video a few seconds long. Guess how long it took me to create my second TikTok. Also two hours — and it went on like that for months! 

Here’s the thing: building discipline, like any new skill, takes time and practice — doing it over and over and over again before it becomes second nature.
If I had told myself back then when I was first creating TikToks, “Ahhh, I suck at this — I guess I’m just not good at creating content,” I wouldn’t be where I am today! If I had constantly let myself get all frustrated, I would’ve had no motivation to get better.

It’s only through developing patience with yourself that you start to become your own biggest cheerleader, celebrate every tiny bit of progress, and truly believe you CAN master this. That’s when discipline starts to show up more easily for you.

Become your greatest cheerleader instead of your worst critic 

That means first, recognize how you act (and react) so you can identify self-sabotaging behaviours. Then, make a plan of action to address those self-sabotaging behaviours and speak positively to yourself as you work through them. 

For example, maybe you find out that your phone is a massive distraction, so you move it away from your workspace. Perhaps you get lost in the TikTok rabbit hole, so you temporarily delete the app to stay focused. Or maybe you notice that you spend way too much time on customer communications, so you start to streamline your process.

But sometimes, the real issue is our own insecurity 

I’m talking about the little voice in our heads that gives us negative feedback when things aren’t going as fast or as well as we’d like.

I’ve been there. Once I started this process of identifying my own self-sabotage, I was shocked at how unsupportive I was to myself. Instead of saying, “Hey, it’s okay, take a break. Chill in the sun, and come back refreshed,” I’d be like, “Come on, you HAVE to do this. Why is it taking you forever? You’re not good at this.”

That kind of self-talk doesn’t help you grow now, does it? It shrinks your confidence and makes you feel like you can’t do anything. That goes for any self-sabotaging behaviour. So, start paying attention to how you show up and speak to yourself. When those self-critical thoughts pop up, challenge them. Try to turn them around and empower yourself instead.

Prepare your future you for success TODAY

This one’s real important so I’ll say it again: If you want to develop the discipline to show up for yourself, your business, and your life, you’ve got to set your future self up for success, starting TODAY. 

The easiest way to kickstart this process is by asking yourself one simple question: “What can I do today to make taking action easier tomorrow?”

For instance, maybe it’s…

  • Getting extra sleep so you can wake up earlier, fresh and ready to tackle the ONE task that brings you closer to your goal 
  • Making a meal plan plan for you and your family this upcoming week to free up more time for your business 
  • Investing in a new tool or machine to speed up your process
  • Using a content calendar to get more organized and consistent on social media 

The bottom line is, YOU’RE the one who can make it easier to show up for yourself. No one else can or will do that for you. YOU have the power to build the version of yourself today that follows through on what really matters tomorrow.

By asking yourself that simple question — “What can I do today to make taking action easier tomorrow?” — and incorporating it into every business task, instead of having to push harder through sheer force, you’ll build systems that align with your key goals.

With a little bit of patience, self-awareness, and effort, you can absolutely do it! I know you can, because you’re already on the path by reading this blog post.

Discipline is a muscle. It’s built over time.

There are three ways you can build that muscle effectively, starting today. First, get clear on your BIG PICTURE  goals. How will your family’s life change when you achieve them? How will your days, mornings, evenings, or weekends look like? Think deep. Get specific. 

Then, it’s time to start quieting that inner critic and practice becoming your biggest cheerleader. Pay attention to what frustrates you and how you typically react. Identify those moments when you let yourself down. Can you find kind words to support and speak to yourself instead? 

And most importantly,start a list of tiny changes you can make in your daily routine that would make tomorrow a whole lot easier. In fact, as you work through this exercise, jot down the first three changes that come to mind. You probably already know them deep down! And if you do, don’t hesitate to send me a message on Instagram. I love hearing about the progress you’re making in your business, mindset, and life!

Want to discover more tips for staying disciplined to work on your business, even when motivation’s running low? Tune in to today’s podcast episode here 🎧

Talk soon,


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