Inspiration

26 Entrepreneurs Share Their Tips and Tricks of Staying Motivated

When the going gets rough in business, you’ll need motivation to keep moving. Motivating yourself can be hard but practicing consistent habits such as reminding yourself of why you started can be a major boost. A network of friends and partners can also serve as a great assurance and reminder that you’re not walking.

Here are the various ways entrepreneurs and business owners stay motivated in business.

#1- Four things

Photo Credit: Katie Horgan

When it comes to motivation there are four things that immediately come to mind. 1. I work hard and am always looking for ways to improve and think that I was just born that way. I have thick skin and always, always, always look to improve, both personally as well as for the company. 2. Our company mission. I feel as if I have an obligatory right to society (and, of course! shareholders) to succeed in leveraging the trillion dollars spent online to benefit the greater good. 3. Our team. We have a group of incredible, brilliant, and socially-minded individuals. I want them to succeed just as much as the business. 4. The fear of failure. This motivates me to keep going. I frequently visualize what success looks like for us.

Thanks to Katie Horgan, Giving Assistant!


#2- Staying open-minded, reading books and listening to podcasts

Photo Credit: Mark Moss

To start with, I am motivated to work hard and improve. I do this by staying open-minded to the fact that there is no such thing as perfect, we can always improve. I just want to be better tomorrow than I am today in all things and everything I do. Taking that further in order to stay motivated, I like to read books and listen to podcasts of other people who are much further along in the areas I am looking to improve. For example, If I want to be motivated in business, I listen to podcasts of other business people who achieved way more than I have. I love to listen to their stories of how they did it and what it meant to them. Or if I need some motivation for my health, I listen to people who have achieved way more by running ultra marathons, doing iron man, or biohacking secrets and tips. Also, for general life success motivation, Gary Vee is the best!

Thanks to Mark Moss, Signal Profits!


#3- Imposter syndrome

Photo Credit: Johnny Reinsch

I think those who really want to succeed tend to suffer from imposter syndrome–at least at first. It’s tough to go in with your heart and soul behind something, and you know you see something that other people don’t. Frankly, I don’t want it to go away, because it helps me to operate better. It puts me in a mindset of always being in that beginner’s mindset and wanting to learn more so that I really am that right person.

Thanks to Johnny Reinsch,Qwil!


#4- My internal accountability

Photo Credit: Germaine Muller

My biggest trick for staying motivated has more to do with accountability to myself than anything else. Motivation is hardest to come by when tasks seem really big, or when they seem uninteresting. What I do as much as possible is to break down large tasks to smaller tasks, because like many self-driven entrepreneurs, I hold myself very accountable and ticking tasks along the way helps motivate me. The same applies to when something seems boring or uninteresting. My motivation, therefore, is drawn from my internal accountability, the feeling that I can be proud of myself, and also looking at the overall dream and destination, and knowing that I am slowly making my way to it.

Thanks to Germaine Muller, Futuretheory!


#5- Learning from other leading entrepreneurs

Photo Credit: Christopher Dangler

I believe the key to staying motivated is to surround yourself with people you want to be like and to find a mentor, sometimes this can be a tough challenge but with so much free material out there to learn from other leading entrepreneurs such as Ed Mylett, and Andy Frisella and even the group of entrepreneurs that they have gathered with Arete Syndicate. I personally listen several podcast from Ed Mylett and Andy Frisella a week which helps me not only stay motivated but to learn on how they created their success.

Thanks to Christopher Dangler, The Kentucky Double!


#6- Remind ourselves of our missing

Photo Credit: Bill Cates

I have built and sold two businesses and am now on my third. I’ve certainly had my ups and downs. When my motivation wanes, I get back in touch with my client-focused mission. Being a missionary about the business helps me and all my team members connect what we do to a higher good. It’s also an attractive quality to most prospects. About four times per year, during one of our team meetings, we remind ourselves of our missing with upbeat music playing. There are smiles all around.

Thanks to Bill Cates, Referral Coach International!


#7- Winning the day in a few steps

Photo Credit: Mike MacDonald

Running your own business as an entrepreneur has its challenges and staying motivated is a big one. One way that has really helped me stay motivated is to focus on winning the day every day. It can get frustrating to stay on task and do what needs to be done as an entrepreneur, but if you can at least have a small win every day it can keep you motivated. A few categories I focus on are 1. Affirmations, 2. Reading 15 minutes of personal development, 3. Listening to 15 minutes of audio personal growth, and 4. Setting an obtainable activity goal each day. (5 sales calls for example). The first 3 steps keep your mind right, and the 4th step keeps your income producing activities on track. Winning the day in this fashion is simple and knowing you won the day, regardless of what else happens, can keep you motivated as an entrepreneur.

Thanks to Mike MacDonald


#8- Remind myself of the negative side of traditional jobs

Photo Credit: Daniel Gillaspia

I keep a (long) bullet-point list in my phone of all the things I didn’t like about having a traditional job and all of the positive ways my life is better now that I work for myself. When I need a little dose of motivation, I go through this list and take a moment to reflect on everything that has changed. It’s remarkable how easy it is to forget about all of the small positives that come with entrepreneurship and making a list like this is the perfect way to instantly remind you of what you might be taking for granted.

Thanks to Daniel Gillaspia, UponArriving!


#9-I engage my bright, dedicated team

Photo Credit: Tracy Warren

It’s a great lesson learned in sports, and it has perpetuated throughout my career. You lean on your team. Teams celebrate wins, and losses, and show up time and again to fight together side by side. To keep myself motivated I engage the bright, dedicated people around me. They challenge me, support me and are that hand extended when I’m down and need help getting up to fight another day. Start-up life is like a game, the score fluctuates, you’ll have fans and even hecklers, but a team committed to getting the job done has no limits to what it can accomplish. I’m fortunate to have a team that motivates me every day, reminding me that the game’s not over. Reminding me that we are here to make a difference in the lives of our nation’s most vulnerable patients, preterm infants. What better contest can one imagine?

Thanks to Tracy Warren, Astarte Medical!


#10- Opportunity to bring my creative vision and mission to life

Photo Credit: Kacey Cardin

What truly motivates me about being an entrepreneur is the opportunity to bring my creative vision and mission to life while making a positive impact on the world. I get to use my imagination, skills, voice, energy, and resources to help people and organizations in a way that only I can! It’s a responsibility and a gift that I hold with reverence, especially during the stressful times when it would be easier to go work for someone else. Being an entrepreneur is a sacrifice in some ways – you let go of taking the easy road, of predictability, of letting someone else be responsible for your livelihood – but it’s incredibly rewarding for anyone who values creation and ambition over playing it safe!

Thanks to Kacey Cardin


#11- Celebrating the small wins

Photo Credit: Katy Hassenrik

Being an entrepreneur is something to celebrate, which is exactly how I stay motivated! I record all the “wins” in my business daily, no matter how seemingly small. Sometimes my “win” is cleaning out my inbox, and other days it is on-boarding a new client. I believe every accomplishment is worth celebrating, because positive energy is a catalyst for more positive energy! It’s also much simpler to recognize mindset shifts that need to happen when you’re focused on all the good things happening in your business. I also think about what is on the other side of reaching a big goal, and work in the mindset that it has already happened. Knowing that something exciting awaits me inspires me to do my best work for my clients. A positive, grateful, and hopeful attitude allows me to show up every day in my business.

Thanks to Katy Hassenrik, Uphold Media LLC!


#12- I ask myself three questions

Photo Credit: Derek Lundsten

Motivation will come and go as an entrepreneur, literally every day can be an up and down roller coaster. There are three questions I ask myself every day, have I achieved the objective (short/long term), am I finished, and what else can I do to improve? The answer will almost always be no/ongoing, which means I must push onward. As many of my mentors say, discipline and habits outperform motivation all the time.

Thanks to Derek Lundsten, Scrimmage!


#13- Have my “why” in lots of places

Photo Credit: McKinzie Bean

The easiest way for me to stay motivated is to have my “why” lots of places that I can see. For me my “why” for running my business is for my family and so that I can be a stay at home mom. I keep pictures of my kids as my lock screen on my phone, on my fridge, and in my office. Whenever I feel frustrated in my business I look at those pictures and immediately I remember the reason why I am hustling so hard!

Thanks to McKinzie Bean, Moms Make Cents!


#14- Two techniques

Photo Credit: Vivek Chugh

I find two techniques to be particularly well suited for increasing my motivation. The first is creating some sort of challenge for myself around the task or activity that needs to be done. For example, I will see if I can complete the task in a certain time frame, or set a goal that I need to reach, like a set number of people I need to email about a biz development deal and I can’t stop until I hit that number. The second tip that I think really helps me get or stay motivated is getting outside for a few minutes. Being that I work in an office all day every day, I find going for a walk, breathing in the fresh air, even just for five minutes is surprisingly re-energizing and extremely motivating. Also while I am walking I think about the things that I am working for or that I would like to obtain. Like providing a better life for my family, or that vacation that I want to take.

Thanks to Vivek Chugh, Listables!


#15- Jotting down verbal praise by clients

Photo Credit: Kelly Donovan

I started a habit of grabbing a sticky note to jot down verbal praise clients were giving me spontaneously when I would talk to them on the phone. I began collecting all the notes in a box and would flip through them whenever I needed a boost. I eventually compiled all of them into a PowerPoint along with some of my favorite inspirational quotes, and I sometimes set it to loop on my second screen while I’m working. Mindset is everything when it comes to motivation, so I like to fill my brain with positivity so I can power through any situation.

Thanks to Kelly Donovan, Kelly Donovan & Associates!


#16- Silencing insecurities

Photo Credit: Dr. Roshawnna Novellus

I learned to do this years ago when I moved to an ashram in Thailand for six weeks. There, I ate off the land, practiced yoga for 12 hours a day, and learned to balance my chakra energy living without internet or hot water. The experience was difficult, but I was able to regain focus and align myself with high-frequency peace of mind. Any time I feel like I am lacking motivation, I take myself mentally back to that ashram, make time to practice yoga, and get my mind back to a place where I can’t focus on anything other than my goals. Whenever I regain focus this way, I know without a single doubt that my abilities are needed in this world to accomplish what I started my business to do.

Thanks to Dr. Roshawnna Novellus, EnrichHER!


#17- Books!

Photo Credit: Kristi Piehl

Books keep me motivated! At any given time, I’m reading three to four books, one in each category: a “self-help” book to challenge myself, a book on business and a “fun” book (usually historical fiction.) People who read development books recognize they don’t have all the answers. They turn to books to learn from others, to discover new information or be challenged.

Thanks to Kristi Piehl, Media Minefield!


#18- Keeping track of my goals and accomplishments

Photo Credit: Francis Mariela

One of the easiest ways to stay motivated is tracking progress. My office wall is covered with dry erase calendars for every month and two large dry erase boards. One board keeps track of my goals and the other one of my accomplishments. This allows me to visually see everything I have achieved already when I’m not feeling motivated. The other board also helps by keeping me focused on the goals I have for the quarter, the next 6 months, year, etc. I also have a 5-year plan that outlines what I want to do by 2024. Although not every single goal is accomplished by target date, it gives me something to work towards and I think that is very important in order to keep my motivation up when things are slow. My advice is to put your goals down somewhere on paper or where they are visible, it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be written out to keep you efficient and ready for challenges and wins.

Thanks to Francis Mariela, Francis Mariela Communications/revatiPR!


#19- Working on new projects

Photo Credit: Carlos Castelán

The excitement of working on new projects every day, and with people I enjoy, is what keeps me motivated. The ability to create new solutions on a daily basis with a talented client team is invigorating. I am motivated and thankful to be able to work on projects with significant, positive impact to our clients’ customers on a day-in and day-out basis. It’s always rewarding when a client hires us to help them, but it’s even more rewarding to see that the suggestions and ideas we offer are put into place and make their business more productive, helping them succeed in today’s competitive business environment.

Thanks to Carlos Castelán, The Navio Group!


#20- Two tactics

Photo Credit: Stacey Brown Randall

First, I make sure to surround myself with other entrepreneurs that have the same drive and determination that I do. I am in a mastermind with other entrepreneurs who have the same focus of growing a successful online business. When I feel my motivation waning or self-doubt creeping in, I just pick up the phone and call one of them. They are happy to give me a shot of encouragement or tough love…whichever I need. Second, I have a visual reminder of want I don’t want to go back to. After my first business failure I took a corporate job. When I left that corporate job to start my second company, I took the name plate that was mounted outside my office door. That name plate has been strategically placed in my office so when I find myself lacking any drive and motivation, I just look at that nameplate and remind myself of where I refuse to return… another W-2, 9 to 5 job.

Thanks to Stacey Brown Randall


#21- Frontload then chill

Photo Credit: Allan Dib

To give my clients my best I like to front-load my week. My energy levels are much higher on a Monday than on a Thursday and Friday. So, I’ll jam pack the first few days of my week, working up to 12 hours a day and then cut back significantly on a Thursday and Friday, sometimes only working 4 hours a day. By doing this I stay motivated, I make the most of my productivity, and I’m more efficient in what I do. Working from home also helps. There’s nothing quite like stepping out of your door and onto beach sand. That’s a nice side benefit.

Thanks to Allan Dib, Successwise!


#22-I stay in my zone of genius

Photo Credit: Chad Conley

It’s simple. I stay in my zone of genius. What does that mean? It means that I don’t delve into things that I don’t like to do. I choose to stay in a zone where I do my best and most passionate work. That zone for me is conceptualizing and innovating big ideas. Conversely, I stay away from things I don’t like doing. Why go into your day with a list of items you’re trying to avoid? Instead, I Delete, Automate, or Delegate (D.A.D. Method) those things and stay away from them at all costs.

Thanks to Chad Conley, Complete Roofing!


#23- Tune my mind on

Photo Credit: Anna Paula Goncalves

Staying motivated is a daily commitment. As someone who has a very active mind — instead of trying to control it or shut it off — I completely tune into it. Every morning, I allow my mind to think and wander for about 20 minutes or so while with a cup of black coffee in hand and no distractions around me. I then take a few deep breaths, pray and read the bible before I start getting ready for the day. It’s an every morning routine [lasting a minimum of one hour] that gets me calm, centered and ready for whatever may come my way.

Thanks to Anna Paula Goncalves, ÁGUIARISE!


#24- Revisit Past Successes

Image Credit: Zondra Wilson

I go back and reminisce about what it felt like when I reached a significant milestone in my business. I took time thinking about the process I went through, the work I put in and the taste of victory. Reliving some of my best moments got me over hurdles and pushed me into action.

Thanks to Zondra Wilson, Blu Skin Care, LLC!


#25- My passion for the work

I stay motivated because my passion for doing this work stems from my own struggles with my body as a teenager and especially from the death of my sister at the age of 36 due to physical issues related her hatred of her body. The fundraising part of running my nonprofit can threaten to drain the life out of me, but I keep going because of the comments I get nonstop from people, especially the young ones, whose lives have been completely and radically transformed for the better by the work we do. It gives me hope for the future of our world to know that young people are freed from the burdens of body shame and eating problems so they can go out and heal this magnificent planet and its inhabitants. I can’t imagine doing anything else! And I love making my own schedule – can’t imagine ever working for anyone else!

Thanks to Connie Sobczak, The Body Positive!


#26-Two objectives

Photo Credit: Kassandra Dasent

As a business owner, my ability to stay motivated and focused is driven by my desire to accomplish two crucial objectives. Motivation should be supported by core values and it is important to firmly establish what they are. In my case, the first one is to continually provide my clients and audience with a level of service that exceeds their expectations. In order to achieve this, my level of motivation must remain high. The second objective is to ensure the well-being of my family and myself. This is an intrinsic goal that unless I no longer care about those I love, I cannot be motivated to do less than my best to succeed in business.

Thanks to Kassandra Dasent, Minding Your Money!


Entrepreneurs! How do you stay motivated? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community.

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This is a post from a CEO Blog Nation writer. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.

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