When you’re dreaming about becoming an entrepreneur and starting your own business, motivation never seems to be a problem. Once you launch that business and get your hands dirty, well, those long days of burning the midnight oil can really take their toll and suck your motivational reserves dry.
Staying motivated as an entrepreneur is easier said than done, but it’s without a doubt, essential for the success of your business. From its earliest beginnings and into the prosperous years of your business, staying motivated is what will continue to guide your business to success.
Finding motivation will not only help to fuel your own fire, but those who work with you as well. You’ll find that staying motivated as an entrepreneur will benefit you at work and in other areas of your life.
If you’re looking for a motivation boost, here are 16 ways to fuel the fire of your entrepreneurial spirit.
1. Recognize the small victories
Choosing to leave the corporate grind of working for somebody else and embark on a path as your own boss is in itself, a victory. It’s critical to your success that you learn to recognize and celebrate each of the little victories on your journey of entrepreneurship at every step.
Of course those big wins where trumpets seem to emerge out of nowhere and the clouds part just for you are awesome, but they don’t come often. It’s the small victories that drive success and ultimately lead to those huge champagne bottle-popping wins.
Maybe it’s simply getting the contact information of a potential new client or getting the internet set up at your office space. Taking time to not only recognize, but celebrate the small victories will help you to enjoy life as an entrepreneur that much more.
2. Bring your loved ones into your challenges
Former justice of the United States Supreme Court, Sandra Day O’Connor famously said that we don’t accomplish anything in this life alone, that everything is a tapestry of our relationships with others. Some of the best motivation you’ll get as an entrepreneur is going to come from your friends and family. Share with them your goals and the challenges you’re facing.
They’ll not only be there to share in each of your victories, but will be the ones to pick you up after suffering a defeat. Depending on their own background, they may even be able to offer some practical advice. Bring them into your life as an entrepreneur and allow them to help motivate and strengthen you.
3. Take advantage of the morning
What do Richard Branson and Elon Musk have in common? Besides being ridiculously innovative and wealthy, they make the most of their mornings.
Numerous studies have shown that the first few hours after we wake up are the most productive for our brains. Rather than using that hour before heading to work to scroll your social media feeds, you could be harnessing your re-energized brain power to set you up for knocking out the day’s most important tasks.
Stephanie Kersta , co-founder of Hoame, a studio offering meditation classes, recommends using your morning to get in some mediation:
“Studies have shown that meditating for as little as 10 minutes per day can have profound impacts on the way our brain processes information, which leads to increased productivity. We know that habits we implement first thing in the morning tend to stick a little easier due to the sheer fact that there are naturally less interruptions.”
By taking advantage of the morning hours, you’ll be more motivated with the realization that you’ve done more before noon than many people do in a full day.
These 10 Morning Habits of Successful People are something you should start to learn.
4. Get a good night’s sleep
In order to take advantage of your brain’s morning boost, it’s necessary that you get a good night’s sleep. Waking up at 6am doesn’t do a lot of good if you need seven hours of sleep and didn’t roll into bed until 2am.
Everyone’s body is different, but most researchers tend to agree that eight hours of sleep is ideal. Not getting enough sleep will of course affect your mood, ability to focus, and overall health. It’s difficult to stay motivated on growing your business and reaching your entrepreneurial goals when you’re feeling groggy.
Get some shuteye, your business will thank you.
5. Establish a routine
After discussing the importance of sleep and taking advantage of the morning in regards to staying motivated, you can probably guess the overall theme — routine!
Establishing a solid routine will make all the difference in the world when it comes to your success as an entrepreneur. It will not only cut down on stress, but help to maximize your time and efficiency.
Consider developing a routine that hits these points:
- Diet and exercise.
- How to start and end your work day.
- Carving out time for relaxation and reflection.
Here’s a good example of a morning routine:
You’ll probably be surprised at how quickly after you settle into a productive daily routine that you start to chip away at any obstacles which may have been holding you back.
6. Track the money
If you want to have some real visual reminders to keep you motivated — and stay in business — then keep track of all the money going in and out of your company.
Set up those spreadsheets and track everything that you’re spending from the very first day.
Not only will this help you to better manage money and ensure that it’s there when you need it for expenses, but you’ll be able to see how close you are to hitting different financial goals.
Earned financial success never just creeps up on somebody, it’s carefully planned out each and every single time.
7. Remind yourself of the WHY
Just like your little league coach told you, “keep your eye on the ball.” There was a reason why you decided to start down the road of entrepreneurship and launch a business and it’s important that you remind yourself that from time to time.
Call it whatever you want, the big picture or grand idea, looking back at how far you’ve come and where you’re going is a fantastic motivator.
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison.
8. Give yourself a personal reward
There are few things more gratifying and motivating than enjoying the spoils of victory that come with a job well done. It’s in our nature to react to incentives and taking time to reward our accomplishments is a healthy thing.
Maybe it’s hitting a new financial goal or reaching a breakthrough in a new technology you’re developing, but work without reward is a killer of motivation.
How do you celebrate? Buy a round of drinks for friends or coworkers? Hit up a sporting event or concert?
You don’t have to spend a lot of money, or any money at all if you don’t want to. The key is acknowledging an accomplishment with an incentive to keep you motivated to push onward.
9. Map your goals
Goals without a plan are just ideas. You know what your goal as an entrepreneur is, but you’ll need a mapped out business plan to make that goal a reality.
Every entrepreneur has goals they want to accomplish, the problem is that if we fail to put them down they’re more likely not to happen.
Mapping out your goals and writing them down with the steps of what and when you want to accomplish certain tasks, raises your chances for success by as much as 42 percent.
Whether it’s on your phone or a giant whiteboard in your office, you can look at those written goals whenever you need a motivational kick.
10. Seek out inspiration
Everyone finds inspiration to help them stay focused, excited, and motivated from sources outside themselves.
For example, Olympic swimming gold medalist Michael Phelps would listen to Eminem to pump himself up before a race. For you, it might be watching Rocky Balboa’s jog through Philadelphia once a week or reading every piece of business and entrepreneurial literature you can get your hands on.
The point is that seeking out inspiration puts us in a positive mindset and having a good attitude is a key for staying motivated and pushing through the tough times.
11. Surround yourself with like-minded people
There are going to be haters and those with doubts about what you want to accomplish. Nobody ever did anything great though by surrounding themselves with short-sighted and negative people.
Surround yourself with likeminded people who also have a desire and drive for success. Find others who share your drive, for example:
- Join an entrepreneurs book club.
- Find a local meetup for people in your industry.
- Seek out entrepreneurs and those in your field online.
In order to see your vision from an idea to a reality, you’re going to need cheerleaders who will root for you, celebrate your wins, and possibly even teach you. Go find them!
12. Create a mission statement
Developing a mission statement can be a fantastic way to stay motivated on what you’re doing and provide direction. It’s important to differentiate that while it certainly incorporates your WHY, it’s not the same as mapping out your goals.
The mission statement is more of a declaration about the impact you want to make.
A good mission statement should summarize your overall goals and values and whom you’re doing it all for. Once you’ve written your mission statement, you may want to consider framing it and putting it somewhere you’ll regularly see it for extra motivation.
Take these steps to write your own mission statement and help yourself stay motivated!
13. Learn from your heroes
The very first entrepreneur on the planet definitely had it rough because they didn’t have anybody else’s stories of success to leverage in their favor.
Fortunately for you, there are countless success stories out there that you can pull both motivation and wisdom from.
Read the biographies of your heroes and the people you look up to. Read the books they read. Watch online interviews with them. Do whatever you can to absorb their knowledge and the wisdom of those who taught them.
Whatever challenge you might be facing, you’re probably not the first person to experience it. Look to what others before you have done.
14. Give yourself some personal time
Remember how the character of Jack Torrance in Stephen King’s novel The Shining went berserk and kept typing “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”? Well, as crazy as that character was, there’s some truth to that:
It’s important that you take at least a little bit of time to yourself each day to just stop and chill out.
Find something that you enjoy doing that allows you to decompress and not think about everything you plan to accomplish tomorrow. Whether it’s strumming a guitar, going to the batting cages, or just watching a movie, allow yourself some personal time outside of work.
15. Focus on the positive
There are certainly going to be days when things are not going right and it’s one thing after another. Being a successful entrepreneur is never easy, but it is incredibly rewarding.
Not everyone gets to try and do what they love for a living, but if you give it your all, then you can accomplish your goals.
Even when it seems like nothing is working, try to stop and find at least one thing that day or week that did go right. Channeling your energy towards the positive, rather than the negative will help motivate you to keep climbing that mountain.
16. Remember to have fun
Yes, have fun! That’s one of the reasons you started down this road of being an entrepreneur in the first place. You wanted to do something different than what you were doing and carve something out that was your vision and not somebody else’s.
It’s easy to start your business with excitement and have it become a point of stress, but don’t become that entrepreneur. Remind yourself why you started this journey and don’t be afraid to alter directions from time to time if needed.
Entrepreneurship is a lot like that old saying about life, it’s not about the destination, but the journey. So enjoy it!
Remember that every entrepreneur is going to find different ways of staying motivated. It’s finding that motivation and focus, however, that every successful entrepreneur has in common.
If you want your business venture to thrive, then it’s important that you not only develop a clear vision of what that looks like, but seek out ways to stay positive and motivated in making it happen.
There may be moments of self-doubt, but remember that the key to success is within you. All you have to do is keep the fires of determination burning.
Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com