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Published on October 17, 2018

Feel like Giving Up? 16 Way to Help Entrepreneurs Stay Motivated

Feel like Giving Up? 16 Way to Help Entrepreneurs Stay Motivated

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.[1]

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:

Want to Feel More Energized Throughout the Day? Start With This

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Final thoughts

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.

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Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Chris Porteous

The CEO of Grey Smoke Media / My SEO Sucks, helping entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

11 Organizational Skills That Every Smart Leader Needs 12 Effective Time Management Skills for Managers How to Start a Startup Fast: 5 Essential Steps 10 Key Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneur 8 Tactics to Greatly Improve Motivation in the Workplace

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Last Updated on September 18, 2019

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

Are you looking to move up the career ladder? Or maybe you’re tired of having a “job” and want to start looking for a more permanent career?

Whatever your motivation, you are going to have to learn some new and different hard skills to broaden your opportunities. After all, there’s a very famous quote that says:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

While the insanity part doesn’t really fit here, the overall message is a good one. If you are looking for a different result (career advancement, more money or even a career instead of a job), it’s up to you to make it happen. This is both the good news and bad news!

The good news is that because it’s up to you, you have complete control over it happening. The bad news is that change is hard. Humans are creatures of habit, that’s why we develop routines, and anything that disrupts that routine causes us anxiety. And we will do almost anything to get rid of that anxiety. The overweight person will calm their anxiety by eating that doughnut, the smoker will light up a cigarette to avoid anxiety.

What we want to do with this article is to give you the hard skills you’ll need to reduce that anxiety so you can move up that corporate ladder, make more money or have career instead of just a “job.”

The following hard skills are essential to learn if you want to advance your career. They may not be easy to take up, but definitely worth your effort of learning:

1. Cloud Computing

“Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more—over the Internet “the cloud” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.” Microsoft[1]

There are many different jobs available in the cloud computing world today. They range from architects and developers to data scientists, security pros. Each job is its own specialty and requires a high level of specification for advancement.

This is definitely a hard skill that requires education. But if the tech world and computers are your thing you can make cloud computing a lucrative career.

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2. Data Mining and Statistical Analysis

Again, these are highly specialized fields. Data mining is defined as using large sets of data to look for anomalies and other patterns that can be used to predict future behavior.

Amazon is probably the best known company to use data mining. Have you ever noticed that when you buy something at Amazon, you’ll see a little ad at the bottom that says “customers who bought this also bought…”and it lists 2-3 other items? All of that information comes from data mining, by examining the millions of sales amazon makes they can predict that if you buy item #1 there is a high likelihood that you will buy one of the other items too. T

his not only increases sales for Amazon, but it also serves as a reminder for you that you may need these additional items for your project. This is very valuable information and has a wide range of uses. Although it has a bad reputation and evil sounding name, it is a very useful tool for maximizing productivity and sales.

3. Data Management

All companies today deal with a ton of data! Being able to manage that data in an efficient manor is not only highly prized, but a necessity.

We all have these things on our desks called computers. Unless there is a need for a paper copy, almost all of our data is computerized. Meaning that, in theory it is all at our fingertips. Being able to organize that data so that it’s easily and quickly retrievable is why computers are replacing filing cabinets!

However, just like the old fashion filing cabinet, data management on a computer is only good if it’s well organized. You want to make sure that you are keeping your data well organized so that it’s easy to find when needed. This is a skill that comes easily to some people (are you a person that makes lists? Good!) but with others it will be a skill that needs to be practices. Make sure that this is a discipline you master.

4. Scheduling

Being able to make and keep to a schedule is a very useful tool in both business and life. Effective scheduling means that you can prioritize projects, understand the tools needed to get the job done on time and that you are organized enough to lead people.

An important point here is to write things down! Whether it’s in an old fashion daily or weekly organizer or in a PDA. Have a copy of your schedule available at your fingertips at all times.

5. Financial Skills

These are especially important when looking for that promotion. The higher up the ladder you go, the more you’ll have to deal with things like accounting, budgeting, financial planning and cash flow management.

While you may not need to be an expert at all of these, you should have a good grasp of all of them. This is where taking a few night classes at your local community college is a good idea. You don’t need to become an expert, but brushing up on these skills will help you tremendously.

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6. Research Skills

These are important in all aspects of life, but especially in your work-life.

Are you looking for that first job out of school? Nothing impresses a boss or hiring manager more than someone who has researched the company. Trust me, they deal with people walking in off the street everyday looking for a job, but managers and owners need to see the value in hiring (or promoting) you.

So do your research and have some company specific questions ready to ask. Show that you are interested in working for that company or that position and not just “a” job or the “promotion” because you have seniority or need the money.

If it’s a promotion that you are after, never bad mouth the previous occupant. Instead pick out an example that he/she was good at and explain how you would like to use or expand that policy and how it would enhance the policy changes you’d like to make.

If it’s a new job you’re going for, then make sure to have some company specific questions ready to show that you have done your homework for the new position.

7. Marketing Skills

While marketing a companies products or services has always been a highly sought after skill. In today’s world, it can take on several different forms.

Some of the marketing skills that are highly sought after today include, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, Search Engine Marketing and marketing campaign management. Familiarity with Google Analytics as well as Word Press are also valuable.

While traditional marketing and branding were focused on advertising and selling. Almost all marketing efforts now a days are focused on the internet.

8. Network Security Specialist

Again, this is a highly skilled position that requires specialized training. But the amount of data that all companies store is significant, and if that data is leaked or stolen, it can costs them millions of dollars in both lost revenue and lawsuits.

So, if you have an interest in network security you will find the field both lucrative and stable.

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9. Communication Skills

At first glance, communication skills may not look like it fits into the category of “Hard Skills” that can help you succeed. But in this ever shrinking world where companies can do business from almost anywhere, communication is more and more important.

Are you bilingual? It really doesn’t matter what language you speak, there’s a company out there looking for someone who speaks that language.

10. Computer Programming

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that computers are going to be around for a while! As both the hardware and software get more advanced, the need for computer programming is only going to increase.

11. Graphic Design

As of 2018, there were 4.37 million new websites launched.[2] A good number of them will fail because they just aren’t interesting enough visually. The use of templates and replicated websites is only making the problem worse.

Part of the way Google ranks sites is through originality, this almost ensures that replicated sites will never get ranked through Google. So the more original your site is, the more likely people will visit and actually spend time there.

That is what a good graphic designer does. Takes your basic idea and turns it into a website that people actually want to visit.

Embrace the Anxiety That Comes with Change

You know it’s going to be there, you know that you’ll want to give up as you’re learning these new skills but, you’ll also know that the end result is worth the journey.

Here’s a little trick when you’re feeling overwhelmed:

Have you ever met an ex-smoker who was sorry they quit? An ex-drinker or drug user that said life was much better before they quit? These people have gone through some of the most difficult challenges humans can go through including weeks, if not, months of intense physical withdrawal symptoms. They did it because they knew that the pain and anxiety they would experience would ultimately get them to a much better life.

Now what was that complaint you had about attending night-school?

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This is the part everyone hates, everyone thinks night-school, adult education and just generally giving up family and/or spare time. While those are certainly possible ways to develop the necessary skills, they aren’t the only way.

You’ll want to check with your human resources department because depending on the company, a certain degree maybe required in order to even be considered for a position. In those cases, night-school, on-line or some other form of adult education maybe your best route.

But as long as a degree isn’t required, then your options are wide open.

Let’s just say that you’re a sales person interested in becoming the sales manager but, the territory you’ve been given will never produce the sales figures that would make you stand out as a good candidate for sales manager. So how about you start your own side business (don’t compete with your company), but let’s say you enjoy golf.

In this day and age, there are plenty of places that will teach you how to sell products on-line and even set you up with your own website. So you start a site selling golf equipment and accessories (don’t worry, you won’t even have to carry inventory or worry about shipping).

Now, when that sales manager spot opens up, you can explain that even though other salespeople had better numbers than you, it had nothing to do with your sales ability, it was more of a consequence of the territory your were given.

And to prove it, you brought in some information about a side business, you started showing that you’re on target for a sales growth rate of 30% this year. And because you had to do all of the marketing for the business, you came up with some marketing strategies that you can bring to the new job (built-in experience).

The Bottom Line

We’ve put together these 11 hard skills as a way to give yourself a “leg up” on the competition. We’ve tried to make this a mixture of both skills that require a great deal of training, and also ones that you can work on and develop by yourself.

We know that not everyone is cut out to be a cloud computing expert, but we also know that working on and having good scheduling skills will make you a much more desirable candidate for the position!

We also don’t want you to discount the idea of a “side hustle“. Especially for people new to the workforce, having a business that you have started and run successfully shows potential employers that you have initiative, scheduling skills and ambition which can put you well ahead of your competition!

As usual, we hope you found this article both enjoyable and informative. If you did, may we ask that you share it with your family and friends through social media. It really does help us and is greatly appreciated!

More Skill to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Kyle Sterk via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing
[2] Netcraft: December 2018 Web Server Survey

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