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- A morning routine of checking my daily revenue
It’s what helps keep me focused and can also give me that boost to get through the “rough” days when there are things that I don’t want to do. It reminds me of how far I've come and that I am successful. It took about 18 months for The College Investor to get off the ground and another 5 years for it to really earn any substantial income on a monthly basis.
Thanks to Robert Farrington, TheCollegeInvestor.com!
#2- Joining mastermind groups
To stay motivated, I have joined several mastermind groups of fellow business owners with similar growth patterns and challenges. It has been helpful to have like-minded people who can empathize with some of the things I have gone through, especially since being a business owner and entrepreneur can be lonely sometimes.
Thanks to Jeff Rose, GoodFinancialCents.com!
#3- Gentle self-talk
While it's important to have your end goal in mind, I find that it doesn't provide enough motivation when you're actually in the moment of giving up or in the moment of failure. It's important to acknowledge the situation when it happens, and the way I stay motivated is by giving myself a positive pep talk. Instead of saying negative things to myself such as, You're weak because you didn't reach your goal today., I say something like, I did not finish my tasks today and I feel overwhelmed. It's okay. I will allow myself to rest and I will come back stronger tomorrow. Being gentle with yourself goes a long way. It's a good and positive strategy to motivate yourself in the moments you feel like giving up.
Thanks to Laurie Wilkins, Call Outdoors!
#4- Getting constant feedback
Staying motivated is a constant battle, especially as a new entrepreneur. However, my motivation is not success or money, but rather is ensuring my employees and freelancers can enjoy their work and are proud to work for me. I cherish my company culture, and ensuring it remains intact is my motivation to keep pushing forward. I also, love when my employees provide candid feedback on what we can do better. This transparent feedback forces me out of my comfort zone, and continues to remind me that we are just getting started.
Thanks to Drew Cheneler, Simple Money Lyfe!
#5- A number of ways
I've been an entrepreneur and business owner for 10 years so staying motivated is something I consciously implement every day. First and foremost, I set the tone of my day with meditation and prayer. It keeps me in the proper mindset for starting the day off right. It motivates me because I'm intentionally focused on visualizing success. Then, throughout the day, I listen to music. And when I find myself dragging or needing a pick-me-up I'll put on some upbeat 80s tunes. There's nothing like a good song that brings back lots of great memories to get you back into the swing of things. And because I tend to hyper-focus on work, I intentionally get up out of my chair and walk around for a few minutes. This gives my brain a break and helps keep me motivated to finish big tasks.
Thanks to Ruthann Bowen, EastCamp Creative!
#6- Gratitude and responsibility
I run multiple business at the same time. I stay motivated by focusing on gratitude and responsibility, everyday I wake up I’m grateful I get to spend my day creating jobs, products and/or opportunities for the marketplace. I also have two children, I feel responsible everyday to make sure that they grow up seeing my work ethic and how consistent I was, even when I was tired or didn’t feel like working. I hold myself to a high standard of performance and don’t waiver off that standard.
Thanks to Micah Logan, The Logan Companies!
#7- Trying to climb up the Google ranks
I started my business in 2008 and climbing up the ladder on Google search results is what keeps me motivated! I'd like to think of SEO (search engine optimization) as a never-ending marathon; where you switch ranks constantly, and it feels great to be in front of the pack instead of the end. Trying to climb up the ranks keeps me going! I want to be the leader of the pack one day.
Thanks to Jermaine Amado
#8- Three ways
Every entrepreneur knows that running a business is anything but easy! Especially these days with so many people working from home, it’s harder than ever to keep yourself motivated. A few of the things that help me stay motivated are strong coffee, good background music, and constantly keeping a to-do list with smaller, broken down tasks. If I have a big project on my plate, it’s hard for me to motivate myself to jump in and start tackling it unless I have it broken down into bite-sized chunks on my to-do list.
Thanks to Alyssa Ege, Sail Away Media!
#9- Systemizing the attainment of positive results
I've built two companies prior to this one and the main thing I learned is that motivation doesn't last. All of your victories will come from routine. Pick a few essential things that you should do every day that will bring the most results and make sure you set a minimum of that thing to be done every day. The reason I do this is that results happen with the little things you do daily, not one big epic event and nothing will motivate you to keep going like results will. If you want to stay motivated, systemize the attainment of positive results.
Thanks to Sean Dudayev, Brawl Bros!
#10- Scheduling virtual coworking sessions every week
A group of us will bring the most tedious work tasks we have for the week, hop on a Zoom call, and then work on them together, in real-time. We use the Pomodoro Technique (work in 25-minute chunks at a time). We go around the circle and everybody states their work goal for the 25-minute chunk of time, and we all turn off our microphones and cameras and work. Then we come back, briefly discuss what came up, make work goals for the next time chunk, and repeat. We usually get through three Pomodoros each coworking session. It's incredibly helpful to work on difficult tasks when I know others are doing the same. Because these difficult tasks are usually the ones that are liable to drain my motivation throughout the week, these coworking sessions work like motivation maintenance.
Thanks to Adam Muller, ADHD Collective!
#11- Revisiting the past
Whenever I feel that I am stuck or start doubting my choices, I think about what made me start my business and what motivated me when I took a decision to become an entrepreneur. I remember my very early achievements and successes and revisit those joyful times. Reflecting on the past gives me a sense of accountability and makes me realize that everything I have done has shaped the way I think and live today. It gives me a sense of purpose because I can see how everything is connected, so I can make sense of things that happen in my life right now. I analyze my experiences and change my plans based on what I have learned. When I look at how it all began, I become motivated to honor my past commitments. I know that every little step I take brings me one percent closer to the goals I had set when I started my journey as an entrepreneur.
Thanks to David Morneau, inBeat Agency!
#12- Looking for different opportunities
Entrepreneurs know and understand that with every challenge comes amazing opportunities, this is where our best ideas are born. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easy to become disheartened, discouraged, or even depressed – the goal is to focus your attention on things that can be done, rather than what can’t. Our struggles usually hold treasures and are where amazing ideas are born! As a motivational speaker I travel a lot and since I’ve been unable to travel, I’ve looked for other opportunities to make a difference. This has led me to writing a series of children’s books that will help young children embrace a healthy mindset. Not only have I completed two books in that series, I also finiahed a book about this very topic, title The Beauty Underneath the Struggle~Creating Your BUS Story. Creating a BUS story is being brave enough to embrace our struggles. This pandemic will undoubtedly be included in our history books as an important time in our world for generations to come. What will this moment say about you?
Thanks to Niki Spears
#13- Celebrating victories as they come
As a cofounder the journey from a concept, to prototype, to a product, to launch and market adoption is long, windy, slow and has a sharp incline. Many days felt like little progress was made when I was so steadfast about reaching the finish line. I’m learning to set mini-milestones and celebrate those victories along the way. They help boost confidence and create a feeling of momentum. There is always so much work, it’s easy to keep your head down and plow through your to-do-list but it’s important to stay connected to clients and prospects and prioritize continuously learning from them. I get invigorated from these conversations. They remind me why I decided to start my own business in the first place. Hearing about their challenges and opportunities keeps me creative and innovating on how I can create value for them. The journey can feel lonely when it's about me and my business, focusing on how I can help others accelerates and emboldens me. Ultimately, it's what drives me and serves as my purpose.
Thanks to Jennifer Smithberger, seedership!
#14- More about discipline
I am motivated by the results that I get for my clients, but there are days when I'd love nothing more than to go to the beach and switch off from all technology! It is the discipline to know when to work and when to rest, and the work I NEED to do, in order to get the results that my clients deserve. Planning is essential for me. On a Sunday evening, I review my monthly and quarterly goals and make a plan of what needs to be done the following week. I then time block tasks, to ensure that they get done with no distractions and no excuses. Motivation comes and goes; it is the discipline that ensures you achieve your goals, and it is my clients who are always at the forefront of my mind.
Thanks to Gems Collins
#15- Prioritizing my morning routine
My morning routine comprises journaling, exercising, and meditating. When I start my day off prioritizing myself and filling up my cup, motivation levels remain high because I'm able to give feely to my team and clients. As an entrepreneur, you often become so busy focused on serving others that you can forget to take care of yourself. To remain motivated, don't forget to fill your cup so you can pour into others' cups.
Thanks to Katie Thomas, CPA, Leaders Online!
#16- Remember my why
When the going gets tough, I remind myself what it was like to work for someone else. While I am grateful for the experience, there were very different frustrations than today. After 10 years of being an entrepreneur and small business owner, I have no one to blame but the lady staring back at me in the mirror. I also remember why being an entrepreneur is great! For one, I can put much more away for retirement. Plus, when the boys of summer are playing baseball again and there is a day game in the middle of the week, I AM THERE and not at all worried about my boss catching me on the jumbotron.
Thanks to Dawn Mahan, PMOtraining, LLC!
#17- Talking it out
I co-own all three of my businesses with my wife whom I have three kids with. My wife and kids are always there as a reminder for me about why I do what I do. They bring me the most joy in my life and making sure they’re all provided for is more than enough motivation for me to keep going each day. When things are feeling particularly difficult, I’m able to talk it out with my wife. Since we work together, she’s already aware of everything going on in the business so sometimes we can let off steam about work without actually even having to say anything. We can just look at each other and a facial expression is sometimes all it takes to make me laugh or smile or feel understood so I can get back to work knowing the most capable and inspiring person I know has my
Thanks to James Zhang, The Bright App!
#18- By morning walk and exercise
Regular morning walk and exercise helps me to stay motivated. For me, exercise is a great way to relieve stress and to start afresh and motivational day. Even during the busy, I try not to miss my walk. After the exercise, I feel good when my body gets stronger and I can do more than I did before. As most of my work is computer-based it’s important for to push my body physically and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air regularly. It refreshes my body, inspires creativity, and encourages a positive outlook.
Thanks to Shawn Lockery, InVivo Biosystems!
#19-NOT thinking about the business
Spending enough time NOT thinking about the business that helps me stay motivated. While this could be true in any profession, it is even more critical when you have your own business since you are responsible for how motivated your employees are as well. I have found that it is easy to just let your business consume you, as there is ALWAYS something you could be doing to improve processes, grow larger, and make more money. Understanding just because you could be doing something, doesn’t mean that you should. I have realized the importance of detaching from the thoughts of work. Things like spending time with my family in the evenings or working on my hobbies. While I am definitely not perfect, and still struggle with fully decoupling, I tend to feel much more motivated when each day is a fresh start, and that won’t happen if I don’t stop thinking about work.
Thanks to Kevin Bazazzadeh, Brilliant Day Homes!
#20- Being in control
Motivation is the result of autonomy, mastery and purpose. In this time of upheaval and disruption, these are three things I can control – so I choose to do just that. I have complete autonomy over how hard I work, how much rainmaking I choose to do on any given day (that sweat and elbow grease of reaching out, offering solutions, creating content, making connections), and my attitude towards all of it. Mastery requires learning and practice; there is more time and opportunity now for learning than ever before, so I've run out of excuses to not read, try, fail and try again. And purpose – that has never been more clear. My work – delivering strategies for strengthening mental health and resilience in oneself and in business teams, clients and employees – has more purpose now than ever. So, when I can't find the drive, when I see the towering stack of obstacles and risks around me, I refocus on what I absolutely can control. Because of that, my business has grown more in the past 6 months than ever in the past 8 years.
Thanks to Deborah Gilboa, MD, AskDoctorG.com!
#21- Conserving motivation for big things
I focus on environment and consistency for everything else. Here’s some examples. Maybe you’re not motivated to read. Instead of “pushing harder”, leave a book on your chair and show up to work 20 minutes early. If you’re not motivated to make 20 sales calls by the end of the week, commit to two before and after lunch every single day. Highly motivated people don’t always have more motivation. They’re just more efficient with it.
Thanks to Jackson Kerchis, Maxwell Financial!
#22- Finding balance
Staying motivated while running a business can be a little daunting, especially when you're a soloprenuer in the middle of a pandemic. However, I have been able to stay motivated through finding balance. Not only am I a business owner, I'm also a mom. I wear a lot of hats and I feel that it is so important to maintain balance in all aspects of your life to avoid burnout. Instead of working around the clock, I set specific hours for myself so that I am able to spend quality time with my daughter. I have learned how to outsource and ask for help so that I can take some of the load off of myself. I also incorporate prayer, yoga, and a support system of coaches and friends that push me to strive towards greatness.
Thanks to Keymia Sharpe, Key2MIA!
#23- Writing down my goals
I’m a bit old school when it comes to motivation practices, and what I do is I write down my goals every single day. It helps a lot more for me to have something tangible like a physical list to look at and manually tick off tasks I’ve done. It is very short-term, but it motivates me to take on these tasks and knowing what I’ll be able to accomplish in a day.
Thanks to Jack Wang, Amazing Beauty Hair!
#24- Listening to a business-related podcast
What I've been doing the past year (and loving) is listening to a business-related podcast while walking by dog in the morning (think “How I built this” and similar) and then doing some daily/weekly planning when I get back and have my breakfast. On the surface, my routine hasn’t change – I still walk the dog first thing and then plan while eating and having coffee – but the introduction of the podcast during my walk has really started turning my gears so Im much more excited to plan and hit the ground running with work. There is just something about learning about successful companies that motivates me – even if they are in a completely unrelated industry, there are always takeaways that I can apply now or in the future.
Thanks to Quincy Smith, ESL Authority!
#25- Two ways
Staying motivated is an artform. How I maintain this is by focusing on the solution outcome rather than the current challenges. It allows me to lead and give clarity to my team to find opportunities that align with the current restrictions placed on small businesses. Another key component is patience. Riding things out is always a best practice. Remaining patient eliminates chaos and keeps the team focussed. If we can't control it then we focus on what we can control while zoning in on opportunities that are out there. Lastly, I promote meditation to help the team with clarity and peace of mind so they operate effortlessly in a space of creativity and productivity. The momentum of life will change and when it does, we are always ready.
Thanks to Gregg Jaden, Gregg Jaden Studios!
#26-Other's success stories
I've started my career as an entrepreneur straight after attending college. It has been the most challenging and most amazing journey I could ever take. Not having a manager and being your own boss can be hard sometimes. Here is what I do when I lack motivation. I keep reminding myself why I chose this path and set measurable goals which keep my driving. During hard times, I get a lot of inspiration by other's success stories. It means that if others could do it, I can do it too! Keeping a routine is essential, so I always advise others to have a relatively strict schedule. Also, not having a boss means that you have to reward yourself when you are successful. It is very important not to get lost in overachieving – you need to take time to be proud of yourself.
Thanks to Samit Patel, Joopio!