Startups are on the rise and young people are eager to launch their own businesses as opposed to a nine-to-five job. As easy as it might sound, opening a business requires patience and proper planning. Even after all that is done, more planning is required. Yet the more you seem to plan and control things,the more things become out of your control. Does that make you any less an entrepreneur? Of course not!
It is obvious that being an entrepreneur isn’t quite the easy route. More often than not, clock hours begin to seem longer than they did/do at your nine-to-five job. You will hear the word “no” so many times, it will remind you of the days when you asked your mama for sweets and a positive answer remained a distant dream.
In entrepreneurship, that feeling of excitement, the passion and energy may slowly start to fade and the motivation to “make it” gently slip away. The sweet rewards of entrepreneurship may seem so distant that the journey becomes less likely. One of the things that create emptiness in us as human beings is knowing we are made of more conquering stuff, more gut, more creative prowess. The ability to be independent and do ‘more’ however, appears a fanciful notion.
Even though it is not the answer to our pipe dreams, motivation holds sway especially in those early days when it’s all too easy to get overwhelmed and disheartened.
You can’t wait for outside inspiration. You’ve got to see motivating yourself as an essential part of the process, maybe the most essential part. Because when it comes right down to it, nobody else can motivate you. All anyone else can ever do is talk you into motivating yourself, is sell you on the idea of motivating yourself. You motivate you. There’s nobody else who can be with you every hour of the day or the night when all those thousands of little decisions that lead toward your goals or away from your goals have to be made. You’ve got to be your own guru, your own favorite motivational speaker.”
– Barry Maher, Author/Speaker/Founder of BarryMaher.com
Here are 9 useful strategies to keep your motivation levels high and keep your passion pumping all the time.
1. Read, listen to or watch something positive every day
The road to entrepreneurship is often a lonely road. Hardly would your business ideas make sense to your family members or close friends. Hardly. Yet these are the people you so often look up to for motivation. Sometimes, you just need to look outside your circle for motivation.
When this happens, re-watch a movie that you thought inspired you at first. You may watch a TED talk. Or listen to an inspirational speech during your commute, during your lunch break or while you are enjoying your personal time alone. Stay motivated through rough times by reading a lot about founders of successful companies. When you read things like how Richard Branson was almost turned upside down by a 3 million euro overdraft, you realize your rough times are minuscule.
2. Why do want this? Remind yourself everyday
This is really the root. Even the bible suggests, “Write the vision. Make it plain”. To get motivated, you need to remember why you were ever motivated in the first place: why you’re doing what you’re doing. Maybe you want to change the world, maybe to become your own boss, maybe to make people happy for 5 minutes per day, maybe to improve your family status and make your parents happy – whatever. Keep your vision clear at all times.
3. Improve on your skills continuously
No one succeeds immediately, and everyone was once a beginner. At the beginning of the business,it may seem as if you are failing at everything and making things more complicated. More often than not, it’s caused your lack of skill in handling a particular issue.
4. Failure is part of the process
If you fail, a few entrepreneurs have advised to just suck it up. That basically means: tell yourself that failing at something is not the end of your being. You chose this career, you choose this startup, and you’re the only one who can keep it going. Get tough. It’s important to remember that every minute of every day counts and you own your attitude and effort. There is always a solution to the problem. Staying motivated requires tremendous perseverance and creativity, but that’s what separates those who make it and those who don’t
5. Find like-minded people
Get out of your own head. Stay connected and COMMUNICATE with people with purpose almost same as yours, whether they are friends, colleagues or employees. Who you surround yourself with is who you eventually become. Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, noted that the fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be.
So who do you hang out with after you’re done with working on your business? Do they understand your work? Do they feel your passion? Can they be a sounding board? A supportive shoulder? Oprah Winfrey puts it this way, “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher”.
6. Believe in yourself
Having faith in your little steps is the strongest strategy to being an entrepreneur. You will need that voice inside your head telling you that everything is happening the way that it is supposed to and that all the things that are happening will all work together for your good. What you are doing is inspiring. Even if you make at least one person’s life better, it will have all been worth it.
Also try to repeat one of these to yourself once in a while: “I can do hard things because I’m stronger”, “My competitor is probably working right now,” or “All in.” All in!!!
7. Be different
Instead of doing things the same way as everyone else, have fun and find ways to be disruptive in your industry. Say things differently. Do things differently. Turn left when everyone else turns right. Besides standing out, you might also get to that point where one problem/issue that was a stumbling block that turns into a golden stone.
8. Take small steps everyday
In other simpler words, keep moving. So, to stay motivated you need to constantly be making moves. Movement, whether it’s forward or backward, is still good for learning. The movement doesn’t have to change the world, it just need to be big enough to make you feel progress. It could be as simple as meeting a great contact at a networking event or coming up with a new marketing strategy to try.
9. Finally, stay positive.
Being positive might seem a cliche and right up there something that is easier said than done, but there is a reason they are so popular – they work! There is no one-size-fits all answer to what makes people happy, with definitions, theories and opinions abound. For me, I have a simple mantra that I often use when I need a boost. It is simply, “Be intentional”. By saying that phrase and mustering up an intentional yet authentic smile, I find my mood and motivation is elevated exponentially.