Last Updated on January 15, 2021

Top 10 Motivation Tips Learned From Highly Successful People

Top 10 Motivation Tips Learned From Highly Successful People

To achieve your dreams, you need discipline, tenacity, courage, and a strong vision. You have to put in years of hard work. But aside from these, you also have to be highly motivated. Without motivation, you’ll suffer from procrastination or burnout. You’ll lose interest in that dream that you swore you’d turn into a reality.

All of us need that strong motivation that continues to drive us forward—even when we feel like giving up. These 10 motivation tips from highly successful people will help keep you moving forward so you can achieve your dreams.

1. Dream Big

“If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.” —Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

My very first motivation tip for everyone is to dream big. To really stay motivated, you have to set your sights high. Some of the most successful people in the world did things that many people thought were impossible.

Most people thought the Wright brothers were crazy when they said they were going to figure out a way for people to fly. Many people believed that automobiles would never become a good form of transportation.

Dream big. If you play small, you’ll get small returns. Motivational speaker Les Brown said,

“It’s better to aim high and miss than aim low and hit.”

Creating small dreams and goals will stop you from doing great things. It will make you think you’re actually doing something significant when you’re not. So, always aim high.

2. Stay Curious

“Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.” —Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking, one of the most brilliant cosmologists of our time, was able to unravel the mysteries of the universe because he was curious. His deep curiosity of theoretical physics, black holes, and singularities led to many theories and broadened our understanding of space, time, and the universe.

Always be curious when you’re working toward your goals. Do your research. Be curious about new apps and technologies that will make your job easier. And be curious about your own beliefs, assumptions, and ideas. Always question the way you’re doing things. Is there a better way? Are you doing things for the right reasons?


Even when you think you’re on the right track, ask other people to play devil’s advocate with you so they can use their curiosity to make sure you’re headed in the right direction.

3. Surround Yourself With Great People

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” —Jim Rohn

The people we surround ourselves with have a big impact on our lives and our personal development. This might be one of the most overlooked motivation tips because people often only look at themselves but not their environment.

Have you ever been around a negative person and walked away feeling negative and cynical? Have you been around someone positive and felt happier the rest of the day?

Avoid negative people. Surround yourself with like-minded, positive people who will inspire you to reach higher and become a better version of yourself. Find people who take action instead of constantly making excuses. Build a tribe of people who are focused on success.

4. Use Failure to Motivate You to Succeed

“Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” —Oprah Winfrey

Failure can hold you back or help you succeed. I used to avoid taking action because I was afraid of failure. I wouldn’t talk to that woman because I was afraid of rejection. I wouldn’t apply for that high-paying job because I was afraid of not getting hired.

I finally realized that failure was the motivation I needed to achieve my biggest goals and dreams. After talking to a lot of women and not getting the first date, I finally learned from my mistakes and became better at getting a phone number.

After making a lot of interview mistakes, I began rehearsing my answers to common questions, going through mock interviews with a friend, and correcting my mistakes. I later began landing those high-paying jobs.

Take your ego out of the equation. Don’t look at failure as evidence that you’re not good enough. Instead, look at each failure as an opportunity to chisel your rough edges and get you a little closer to your goal.

5. Be Different

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.” —Robert Frost

From 1997 to 2002, Apple used the slogan “Think different.” This not only helped their branding but also set them apart from their competitors. While other companies were focusing on making money, reducing costs, and copying their competitors’ designs, Apple focused on doing things differently.

They achieved this by creating great products that provided an outstanding user experience. Products that were innovative, simple in design, and very easy to use. This need to do things differently led to their meteoric success in the technology market and stock market.

This might not be a motivation tip you’ve heard of before, but don’t be afraid to be different. All of us are unique. We were born with different strengths, weaknesses, gifts, and talents. It’s the things that make you different that make you unique. Use those unique gifts and strengths to motivate you to achieve your dreams.

6. Read About Super-Successful People

A great way to learn how to get motivated is to read books either by or about super-successful people. You can read their biographies, autobiographies, or other books they’ve written that outline the steps they took to stay motivated, even when things got tough.

I really love autobiographies and biographies because they drill down into the minds and lives of high performers. They show the power of human determination when people are faced with terrible adversities. They teach us how to beat incredible odds to become successful. There are many autobiographies available out there that will inspire you.

7. Take Action Now

Have you ever wanted to do something but analyzed it so much that you never did it? You probably suffered from analysis paralysis, which is thinking that you need more information than what’s required to start something.

The most successful people are motivated by taking immediate action. Jeff Bezos didn’t wait to get tens of millions of dollars in venture capital funding before starting Amazon. Bill Gates didn’t hire 80 people and develop the first iteration of the Microsoft Office suite before launching Microsoft.

Media mogul Gary Vaynerchuck said,

“Some of the greatest entrepreneurs in the world didn’t necessarily start out with a grand vision. They started with an idea and an action.”

If you have an idea, start taking action to make it a reality. You’ll never have all the solutions to all the problems you’re going to face. Start implementing the idea and learn as you go. Don’t ever try to get all or even most of the answers upfront.

Start executing. The more action you take, the more problems you’ll face. The more problems you face, the more solutions you’ll find. As you tackle obstacle after obstacle, you’ll soon realize you’re well on your way to success.


8. Take Responsibility for Your Life

“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstance, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” —Jim Rohn

It’s difficult to stay motivated if you believe that you have no control over what happens in your life. There are a lot of things we can’t control, but there are also many things we can control, such as our thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, and to a large extent, our destiny.

People who believe they generally have control of their lives have an internal locus of control. On the other hand, People who believe that outside forces have control of their lives have an external locus of control. These are people who believe that the government, a system, politicians, bad luck, and other things have control of their lives.

The problem with believing that external forces control your life is that you don’t think you can take charge of your life. You don’t believe you can make the changes necessary to live a great life. This is a huge mistake.

Focus on the biggest thing you can control and change: yourself. Once you believe you have control of your life, you can make the positive changes that will pull you closer to your biggest dreams.

9. Help Other People

“Success isn’t about how much money you make; it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” —Michelle Obama

There’s a reason that Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Matt Damon, George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, and many other extremely successful people love helping their fellow human beings. It feels great, and it makes the world a better place. One of the best motivation tips of all is to help other people.

When I got out of prison after serving a 2-year sentence for a felony drug crime, my only goal was to get a good job, make money, and stay out of trouble. I got a very good education and have had a great career in technology for almost two decades.

I made a lot of money but noticed that it didn’t make me a lot happier. Have you ever bought something new and were happy for a short amount of time and then the happiness quickly faded away?

That’s how I felt when I bought cars, clothes, electronic devices, and even my first house. Then one day, everything changed.

I started going back into prisons to teach incarcerated men the business, personal development, and job readiness skills they needed to start their own businesses or get good jobs when they were released. Helping these guys gave me an extremely high level of happiness that I never experienced before. It motivated me to keep helping people and live a more purposeful life.


I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. At these prison volunteer events, I met executives from the world’s biggest tech companies. After talking to many of these super-successful tech volunteers, I learned that one of the things that motivated them the most was helping other people.

Many of them had more money than they could spend in 30 lifetimes, but that’s not what gave them the most happiness and purpose. It was helping other people.

10. Do What You Love

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” —Steve Jobs

This is probably the most important motivation tip that will help you become successful.

There will be times when you’ll be working long hours, working with people you don’t like, or doing things you don’t like. If you don’t love what you do, you’ll have a very hard time dealing with the negative, tedious aspects of the job.

Most of us spend the majority of our waking hours working. It makes sense to do something you’re passionate about. When you do something you love, you’ll be more creative and bring your best work to the world.

Final Thoughts

All of us have dreams, but not everyone achieves them. As you work toward your dreams, you’ll inevitably run into obstacles. The bigger your dreams, the bigger the challenges you’ll face.

There will be times when you’ll be tired, but you will have to keep going. There will be months when tons of things will go wrong. You’ll encounter stress, self-doubt, negativity, and opposition from other people.

No matter how hard things get, you have to keep going. Using these motivation tips will inspire you to keep moving forward so you can achieve those big dreams.

More Motivation Tips

Featured photo credit: Katrina Wright via

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Charles Amemiya

Speaker, life/business coach, social responsibility advocate and technical writer.

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Last Updated on July 22, 2021

How To Stay Motivated As You Build Your Business

How To Stay Motivated As You Build Your Business

Remember the day you launched your own business? You had spent months or years developing your idea. You may have sacrificed a steady job to become the master of your professional destiny. Having entrepreneur motivation was easy, natural, and energizing in the beginning.

So, why are you struggling to stay motivated now when you need it most? Your business, after all, isn’t going to build itself.

Nearly everything in life experiences cycles. The solar system, hormones, your washing machine—and yes, even motivation. Movement is inherent in cycles. If you stop moving, your business simply grinds to a halt, and you may find yourself looking for a job after all.

The mere threat of stagnation should be enough to get your entrepreneur motivation mojo back online. If that’s not enough, here are eight ways you can stay motivated as you build your business.

1. Recognize That Business Motivation Doesn’t Last on Its Own

Ironically, the first step in staying motivated is realizing that motivation doesn’t last—at least not without some effort. Think of the verbs associated with motivation, such as “incite,” “stimulate,” and “inspire.” They all speak to elevating something low.

Highs and lows, ebbs and flows, are all cyclical. There are days when you have so much you want to accomplish that you won’t have the hours. On others, you may struggle to even get dressed. As does every aspect of your business, motivation requires constant care and feeding. So, don’t despair during those times you feel bottomed out. Recall the almost manic thrill you get when your entrepreneur motivation seems to be unstoppable and concentrate on recapturing it.

Motivation neither just happens nor lasts. It takes focus, drive, and a conscious effort. When it lags, roll up your sleeves, choose a task, and get back to the business-building at hand.

2. Expand Your Network

No business or entrepreneur can operate in a bubble. Connection to customers, vendors, employees, and other entrepreneurs is vital to growing a business. It’s also motivational. I find that one of the things that makes me most energized about my business is the connections I make while networking.[1]


Networking effectively is about give and take, which means you only get as good as you give. Be generous with your thoughts, ideas, and connections, and others will reciprocate.

These days, there are myriad networking channels to choose from. There are the tried-and-true conferences, industry and professional organizations, and even your local Chamber of Commerce. But the internet and social media have vastly expanded the opportunities to connect with other empire-building, ambitious people.

If you aren’t networking because you didn’t think it was worth your time, get out there. Not only will you pick up some great ideas, but you’ll also find yourself reinspired. Few things are as motivating as encountering other people’s enthusiasm for your business.

3. Focus on Your Goals

We all know that goals are important. If we fail to set them, how do we know when we have achieved something? In business, as in life, we need targets.

For me, having a goal focus is intrinsically motivational. Have you met all the business goals you set previously?[2] Then, it’s time to set some new and even more ambitious ones than before.

Keep in mind that business goals can be moving targets, as circumstances change and reality sets in. What you must avoid is allowing yourself or your business to be paralyzed by indecision.

As Yogi Berra said, “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”

The mere exercise of setting goals is energizing, so use the process when you’re in a slump. Make sure you set realistic goals—neither too high nor too low. Once the big ones are in place, establish mileposts so you know your business is on the right path.


4. Stay True to Your Mission (or Find a New One)

Unlike goals, the mission of your business should not be a moving target. While a mission can and should be reassessed periodically, it must, nonetheless, remain a constant for a significant period of time. That’s because it should be driving everything you do.

The world changes quickly. Customers, technology, markets, workforces, and supply chains are in a constant state of flux. In my business, the challenge has always been to respond to change while remaining true to our mission.[3] On this point, Jim Collins’ Hedgehog Concept is spot on.[4]

According to Collins, your mission can be found at the intersection of three key truths about your enterprise:

  1. What you’re deeply passionate about
  2. What you can be best in the world at
  3. What drives your economic or resource engine

You should find motivation in the mission of your business. If you don’t, perhaps you aren’t passionate about it, can’t be the best in the world at it, or aren’t making money delivering it. If that’s the case, find a mission that intersects, and you’ll rediscover your entrepreneur motivation.

5. Celebrate Wins and Learn From Losses

Too many times, business owners fail to celebrate wins and learn from losses. That’s unfortunate because both wins and losses are two well-known secrets of entrepreneur motivation. If you aren’t treating them as the motivators they are, you should be.

Go back to those goals you set when you started your business. Have you achieved them?

If you did, have you taken the time to celebrate those wins with your stakeholders? If you haven’t reached them, figure out why, make adjustments, and try to turn them into wins. Wallowing in losses instead of learning from them and moving on is a sure way to lose motivation.

Don’t forget to celebrate the small wins as well. In my company, we ring a gong every time we land a new client so the small victory reverberates through the office. Doing this builds our confidence, generates enthusiasm, and motivates our team to aim higher. I recommend finding your own way to acknowledge the small wins that are necessary to achieve those major victories your business needs to flourish.


When a lack of motivation sets in, take stock of everything you have accomplished. Pat yourself on the back and bask in the glow of achievement. That pause may be all you need to motivate you to achieve more success.

6. Identify Your Disruptive Powers

When you launched your business, were you just joining the pack? Or did you want to fill a gaping, empty market niche? Odds are, you believed you had a solution to a problem that no other business was figuring out.

Take Uber, Netflix, and Blue Apron. They disrupted the taxi, movie, and food industries by putting a revolutionary spin on the traditional way of doing business. In doing so, they solved problems the market wasn’t even aware it had.

The business you’re building may not be the next Tesla, but that doesn’t mean it can’t disrupt an industry, a sector, or just your local business community. You might discover a new customer service paradigm or a way to use technology that no one else has.

You can’t be innovative without being motivated, and if you aren’t motivated, your business will only achieve the status quo. So, start imagining ways you can disrupt your industry to kickstart your motivation. Even little ripples can turn into serious waves.

7. Spend Some Time Away

Building a business is exhausting during normal times. Throw in the stress and radical changes accompanying a global pandemic, and life can become overwhelming. This can lead to depression, indecision, paralysis, or even sheer panic.

You can’t control the world, but you can control your response to what’s happening. Start by stopping your attempts to do it all and set some priorities instead. When overwhelmed with life, one of those priorities must be yourself.

Spend some time away from work to recharge. A bit of respite is the only way you can replace the energy and inspiration sapped by a turbulent world. Work to overcome the feeling that your business can’t run without you, especially when your lack of motivation isn’t doing it any favors anyway.


A little rest and relaxation may be all you need to return to the office reinvigorated. If your break involves travel, exposure to different places and cultures might even spark new trains of thought. You will be motivated to pick up where you left off and get back to growing your business.

8. Remain Customer-Centric

Whatever widget or widget service you sell, you have customers. Your lack of motivation does a disservice to a market looking to your business for solutions. When your business motivation wanes, think of those customers counting on you to succeed.

Keeping your eye on your customers isn’t a distraction from building your business. The most successful companies in the world are extremely customer-centric. Think about Apple’s uncanny ability to anticipate customer needs or Google’s cloud-based growth stemming from empathy for the challenges facing their customers.

Perhaps, there is a relationship between your lack of motivation and customer neglect. Remaining vigilant about their needs will determine whether or not your business is successful. To conduct surveys, read customer reviews, and do market research to discover those needs. After all, if you aren’t solving their problems, what are you doing?

When the noise from the daily demands of running a business gets too loud, tune it out. Listen to what your customers are saying about you and what they’re asking for. Responding to them will require focus, as you are motivated by your dream to build a successful business.

Final Thoughts

Motivation is movement, action—a driving force of human nature. Although it waxes and wanes as naturally as the lunar cycle, restoring business motivation can require a concentrated effort. It’s an effort you’ll want to make because a prolonged lack of motivation is deadly.

If you lack the motivation to eat, you starve. If you lack the motivation to drive in your lane, you crash. If you lack the motivation to build your business, you fail.

You are obviously a highly motivated individual. If you weren’t, you never would have started a business of your own. Entrepreneurs are, at their cores, a rare and uniquely inspired breed.


So, when your entrepreneur motivation flatlines, don’t give up. Whether the spark comes from a personal connection, a new goal, a brief vacation, or a customer comment, there are ways to get yourself back on the business-building track again.

Featured photo credit: Ellyot via


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