Running your own business can be lonely and challenging. How often do you struggle to motivate yourself?
From business start-up, through growing pains, to prosperity, you’re regularly tapping into your motivational reserves.
When you’re dreaming about starting your venture, motivation comes easily. Once you launch though, those long and stressful days can take their toll and suck your motivational reserves dry. Staying motivated as an entrepreneur is essential for the success of your business, but it is, without a doubt, easier said than done.
If you’re looking for a motivation boost, here are eight tips that have helped me very much during my journey. I hope some of them will help you too.
1 Reconnect with your Vision
There was a specific reason you decided to start down the road of entrepreneurship and launch a business, and you must remind yourself that from time to time.
When you’re building a puzzle, how often do you look at the picture on the box?
That’s the vision for the puzzle – a clear, specific picture of the final result.
So, when you feel like you’re losing your way, or lacking the motivation to carry on, go back over your vision and immerse yourself in it. Experience your desired future as if you are already living it – attach yourself to the feelings and emotions that surround the success.
That’s always a fantastic motivator for me.
2 Revisit your Goals and Review Progress
You started with a vision, an idea. Then you developed an action plan from it and started building your business and your team. You spent a lot of time establishing the goals and objectives that you want the company to achieve, but as time goes by, and the unrelenting climb continues, it’s easy to be distracted from those goals.
It’s even easier to stop monitoring your progress as you move towards them.
Now, more than ever, you need to remember what your main goal was that you wanted to achieve?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Are my goals still valid? Am I still on track?
- How far have I come since I set them? What have I already achieved?
- What new goals can I set up to keep moving in the right direction?
- What can I do TODAY to take another step forward?
Make sure your plans have detailed, step by step, measurable tactical goals.
It will help you stay focused and motivated.
3 Recognise your Achievements
Your goals and detailed plans are a critical step, but you need something that will keep you grounded, to remind you that it’s not what you think — but what you do that counts.
Keeping track of your progress will also allow you to recognise and celebrate each of the little victories on your journey of entrepreneurship. In our game, big wins are fantastic, but they don’t come often. It’s the small victories that drive success and ultimately lead to those substantial life-changing wins.
Start by picking the metrics that are important to reaching your goals and keep track of them.
Then, at the end of each day and each week, mark off what milestone activities you’ve either completed or made real progress with (like landing one customer today, completing a crucial project activity, making an extra sale, etc.).
You will feel more motivated when you take note of the progress you’re making.
4 Reward your Accomplishments
You worked very hard towards your goals this week. Now you deserve a reward.
Reward yourself when you reach a milestone, or finish part of your plan towards achieving your goals; even if it’s the simplest thing.
You don’t have to spend a lot, or any money at all if you don’t want to. The key is to acknowledge the achievement with an incentive to keep you motivated to keep going.
It can be a dinner out, drinks with friends, a holiday you’ve been planning for a while now.
The feeling you get from doing something for yourself will motivate you in achieving the next goal, and the next, and so on.
It’s in our nature to respond to incentives, and work without reward is a killer of motivation.
5 Be a Magnet for Inspiration and Positivity
I firmly believe that surrounding yourself with carefully selected affirmations and messages of positivity will serve as a reminder of your objectives and your inherent capabilities.
So make sure that your office and desk are the places of positivity. After all, you spend a great deal of time there. And absorbing powerful motivational quotes every day will pay off.
I also use some of my time to indulge in activities that I find motivational, like watching inspirational films, Youtube & TED productions; or listening to motivating podcasts.
These can boost your motivation and also drive your entrepreneurial success.
Another winner for me is paying attention to other success stories. There are thousands of success stories about entrepreneurs making it in the real world. Use those narratives as a source of motivation, and learn from them.
Everyone finds inspiration to help them stay focused, excited and motivated from sources outside themselves.
Lastly, I find that the right music can be incredibly uplifting and motivational. Work out what gets your motor running, and keep it handy; regardless of whether it’s a violin concerto or the soundtrack to Rocky.
My point is that surrounding yourself with inspiration ensures a positive mindset, and having the right attitude is fundamental to staying motivated and pushing through the tough times.
6 Build and Enforce Healthy Routines
Eating properly, exercising regularly, and practising healthy habits will keep your body and brain healthy, as they are both equally important.
This topic is significant to me personally, so I’ve expanded it into three sections.
Use your mornings to your advantage.
If you want a productive day must start it properly. The first couple of hours after we wake up are the most productive for our brains.
Rather than using the time before heading to work to scroll through social media or catch up on the news, you could be harnessing your re-energized brainpower to set you up for a great day.
So set up a morning routine of between 4 and 10 activities that you go through every morning to kickstart your day. Your method should ideally include the following as a foundation:
- Meditation (or prayer, or reflection)
- Exercise and Stretching
- A nutritious and well-balanced breakfast
- A learning/stimulation opportunity (like reading, studying, listening to a podcast)
Getting a good nights sleep
To take advantage of your brain’s morning boost, you must get a good night’s sleep.
It doesn’t help to wake up early if you’re getting five hours of sleep when you need seven.
Lack of sleep has a significant effect on your levels of concentration and motivation.
We’re all different, but most studies show that the ideal quantity of sleep for most of us is between six and eight hours a night.
Insufficient sleep affects your focus, mood and overall health. How can you stay motivated on growing your business when you’re tired. Get some rest, your business and your family will thank you.
Eat properly, practice a healthy diet and even healthier habits if you want to keep your body and brain healthy, as they are both equally important.
Exercise at least three times per week. (Preferably five).
You spend most of your life working and sleeping, so when possible, take a little time for yourself, to connect with your body.
Taking an hour at least three times a week to dedicate to your body is the least you can do. The world’s not going to fall apart without you, and neither will your business. Exercise refreshes your brain, stimulates your dopamine levels, inspires creativity and boosts motivation.
7 Find a mentor you can relate to
Just knowing that someone else has walked the same road as you and has managed to achieve success is a great motivator all by itself.
To keep your motivation from tanking, watch a video, listen to a podcast, or read a biography of some successful entrepreneurs. I make it a habit to watch or listen to at least one inspirational story a day from my circle of mentors.
A mentor doesn’t only guide and support you, but they also act as a reminder that the steep path you’re on is not impossible, and that you’re not alone.
Almost every successful entrepreneur out there has a mentor to thank for helping them through the tough times.
Only true pioneers don’t have the luxury of having mentors, and they’re usually the ones lying face-down in the mud with arrows in their backs.
Also, surround yourself with like-minded and inspirational people who also have a desire and drive for success. Find others who uplift you and make you feel better when they are around. We get to choose who we associate with, and those choices have an enormous influence on our state of mind and our basic levels of motivation.
So, whatever challenges you might be struggling with at the moment, you’re probably not the first person to experience it. Look to others for your inspiration and motivation.
8 Help others achieve their goals
Whenever I talk about creating your vision and objectifying your goals, I stress the importance of focusing on the service of others. Your core reason for building your business cannot be to make money – it will never survive in the long run.
You need to have more lofty aspirations than money if you want true fulfilment. You need to work out how your offering will uplift your community and help them to reach for their dreams.
The more you approach your world from the perspective of “How can I be of service”, the more motivated you will be to power through the tough times. There’s no substitute for the feeling of making a difference in somebody else’s life.
Every entrepreneur needs to find a unique process for staying motivated that works for them. Finding your source of motivation and focus, however, is one of the facets that every successful entrepreneur has in common.
For your venture to thrive, it’s crucial that you first create a clear vision of what it looks and feels like, and then develop ways to stay positive and motivated in making it happen.
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do” – Steve Jobs.
There will be moments of self-doubt, but remember that the key to success is within you.
And always try to have fun along the way. The destination is far less important than the journey.
Now, go forth and crush it!
If you are looking for some additional support, or just somebody you can chat to, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
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