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- Being organized

Photo Credit: Patricia Diesel

I know that may sound a little cliche but the truth is, when I write my daily To-Do’s and can cross at least 3 things off per day that really matter to me…well, I feel like I accomplished something and that provides a sense of fulfillment. And we all know how that drives momentum productivity.

Thanks to Patricia Diesel, Keep It Simple Now, LLC!


#2- Sticking to my routine

Photo Credit: Ashley Oakes Scott

Let’s be real. With the amount of people posting photos and videos of their Spring Break quarantine, most of us want to have the same experience. But, for some of us, we are entrepreneurs and we have to keep the business moving. I wake up each morning with a routine. Work out, grab my hydro flask, and begin my daily emails. I set a task list each morning of the things that I have to get done before I take a break of going to the kitchen or heading to the backyard for some fresh air. This helps me to stay on track and disciplined.

Thanks to Ashley Oakes Scott


#3- Continuously try new things

Photo Credit: Brad Driscoll

If I were to make a suggestion on how to stay motivated as an entrepreneur, it would be to continuously find new projects that not only utilize your existing talents and skills, but also pushes you forward to learn new skills to stack on your existing ones. This will help you from becoming bored and losing motivation. I find my lack of motivation usually is a result of me becoming bored or less interested in what I used to find exciting.

Thanks to Brad Driscoll, Leveling Up Your Game!


#4- A number of ways

Photo Credit: Lucas Aylward

Most importantly, always remember why you started. Keep a vision board close by to remind you of the goals you’re trying to achieve. Vision boards can contain things such as cars, houses, living space, and awards. Another strategy I like to implement is personal rewards. When I set small goals for myself, I decide to give myself a small reward once I complete the task. It’s a great way to motivate yourself and push forward. Lastly, I like to keep track of progress and growth. It’s easy to feel like you aren’t making progress. Keep a journal detailing each day’s achievements. When you feel unmotivated, look back at your journal to see how far you’ve come.

Thanks to Lucas Aylward, SkySoar Marketing!


#5- Finding alternative solutions to problems

Photo Credit: Kush Kapila

Like many other small business owners, this pandemic has shut down the primary role of my business. Eight years ago, I founded STERLINGS Mobile Salon & Barber Co, a mobile full-service salon for busy professional men and women that parks right at their places of business. With the transition to work-from-home, and the inherent risk of close proximity work in hair service, we have been closed since mid-March. However, part of entrepreneurship is finding the silver lining and the flexibility to pivot. My team and I keep each other motivated as we innovate and get creative; exploring new opportunities and looking at potential alternative business solutions that work for the current climate. We have already pivoted to manufacturing trailers for other verticals. Without the need to focus on the day-to-day operations, we’ve been energized by refocusing our time on the big picture, the future, and strategic planning.

Thanks to Kush Kapila, STERLINGS Mobile Salon & Barber Co.!


#6- Setting aside one day a week

Photo Credit: Steffa Mantilla

I’m a stay at home mom who is running her business during my son’s nap times and evenings. It can be hard to stay motivated when you have a full-time job of taking care of household tasks on top of making time for your online business. I stay motivated by building in one day a week where I set aside time to take classes. Having weekly and monthly goals written out is great but setting aside time for continuing education and learning new skills ultimately allows me to expand my business into different avenues I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.

Thanks to Steffa Mantilla, Money Tamer!


#7- Keeping track of the small wins

Photo Credit: Sabriya Dobbins

Running an event and retreat company during a pandemic is certainly no walk in the park and I cannot lie, my inspiration and motivation took a hit when everything first occurred with Covid_19. After taking a critical 2-week hiatus, I was able to rebuild my focus and drive to create events and services that I could offer virtually. To keep myself going each day, I literally keep track of every small win and I keep a list of all our positive reviews and feedback. It reminds me that my work is not in vain and what I am doing truly is making a difference for people, despite uncertain times and the change to my service offerings.

Thanks to Sabriya Dobbins, Project Passport LLC!


#8- Setting smaller goals

Photo Credit: David Vranicar

As an entrepreneur, I think it is vital to have small, obtainable goals that are within reach. Each time we accomplish one of those smaller goals, it helps to motivate you to keep working towards the next one. The goals don’t necessarily all have to be money-related. Maybe you have a goal to reach a certain number of followers on social media. The next goal might be to have more productive team meetings. Set those smaller goals that lead to the ultimate goal: a successful business that allows you to be financially stable. As you knock the smaller goals off your list you will stay motivated to keep moving forward.

Thanks to David Vranicar, FBS Fortified and Ballistic Security!


#9- Loving what you do

Photo Credit: Dr. Gayle Carson

When you love what you do, it isn’t difficult to stay motivated. Sure you have crisis that pop up but that’s part of life and what you are doing. It has nothing to do with you, Every day should be filled with excitement, deals, people and new ways of looking at things. When you dread coming into work is a sign that you either have to change things, close up shop, sell or take a breather. Being an entrepreneur is the best thing ever!

Thanks to Dr. Gayle Carson, Carson Reearch Center!


#10- Creating a bucket list

Photo Credit: Kenny Trinh

I recently prepared my own bucket list of all the things I wished to do as well as a list of places I wished to visit before I turned 40. Sometimes looking at my list helps keep me motivated and optimistic that I will
achieve everything no matter what.

Thanks to Kenny Trinh, Netbooknews!


#11- Three things

Photo Credit: Levi Walker Photography

WHY – My WHY keeps my purpose at the forefront. I have a Big Hairy Audacious Goal of impacting a million people and therefore it keeps me motivated to show up day after day, even when I don’t feel like it. I find my WHY to be the main thing that keeps me getting out of bed everyday. 2. TRIBE- I surround myself with other like-minded and heart-centered CEOs and Entrepreneurs who keep me charged and motivated. We are constantly sharing the pivots in our businesses, co-creating, and holding each other accountable. It makes me realize that I am not alone in what can often seem like a single raft floating in an open ocean kind of life style. 3. CREATION- I constantly create solutions to the ever-changing business landscape. Creating new things keeps me from growing stale and helps me keep excited.

Thanks to Jonathan George, Unleash Your Rockstar!


#12- Help others hold you accountable

Photo Credit: Tom Mumford

Often times we hesitate to share our dreams and plans with others out of fear of failure or that they will find our plans foolish. While this is an expected reaction, by telling others of our ambitions, they can help to hold us accountable. The more we share our business goals with others, the more frequently we will be asked about them. With the expectation of friends and family requesting updates, it may help to increase feelings of motivation.

Thanks to Tom Mumford, Undergrads Moving!


#13- Not giving it so much power

Photo Credit: Kate Obert

A great way I stay motivated is by viewing this as just another season in business – not giving it so much power. COVID is an opportunity to be creative with your offer and perhaps even pivot to be able to help a different audience you otherwise wouldn’t have thought of. I’m motivated in my business to show up daily and bring so much value to my audience because people are going to remember who showed up and who was there for them when all of this is over. Right now, it’s all about connection and as we know, having a successful business is really about building relationships.

Thanks to Kate Obert


#14- Changing the business mentality

Photo Credit: Daniel Booter

As an entrepreneur, I know that business will not be there unless I make it. Because of that fact my mentality around business changes. It makes me work harder than ever, sometimes up to 60-70 hours a week working on my business. I think this is something all successful entrepreneurs can relate to. There is always that driving factor not to be lazy and work as hard as you can. I love the grind, so I continue to keep going at it, even when some people don’t understand. I love what I do, so being focused in it is natural for me. I wake up every morning ready to kill it & become a bit better in my craft.

Thanks to Daniel Booter, D.B. Marketing Group!


#15- Two ways

Photo Credit: Lewis Keegan

Always look for ways on how you can improve. Do not stay in the same place. Always look for ways on how you can improve yourself and how you can improve your business. Spend time with like-minded people. You become the average of the five people you sorround yourself with, so make sure that you spend your time with the right people – the people who have the same drive and the same goals as you.

Thanks to Lewis Keegan, SkillScouter.com!


#16- Breaking the routine by creating challenges

Photo Credit: Tomas Mertens

I am working as a solopreneur which means there is often not that much variation in my days. That’s why sometimes when I lack motivation, I break the routine by creating challenges for myself. As an example, recently I was sending outreach mails and I made a challenge to send 10 in 30 minutes. It made an otherwise repetitive task into a fun activity. What I found is that these challenges often result in having very productive work blocks, where I work in sessions of up to 2 hours with intense focus and without distraction.

Thanks to Tomas Mertens, Solitaire Paradise!


#17- Never losing focus

Photo Credit: Syed Ali Hasan

The biggest problem when running a business is easily losing focus. When there are so many goals displayed in front of you, you can easily lose your sight from the most important task. The best tip is to set reminders for each task. Why not use your phone to set the alarm for certain tasks? For example, you have a big meeting at 4 pm. Schedule the alarm for 3:00 pm, so you have enough time to prepare the things to discuss.

Thanks to Syed Ali, Film Jackets!


#18- Connecting to other female entrepreneurs

Photo Credit: Monica Monfre

These past 6 weeks has been pretty rough. Not only do I live in Brooklyn so I’m in the height of quarantine, but my sister passed away the last week of March from breast cancer. She was 29. For the next two weeks I honestly almost quit. I wasn’t sure if running my coaching business and teaching yoga was for me. What reignited my motivation was connecting to other female entrepreneurs at my coworking space, Luminary. I had a few women ask me how to use Instagram to pivot their business right now. I realized that my services, Instagram Strategist, were needed now more than ever. In less than two weeks I created an offering about how to use IG to grow, marketed it and sold it out. Realizing that I could help another female entrepreneur right now, even when my world seems to be falling apart, provided the motivation to start back up and keep moving forward, together.

Thanks to Monica Monfre, Teach Wellthy Coaching!


#19- Reminding myself of one thing

Photo Credit: Jesse Hallock

Because money itself is not a primary motivator for me, I have reframed my perspective on money in our business. So for me, it’s not profit, it’s freedom. The better my business does, the more freedom that brings, and that is far more motivating for me. There are times when I am discouraged by a streak of losses, daunted by a list of cold calls to make, unmotivated because I can’t see the connection between work and reward, or battling fear and fatigue. It is in times like this when I remind myself over and over again, I will do what others won’t to achieve what others can’t. It allows me to reframe tiredness, discouragement, and fear as signposts that I’m headed in the right direction. It reminds me that the only way I will not become a statistic for failed startups is by leaning in to those feelings, and not shying away from them.

Thanks to Jesse Hallock, Arabona Coaching & Training!

#20- Two ways

Photo Credit: Brian Folmer

Staying motivated can be exceptionally difficult as a founder. The highs can be crazy high, but the lows can be soul-crushing low. To get through this and stay motivated I do two things. First, when I’m feeling up, I remind myself to reel it in. When I’m low, I reflect on all the positives in my life. Meditation helps a lot here as it strengthens the self-awareness muscle. Second, I ask myself what would the 90-year-old me say if I could talk to him right now? The answer usually is Your path is harder because your calling is higher. Now get your ass back to work!

Thanks to Brian Folmer, FirstLook!


#21- Breaking it down and dealing with it

Photo Credit: Peter Laskay

Two things help me a lot in moving forward. One is that I deal with my stuff every single day, no matter what happens. This is a principle for me. If I only have half an hour a day, I dedicate it to the important things. I reply to important emails, write a draft of my new article, and so on. The other thing that helps is I break down each step into smaller steps. Whatever you want to do, there is always a smaller step. Smaller steps are much easier to start. Mostly, these help me progress every day.

Thanks to Peter Laskay, Petworshiper!


#22- Numbers, numbers, numbers

Photo Credit: Marcus Schneider

A mentor of mine once told me, You don’t get what you don’t measure. And it’s so true. Whenever I feel stuck or needing to prioritize my work, I go back to the numbers. I’ve settled on three key metrics that are most important for my business – holding myself accountable to those numbers on a weekly basis keeps me feeling energized and motivated.

Thanks to Marcus Schneider, again&again!


#23-To Do Lists

Photo Credit: Kim Steward

One way I stay motivated as an entrepreneur is utilizing To-Do lists! To-Do lists can boost your productivity and help with your time management. It’s what I use to push my business forward on a daily basis. Make daily, weekly and monthly to-do lists to stay on track and motivated to get things done. I use an app called Todoist and it really helps.  Otherwise writing the list down or adding it to notes on your phone works too. The best part is crossing items off as DONE!!

Thanks to Kim Steward, Kim Steward Photography!


#24- Reading

Photo Credit: Aleksandar Hrubenja

As a business owner, sometimes it is very hard to stay on top of things which is why I try to read a lot in my free time to boost my motivation. I have enjoyed a variety of self-motivation books that have taught me how to take care of myself in the first place. Learning about different ways people overcome challenges in tough situations helps me realize human strength. I try to read at least one book each week, depending on how busy my schedule is. Plus, I often get a lot of business ideas after reading certain books.

Thanks to Aleksandar Hrubenja, Modern Gentlemen!


#25- Flying to my sanctuary

Photo Credit: Rune Sovndahl

In entrepreneurship, I learned the hard way that I should give my body and mind time to recharge so I can regain my motivation. That’s why I often fly to my sanctuary – a diving resort in Tulum, Mexico, where I study technical diving and explore another world. Underwater, all your focus is on navigating through tight spaces and being aware of your oxygen levels. This leaves no time to think about business and allows me to clear my mind and prepare for the challenges of the corporate world.

Thanks to Rune Sovndahl, Fantastic Services!


#26- Out of necessity

Photo Credit: Tom Scarda

Owning a business is similar to owning a house. If the furnace goes out, you replace it with a newer and more efficient model. If the roof is old and starts leaking, you have to repair it. You have to maintain and upgrade your business like you would with a home. That’s part of how a home has increased value when you sell it compared to when you bought it, and how a business has increased profits compared to when you first started. If you aren’t motivated to perform maintenance and upgrades on a consistent basis, the enterprise will fail.

Thanks to Tom Scarda, The Franchise Academy!


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 CBNation writer. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue 16 Media.

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