28 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- Switched to something fun and doable
Fathercraft is my 11th attempt to get a business off the ground and the first one to take off. The biggest difference by a long shot? Not trying to be a lone-wolf founder. Before we were cool enough to even know about Slack, my co-founder John and I started the company working on an iMessage thread. We sent each other thousands of text messages at all hours of the day and night. It was messages from John that kept me going in the early days, and messages from the team, now on Slack, that keep me going now. The other key way I stay motivated is switching tasks when I get stuck. There's lots to do, and it all matters, so switching to something that feels more fun and doable keeps the momentum going.
Thanks to Paul Zalewski, Fathercraft!
#2- Recharge and celebrate the small wins
Staying motivated as an entrepreneur can be challenging. There are always so many things that need to get done. Make sure to celebrate the small victories that happen on a daily basis. Also – take time for yourself to recharge. Rest your brain and take at least an hour to sit in a quiet setting with a blank pad of paper and write whatever comes to your mind. De-cluttering your mind helps maintain focus which keeps you motivated.
Thanks to Elizabeth Chapman, Art Unlimited!
#3- Pausing and taking a short walk
The best thing is to take a pause and not act in the heat of the moment. It's critical that you don't let emotions take over and can peacefully understand the problem and how best to solve it. Talking a short walk outside or sleeping on it for a day or two helps a lot as it clears your mind helps you disconnect, clear your mind and take better decisions. Practicing meditation also helps do the same.
Thanks to Sid Khattri, Vertoe!
#4- Joining groups of like-minded entrepreneurs
I find motivation to be one of the hardest things to overcome as an entrepreneur. It's easy to spend your day watching tv or doing your laundry list of chores. One of the best ways I've found to stay motivated is to join masterminds and/or online groups of like-minded entrepreneurs. Everyone in the group holds you accountable and when you see them working hard, you're motivated to work hard too. Another way I stay motivated is taking time for myself or taking the time to go for a walk. As odd as it sounds, if you can't get motivated, sometimes you need to spend a bit of time AWAY from everything. I find that getting outside or doing something creative helps me hit the re-set button and jump into my work with a clear mind. Surrounding yourself with motivated people will surely keep you motivated. It's human nature to feel like we want to succeed and seeing others do just the thing we need to be doing will make
you get straight to work!
Thanks to Anna McNaught
#5- Remember my why
Whenever I get tired or frustrated or lack motivation, I remember MY WHY: to create a powerful sustained movement that changes cancer care in this country. I've had six family members die from five different types of cancer. The most significant loss was my younger sister Adrienne. I raised her from the time she was eight years old until she died at age 15 from stage IV liver cancer. Adrienne was my child, my sister, and my best friend. I started Cancer U for patients and caregivers because a cancer diagnosis is overwhelming, confusing, and frightening. Through teaching, training, and coaching, Cancer U empowers and educates patients and caregivers to become advocates for their healthcare to improve outcomes and reduce costs. Together, we can change your cancer journey!
Thanks to Andrea Wilson Woods, Cancer University!
#6- Thinking of my daughter
I started my blog just a few months ago with the initial goal of helping first-time fathers in their new project on how to become a great dad. Staying up until late at nights to write is sometimes very challenging, besides a busy family life and a demanding job. I found that I get extra energy, more than from a Red Bull or a cup of coffee when I think of my daughter. Not only fathers but also she should benefit in a few years from reading the educational posts I create.
Thanks to Balint Horvath, Projectfather!
#7- Three things
Music and cheesily enough motivational quotes get me through the tough times and help ensure that I never lose that drive and passion that I hope will enable me to achieve my ambitions now and in the future. Listening to reggae and some old upbeat classics in the morning gets me in the right mood in the morning. While my favourite quote right now is Rome wasn't built in a day, as it helps me realise that great things take time to build and that is what I am trying to do!
Thanks to Jonathan Merry, MoneyTransfers.com!
#8- Getting outside and fearing loss
Failure – Often I will invest $10,000’s into a new business and the fear of both losing money and fear of failure are powerful motivators when we are not performing well. Remind yourself what you have invested and how much you wanted the business to succeed when you set out. Get outside – When you are working on something for more than a few hours in a row your brain will fatigue and progress will slow down. Allow your mind to take a rest by heading to the gym or going for a run. When you get back you will feel refreshed.
Thanks to Nathan Grieve, Project Hatch!
#9- Working with clients that make me feel inspired
Staying motivated while working full time online and having 2 children can feel impossible. I have learnt that the most simple way to be and feel motivated is to work with clients that make you feel inspired. Their success pushes you to do more. You develop a desire to wake up, get out of bed and serve to the best of your ability!
Thanks to Tammy Seed, Tammy Seed Health!
#10- I see everything like an experiment
When things don't go as planned, it's easy to feel demotivated. In order to stay motivated, I see everything like an experiment. It's called failing like a scientist. When you think about it, every single innovation is built on a mountain of challenges and failures. Scientists don't try to find the easiest, simplest shortcut. They keep on looking for something that works. Thinking—and failing—like a scientist helps me stay motivated.
Thanks to Anne-Laure Le Cunff, Ness Labs!
#11- Knowing my passion or mission
A business without a passion or mission will soon find itself crumbling. This is because monetary gain alone isn’t enough to keep a businessman going. He must find pleasure and satisfaction in the service that his business is offering. In my case, I find delight in knowing that people know what laptop or tablet to use. And it is this feeling that I’ve helped people out that keeps me going.
Thanks to Kenny Trinh, Netbooknews!
#12-Seeing what others have accomplished
I stay motivated by knowing I am taking a career path no one has taken before. Looking at what crazy things people have accomplished and seeing where they started, like how James Cameron was a truck driver who has had two of the biggest movies of all time, is inspirational no matter what your profession is.
Thanks to Nicole Russin-McFarland, CinematNIC.com!
#13- Several ways
When I think of the path I chose to be an Entrepreneur, the subject never crossed my mind once, How will I stay motivated during the long haul? Having to be MOTIVATED wasn't in my mental job description. In my mind, it went like this, Intellectual go-getter who can tackle the world, get it done and be successful in everything that crosses her path. determined, focused and honest, with a positive spirit who will stop at nothing to conquer her mission in serving, giving and loving the world! What began as having the whole world in front of me, turned into hanging on to the rails as I climbed a rickety ladder. How can I possibly stay motivated through all of this? What I do know is this. I've learned to keep getting out of bed each day. I learned to put one foot in front of the other, leave my house and to keep moving. Networking, meeting people, driving, learning, growing, and more driving. What keeps me motivated is knowing the alternative and refusing to go there. What keeps me motivated is my faith and passion to help the world, even if it's one baby step at a time. Staying Motivated? I think I'll stay.
Thanks to Susan Capurso, East End Doula Care!
#14- HOPE keeps me motivated
A vision of multi-million dollar success for our company. I KNOW we have something people want because our Clients love us. I KNOW it works, because we have proven it. SO every day, since the day we started, no matter what happens either personally or professionally, I have HOPE to motivate me and keep me going. I SEE my future and it has everything I want in it for myself and this company. I KNOW that what we have is worthy and different and fabulous. HOPE. It keeps me motivated, every …. single….day.
Thanks to Keverne Denahan, KardZee!
#15- Having clarity
When you find your passion, you can't turn it off. Even if I wanted to take time off, I somehow find a way to get on my laptop and work while watching TV. The motivation comes with clarity of vision. Clarity of execution. Meaning, once you're clear on who you are targeting, what their pain points are, how to market to them and you have a great system to help you stay on task, without becoming overwhelmed, momentum and motivation is limitless. For entrepreneurs, motivation gets lost when the path becomes fuzzy or confusing. When the entrepreneur has so many things on their mind, without a clear execution strategy, that anxiety and overwhelm take over which
immediately zaps motivation.
Thanks to Dr. Andrea Maxim, MAXIMized Business!
#16- Creating and sticking to a healthy morning routine
Nine out of ten times if I stick to my morning routine I know I'm going to have a productive day. That includes waking up to go to the gym first thing in the morning, making my bed, and having my morning coffee before sitting down to write down my to-do list of short and long term goals, both personal and business-related. Each checked off task throughout the day is a tiny victory that keeps me motivated to tackle the next day and meet new goals. Simple pleasures like checking things off your to-do list are highly encouraging.
Thanks to Lily Taban, Fig & First!
#17-Capturing my wins
Count Your Wins. Big or small, count your wins. I use my gratitude journal to capture all of my wins at the end of each day. This can be the wins from today, last week, last month or even last year. It doesn't matter when, but the key is to get in the habit of capturing all of my wins. This brings me complete sense of joy that will let me know that I had done some incredible things in the past and remind me that even bigger things can happen in the future thereby keeping me motivated. Whether big or small, it doesn't matter — just count your wins!
Thanks to Emmanuel Uzoezie, UPNEXUS!
#18- I focus only on the journey
I'm driven to find new opportunities that's why I focus only on the journey, not on the outcome. Motivation stays for a limited period of time. Focus gives a long vision. If my motivation is down I focus on my thoughts. My thoughts give direction to my business so the first priority is to control my thoughts which are coming in my mind. The journey will be directed by our mind if the mind is fresh, the journey will become wonderful.
Thanks to Deepak Bhalla, Money Follow You!
#19- Split up my day into time blocks
As a crypto trader, it can be hard to stay motivated at times. I am constantly watching the market value, especially since the market is always open. In order to stay motivated, I tend to split up my day into time blocks and try to my best to stick to them. Having designated time blocks keeps me motivated because it gives me a sense of accomplishment knowing that I’ve completed what I needed to get done. It also helps with my productivity because I can see my tasks laid out in front of me. It gives me a clear picture of what I need to do next, which in turn motivates me to keep going. Having time blocks also helps with my motivation because it helps me focus on certain things (family time, work, trading, etc.). As I previously mentioned, being a crypto trader can get stressful with the 24/7 open market. I would not be productive, let alone motivated if I spent most of my day monitoring the market. I set aside certain times dedicated to that and don’t allow it to interfere with the rest of my day.
Thanks to Laurence Padilla, Tokenist!
#20- Setting self-imposing deadlines
My biggest hurdle, when I first started, was a lack of clear deadlines. It was only when I began to set self-imposed deadlines that my productivity and motivation skyrocketed. Now, I have a fool-proof routine that I stick to by using a timer. I meditate for 10 minutes, listen to an audiobook that motivates me for 15 minutes, get ready for work in 30 minutes, and then I start my day. I give myself 10-minute slots to complete most of my tasks. That keeps me on my toes all day; it allows me to do a lot more work and creates a momentum that keeps me extra motivated. Ingvar Kamprad (IKEA's founder), as well as a lot of other top performers, use self-imposed deadlines to push their performance and stay motivated)
Thanks to Deniero Bartolini, Gold Rush Social!
The only thing that has been keeping me motivated is staying accustomed to certain aspects. Waking up early in the morning is my daily routine. By waking up early, I get enough time to take my breakfast comfortably and also do some meditation before I walk to my office. Since the body is highly responsive to learning, I am now used to it such that failure to do that on one day everything gets ruined. Over the years, I have been doing this and it has helped me stay motivated.
Thanks to Jason Hughes, Veganliftz!
#22-Acting outside the box
Sometimes motivation isn’t found within. That’s me! In most cases, I find motivation through watching my best films or listening to my best jams that are inspirational. The best way I manage to do this is by utilizing free sessions that I get following the nature of my role in my company. Thanks to the music and film industries!
Thanks to Stella Samuel, Brandnic.com!
#23- Working on new projects and with people I enjoy
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!
#24- Working or scheduling ahead
Working ahead has always been hard for me. Like many entrepreneurs, I have always felt I performed most efficiently under deadline, even though that is not how I want to sustain my business long term. I started thinking about working or scheduling ahead as more than just being able to check something off of my to-do list before it's an emergency. If I can schedule something ahead (especially an automated communication or other automated tasks), then I can think about it as if it's already happened, and I just wait for it to be released publicly. Knowing that not only is this something I don't have to think about anymore, but that for all intents and purposes it will have already happened has made me look for more ways to create and schedule releases, announcements, and events.
Thanks to Sabrina Hughes, photoxo!
#25- From doing
Some aspiring entrepreneurs may believe that motivation comes as a result of external factors. I used to think the same thing. I used to think that I needed to catch the winds of inspiration in my sails to thrust me into action. But it doesn’t always work that way. In many cases, while waiting for inspiration to strike, we may continue engaging in the same bad habits that keep our days fruitless and unproductive. But one day, after reading a passage in a book by Peter Voogd, something occurred to me. He said that motivation doesn’t always come from some external force or situation. Motivation comes from doing. When we start an endeavor, no matter how small the step, it often can provide the extra boost necessary to keep us going. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, motivation comes from doing.
Thanks to Kara McMahon, Home Fitness Life!
#26- 3 things that keep me motivated as an entrepreneur
Balancing my have-to-do list with my want to-do list. I find things that make me truly happy and I do those things as a reward for finishing the necessary work. Creating mini-goals. My motto is minor moves make a major impact. If I can bring down my larger goals into bite-sized ones, it keeps me motivated to get more done. Having an accountable environment. When I'm working on major projects, I like to have at least 1 accountability partner. I tell this person my goals and the rewards that I've set up for myself. And we create a check-in schedule to connect and check-in with one another. Not only do I have someone pushing my through the hard times, but this keeps my actions aligned with my words.
Thanks to Kenisha B. McIntosh
#27- Thinking longer term
Every year, I take a day to look back and plan out my next 1, 3, and 10 years in the business. What do I want to company to look like in 10 years? Great! Then I break it down into 3 years, 1 year, and then 90 days set points. I even go so far as to break down the 90-day plan into weekly tasks as per Traction by Gino Wickman. That way, when I know my week is on track, my 90 days is on track, and ultimately my 10-year plan is totally achievable. Knowing the little things I'm doing every week is contributing to my bigger plan keeps me super motivated and on track!
Thanks to Jessica Moe, Lilac and Clover!
#28-Taking care of the work environment
Working in a bootstrapped tech company with new innovations and exciting projects every other week is motivating in itself. Doing this for over 20 years needs some additional motivational strategies. The most important one for myself is to take care of the work environment. No one can thrive and grow in a negative environment and just a few naysayers or poisonous people can demotivate a whole team. An open, trustworthy environment is the key. Hire inspiring people you can trust, and then trust and inspire them. This is contagious and extremely rewarding in cases where you might need this little motivational boost
Thanks to Ronald Czachara, Derdack SIGNL4!