Staying Motivated as an Entrepreneur

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“Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s so easy to tell yourself that you’re going to accomplish something new, but what happens when it takes longer than you originally thought? Suddenly, staying motivated becomes a lot more difficult.

Like most of us, you’ll probably find that your motivation starts to disappear. Eventually, you might even give up on the idea altogether.

This is what makes keeping your motivation up as an entrepreneur so important, especially when you’re first starting out.

I want to share with you why motivation is important, what causes you to feel unmotivated and give you some tips on how to keep yourself motivated. Yes, I’ll be talking about entrepreneurs a lot, but this info can work for anyone in any situation, not just for business owners.

Why Staying Motivated is Important for Entrepreneurs

Unlike typical 9-5 jobs, entrepreneurs often find themselves performing roles that are usually carried out by multiple people—such as accounting, marketing, and handling customer service. Plus you still have to perform your services or create new products.

All of these are things that would normally be carried out by different people or at scale, whole departments. Once you realize just how many jobs you’re doing, things can get overwhelming really quickly. This leads to many would-be entrepreneurs losing the motivation to continue.

Entrepreneurship and proper motivation typically hand in hand. You’ll find it really difficult to focus on all the things you have to do if you don’t have the right level of motivation.

Below are some reasons why you should focus on improving your motivation to increase your chances of success.

Motivation encourages positivity

When you’re motivated, you’ll find your mindset is positive. You’re geared up to work on your goals and improve your life. The more motivated you become, the more susceptible you are to changes you need to make.

Motivation focuses on the present and the future. It doesn’t dwell in the past or allow room for any negativity. Without it, you could find yourself stuck in a negative spiral which is really hard to get out of.

Motivation keeps you focused

Staying focused on your goals isn’t always easy. However, motivation helps enormously. It causes you to focus solely on the goal you’re working towards. Provided you’ve set realistic goals, you’ll stay consistently motivated and therefore more likely to achieve success.

It’s up to you to figure out what it is that keeps you motivated, but it can help to have something external to focus on. A picture or a dream map/vision board of what you want to achieve can prove especially effective.

Using a Compelling Outcome to Visualize Your Success and Achieve Your Goals

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Motivation encourages more effort

You’ll notice that when you’re motivated, you put a lot more effort into achieving your goals. The most effective motivation comes from working towards something you’re passionate about.

The more passionate you are about your business, the more motivated you’ll become and the more effort you’ll put into achieving your business goals.

Motivation helps you think outside the box

With the right motivation, you’ll be able to come up with new, creative ways to achieve your business goals when you need to. Without it, it’s easy to give up when you reach obstacles along the way.

Though there will always be some tried and tested methods of conducting business, being able to embrace new ideas and ways of thinking is sometimes necessary. Motivation can help you to keep moving forward rather than doing the same things over and over again.

7 Reasons Why It’s Often Hard to Stay Motivated

For many of us, we experience a huge burst of motivation at the start of a project, but it slowly or suddenly fades away, sometimes within just a few days.

It’s easy to lose motivation after the initial excitement wears off. But if you want to be successful, it’s important to keep going. The work isn’t going to get done itself.

Read the seven reasons for demotivation below and think about which ones apply most to you. Are there any other reasons you can think of? You may want to write them down and think about how you can avoid your reasons or improve how you handle them.

(Or you can tell us about them in the comments, as well!)

The planning phase is more fun than the execution phase

Sitting alone at night and making plans for the future can be an exciting time. Everything seems possible because you’re only limited by your imagination at that point.

However, when the sun comes up in the morning, it’s time to actually get busy. It all seems a little more daunting and less enjoyable when it’s time for the rubber to hit the road.

Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal.

― E. Joseph Cossman

You lose track of the end result

Remind yourself of the prize at the end of your journey. Visualize how it’s all going to be when you’ve reached your goal. You should feel an immediate boost of motivation.

Having actual visuals of your goal may help too. Try creating a vision board filled with inspiring photos, affirmations, and quotes; or make your phone or computer desktop backgrounds a representation of your life after completing your goals.

Your goal doesn’t suit you

Many of us choose goals that are acceptable to the world at large. It might be buying a huge house or a fancy car. Is this really what will make you feel fulfilled?

Maybe your goal is totally mismatched to your real desires or temperament. Ensure that you’ve chosen goals that match your interests and abilities. Don’t feel pressured to take on extravagant goals if that’s not who you are.

You’re taking on too much at once

It’s easy to feel up to completing a single task or two, but when you have lots of different things to work on, you can easily become overwhelmed. You may find yourself switching between several different tasks or worse, you never get started because you don’t know where to start.

Practice creating lists of tasks to complete your goals. List your tasks in the right order so you always a clear path for what you need to it. You can make your lists be from most to least important, based on deadlines you need to meet, or a step-by-step start-to-finish order.

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You feel uncomfortable and aren’t dealing with it effectively

It’s normal to feel uncomfortable when you need to do something new. Whether it’s creating a new income stream, beginning a workout routine, or a new diet, it’s going to be uncomfortable.

It’s important to deal with this discomfort effectively. Expect to feel uncomfortable and have a plan for working through it.

You have too many negative thoughts

Negative thoughts are paralyzing. They’ll make you rationalize all the reasons you feel that you should quit.

Though it doesn’t always feel like you have control over your thoughts, you do. You can choose what you want to think about.

Take control of your thoughts. Catch yourself early in the process of thinking negative thoughts and redirect your focus to something more positive.

Though it takes time to master this ability, the key is to notice quickly that your thoughts are going off the rails.

You’re stuck in your old habits and routines

The older you are, the more challenging it can be to break out of your old patterns. We find comfort in our old routines, and our brains become hardwired to repeat them. You’ll need to create new habits and routines if you want to change your behavior and your results.

Identify one habit that is getting in your way and one habit you need to create to attain your goals. Put your time and energy into dealing with these two items. When you’re successful, tackle two more.

Good habits are the key to all success. Bad habits are the unlocked door to failure.

― Og Mandino

Expect that your motivation will falter and be prepared to deal with it. Focus on creating habits that will take you to your goals, because habits reduce the need for motivation and willpower.

Now that we’ve talked about the reasons why you might lose motivation and what to do about them, let’s talk about how to keep yourself motivated!

Sidewalk with text: passion led us here - Staying motivated is possible with discipline and focus

11 Quick Tips to Keep Yourself Motivated

Gaining motivation is often a lot easier than actually maintaining it. You’re eventually going to have to deal with plateaus, setbacks, or relapses, which are completely normal when it comes to life-changing goals.

The important thing is to keep pushing through even when things get tough. Try following the tips below to keep up your motivation consistently.

Take action daily

This is the single best step you can take in order to further your momentum. Taking action ensures that you’re making progress, no matter how small. Even if you don’t know exactly what action you’ll be taking, just do something, anything, to further yourself.

For example, If you want to lose weight, it’s important to burn more calories than you take in each day. If you want to grow your business, review business growth materials.

Find little motivational nuggets

Take a few minutes each day to read something inspiring, whether it’s motivational quotes or affirmations to keep your confidence going. Motivational quotes or affirmations that inspire you can help transcend your mindset away from the daily grind and onto things that are bigger than yourself.

We have a lot of these within our articles here on Stay Goal’d! Check out our Pinterest account, too.

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Check your progress

Write down your goals and check in on your progress each day. If you’re feeling stuck or like you’re not moving forward, review the goal that you’re trying to accomplish.

Think positively about how close you are to the goalpost rather than how far you are from it.

Talk to another

Find another person who has already achieved goals similar to the ones you’re working on.

If your goal is to get physically fit, for example, find a bodybuilder, runner, athlete or other like-minded individuals whose been in your shoes.

Extract all the wisdom, advice and helpful tidbits that you can from their story.

Plan ahead

Scheduling time to work on things related to your goals is critical. We use schedules for everything else in our lives, so there’s no reason that time devoted to working on personal goals cannot be included as well.

Invest in a personal planner, use printable planner pages, or use an app on your computer or phone. Maybe try a combination, with one handling your daily plans and another your monthly or long-term goals.

If you don’t know exactly where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?

― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

Reward yourself

Small rewards have been shown to motivate everyone from kids to older adults. Rewards act as positive reinforcement, and even affirmation of a job well done.

When we’re being rewarded, we tend to continue pressing on towards our goals.

Limit all distractions

You already know that procrastination is detrimental to motivation. So, if you’re looking to maintain your motivation, you’re going to need to limit all distractions.

This includes limiting your time on social media, browsing websites or even using your phone. Whatever tends to distract you, set limits on when you can use them. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference this can make.

Make sure you’re eating right

Did you know that your diet can affect your motivation? If you regularly skip meals, or simply eat fast, unhealthy foods, you’re going to struggle to stay motivated.

This is because a poor diet zaps your energy. The less energy you have, the harder it is to stay focused and motivated. So, make sure you’re eating a healthy, balanced diet rich in Vitamin B6 and iron.

Make sure you’re not skipping meals or you have healthy snacks on hand. If you’re hungry and all you can think about is your next meal, it’s really hard to focus on whatever work you’re doing.

Surround yourself with positive people

Who we choose to surround ourselves with makes a huge difference in how motivated we remain. For example, if you find you’re mainly communicating with negative people, your motivation is going to dwindle away.

Negative people literally zap the energy right out of you. So, just like a poor diet, they’re going to leave you feeling drained and unmotivated. Positive people, on the other hand, will leave you even more motivated to fulfill your goals.

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Find a role model

Following on from the last point, finding a role model can do wonders for your motivation. It could be somebody you know, or it could be someone famous or maybe even a character from your favorite TV show.

If you have a role model, it gives you someone to look up to and aspire to be. This in turn really boosts motivation and keeps you focused on your goals.

Focus on short-term goals

Finally, when setting goals, it’s so important to make sure you have a plan that includes easily achievable short-term goals. While you’ll still want to have a long-term goal to strive towards, you need to split it into smaller goals so you have a plan with quicker steps to achieve.

For example, if you want to lose weight, that would be your long-term goal. However, to stay motivated you’re going to need to see progress. Your short-term goals could include the changes you want to make to your diet and starting an exercise plan.

As you consistently meet your smaller goals, it’s going to really boost your motivation.

Start each day with a positive thought and a grateful heart.

― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

It’s definitely not easy to maintain motivation, but the tips above will help. Like anything in life, the key is to work at it and do whatever it takes to keep your motivation levels high.

A few other things you can try are

  • writing in a journal,
  • listening to inspiring talks,
  • join a support group related to your goals,
  • spending a few minutes in quiet meditation on your goals,
  • or posting daily reminders to yourself.

These are just a few of the things that you can do on a regular basis to practice staying motivated and ensure that you’re continually making progress.

The keyword here is “progress.” If you taking some action or doing even just one thing on a daily basis that furthers us along in our goals, you’ll feel better about yourself and be able to keep that momentum.

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