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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.

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Published on January 28, 2020

How to Ace an Interview: Nailing the 10 Most Tricky Questions

How to Ace an Interview: Nailing the 10 Most Tricky Questions

As someone who has been in recruiting for over 10 years I can tell you the interview is vitally important to getting that new job you really want. During the interview process, there will most likely be at least 2 interviews, a phone interview and an in person interview. Both are important.

Companies can of course have different interviewing processes but in general, there is at least one phone interview, also known as a phone screen, and a live, in-person interview. The in-person interview can be with one person or it might be with a variety of people. While they are both important, the live interview is typically the one that will make or break you as a candidate for the position you are interviewing for.

Many of the interview questions we will review here will more likely come up during the live interview. But it’s a good idea to be prepared for them on the phone interview as well.

To illustrate how important the live interview is, I’ll tell you about my search that happened a year ago. I’d decided it was time to move on from the role I’d been in for a little over 6 years. As I started researching and looking for a new opportunity, I began down the path with 2 companies. With the one I landed with, I’d had 3 separate phone screens, each one an hour long. They must have thought they went well because I was asked to fly to the city where the corporate office is at and do an in-person interview. — with 8 people.

Yeah, it was a long day. The good news is I rocked the interviews across the board. I flew home that evening and the following day, I received a call with the job offer. That was less than 24 hours after I’d had the in person interview. This is how important the live interview is.

So how to ace an interview? We can dive right in to helping you nail the 10 most tricky interview questions:

1. What’s Your Biggest Weakness?

This is a personal favorite of mine. The primary reason for this question is not to actually find out what your biggest weakness is. Unless of course, you say something like “showing up to work on a regular basis,” then it’s probably going to get you kicked out of consideration for the role.

The main reason for someone asking you this question is to see if you are self-aware. That is if you know your weaknesses and are smart enough to account for them.

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The smart play here is to answer in a modest way. You want to be able to show that your biggest weakness actually has an upside. For instance, I usually say that mine is impatience. Which is true, I like to get things done. But what I ensure what I point out is that even though I am impatient, it’s because I like to crank and get a lot of work done.

2. Why Do You Want to Work Here?

Interestingly enough, a lot of people don’t have an answer to this question. It’s designed to find out if you’ve actually done research on the company and if you are excited about this position.

When I ask this question, many people have told me something like “because it looks like a good opportunity”. I mean, can you be any more generic?

The key to answering this is to show you’ve done research on the company and that you are enthusiastic about the actual position. Companies want people that are excited to work there, not just someone that shows up for a paycheck.

3. Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?

Employers are asking you this question to see if you have somewhat of a plan for your career. It doesn’t have to be completely mapped out in a step by step manner but, a general overall plan is good to see. It means you are goal oriented and are working towards something.

Don’t worry about answering in a way that states you are planning on sticking with the company until you retire. Rather, focus more on how it’s important to you to continue to learn and get better and better at what you do. Companies like to hire self-motivated people.

4. Tell Me About a Time You Messed Up

Or tell me about a time something didn’t work out the way you planned. Similar in concept. The key here is to show that you take accountability for your actions and how you react to things going wrong.

Companies like to see that you are willing to accept responsibility for the things you oversee and own up when you are wrong. People that always find a way to blame their missteps on other people or circumstances typically don’t make good team mates.

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The other component here is things don’t always go as planned, how good are you at adapting and thinking on your feet.

5. Why Are You Looking to Leave Your Current Job?

This may seem like a place to launch into all the things you don’t like about your current job. Or to talk about what a terrible person your boss is. Don’t do it. That’s the path you do not want to go down. And that’s really what this question tends to prod out of many people.

If I am interviewing you and ask this question and you tell me all the ways your boss doesn’t appreciate you and your company has terrible leadership, I’m thinking what you’re going to be saying about me in a year when you are interviewing somewhere else.

Make sure you are framing your answer in a way that doesn’t shed bad light on your current or most recent employer. You want to focus on things like you’ve enjoyed working for the company but your growth options are limited there so you are exploring outside opportunities.

6. How Would Your Current Manager Describe You?

This question gives you the opportunity to show off your strengths and what your boss appreciates about what you bring to the table. You want to focus on the positive traits that your boss likes and how it helps you in your role.

What you do not want to do is sprinkle in the things your boss doesn’t think as highly of. Don’t say something like my boss would describe me as a focused worker, at least on the days I make it into the office.

7. Tell Me About a Time You Overcame an Obstacle

Another one of my favorite questions. Interviewers ask this question to see if you are able to deal with roadblocks.

Things don’t always go smoothly, so having people on the team who are able to solve problems has huge upside.

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Being able to overcome obstacles is a great trait to have. Make sure you have a few stories about how something didn’t go as planned that caused a challenge and how you were involved in solving the problem. It’s a way of turning a bad situation into a good one.

8. Why Should We Hire You?

If you are at the point of a live interview, you should be highly interested in the position.

By this point, you should have a pretty clear picture of what the role is and how your skills and experience will help you succeed. The reason this question is being asked is to see if you are the right candidate for this role.

This gives you a great opportunity to tell your interviewer how your expertise will positively impact the role. Right now, you are in the spotlight to clearly show that your experience is the perfect fit for the position and why. Shine on!

9. What’s Your Greatest Achievement?

Employers tend to ask this question to gain an understanding of what your big wins were. What are the really impactful things that have happened during your career and how you were the reason why they happened.

This is another great opportunity for you to toot your own horn. What you want to be conscious of is how you tell the story about your biggest achievement. You want to make sure you say why it was such a big achievement.

If possible, it’s always good to include your team as part of the big win. Employers love to hire people who can make things happen but, it’s also important they understand the importance of team work.

10. Do You Have Any Questions for Me?

You might be asking yourself why this is a tricky question. Honestly, it’s not a tricky question if you are prepared for it.

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What the interviewer is looking for here is how interested and excited you are for the position. You’d be surprised at how many people answer this question with a blank stare or have no questions prepared.

Again, if you are at a live interview, you should be highly interested in a position and the company. You will convey how interested you are in the opportunity with some well thought out questions to ask.

You don’t want to just ask one question like “How often is payday”? Have at least 4 to 5 questions prepared but don’t overwhelm your interviewer with dozens and dozens of questions. Show that you’ve given some serious thought to this position by coming prepared with solid questions to ask.

The Bottom Line

There you go, insight to nailing the 10 most tricky questions during the interview process. There are, of course, many other questions you might get asked during the interview process but, these tend to be the ones that trip most people up.

Remember to take your time and thoroughly prepare for the interview. You don’t have to memorize your answers or anything but having a good idea of how you’d answer these questions will help you ace the next interview.

Here’s to being career advancement ready!

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Featured photo credit: Romain V via unsplash.com

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