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- Starting each week with a mental exercise
I begin each week by sitting down to map out and create challenges for myself. These can be simple, but important, self-care goals such as getting in more activity in my day to far more complex ones like planning financial and real estate investments for my business. Doing this mental exercise of combining easily achievable challenges with ones that require greater action steps works to fire up my brain and my motivation. The exercise energizes me to think bigger, and when I met the tasks, which were easier to achieve in my week, I add on larger goals that require me to really stretch my thinking. Being a business owner and a CEO means never settling for the status quo. I believe that if you’re not always asking yourself, what’s next? Or what more can I be doing? You’re not thinking big enough.
Thanks to Beth Wammack, GDC Marketing & Ideation!
#2- Defined my North Star and track my progress towards it
I stay motivated by keeping the ultimate goal in front of me at all times. I defined my own North Star and track my progress getting to it, which keeps me and my team motivated. We know at all times where we are and where we want to go. Also, working out, sleep and meditation are non-negotiable for me. It's hard to maintain motivation if I'm worn out and exhausted, so self-care is a necessity to continue focusing on the goals ahead.
Thanks to Heather Leeds Greenfield, Element Brand Group!
#3- Setting two goals
I find myself constantly setting mini personal and professional goals to stay motivated, these are things that I can accomplish in a week or even a day. Checking things off my list makes me feel like I am making progress. When I begin to feel unmotivated, it usually means I need to realign my priorities and break down a larger, more overwhelming task into smaller mini-goals. I also believe positivity is a choice, I do my best to remain positive and optimistic in all situations.
Thanks to Brooke Fiumara, OPTX!
#4- Several things
Throughout my 25+ year entrepreneurial journey, my unwavering commitment to my purpose, creating meaningful engagement solutions for businesses, is the guiding force and primary motivation for everything I do. Seasons of change inspire me; they breed disruption and spark my creativity. Through even the most challenging times, including the current pandemic, I am encouraged by the vast opportunities that undoubtedly lay ahead. I am always searching for uncharted territory and am steadfast in my motivation to lead the way with new, innovative technologies that add value to companies and relationships. Embracing shifts in business and culture pushes me to think abstractly and has resulted in some of my most successful business ventures.
Thanks to Brad Nierenberg, RedPeg!
#5- I implement my desires
For me, I need balance between work and life to stay motivated and that is not easy. Being able to use my phone functions by blocking the communication for a couple of hours to take time for myself as a task is one way. I don’t subscribe to the philosophy of, “When I retire, I’m going to travel”. I implement my desires into my daily, monthly, yearly activities and make a commitment to full-hearted living. Enjoying life when it is great, good and not so good, that’s the path that I’ve chosen to take. Scuba diving, hiking, skiing, tubing, shooting guns are a few ways I unwind. I am currently learning to fly as well. They are all good experiences to clear my mind, concentrate on the now and re-energize. I can then bring that renewed energy to my business.
Thanks to Serge Chistov, Honest Marijuana Co.!
#6- Pivoting my focus
Pivoting my focus every so often keeps me on my toes. Last year was extremely trying with a surprise at every corner but it kept the idea of remaining flexible and moldable at the forefront of my mind. As an entrepreneur, you cannot fixate on your expectations; instead, you have to change course when you find yourself at a possible dead end.
Thanks to Daniel Shapiro, Fourlaps!
#7- Creating boundaries
It’s okay to say “no” – Similar to tending to your “media garden”, it is also important to manage your energy and bandwidth off the screen during this time. Creating boundaries to help foster my own energy and bandwidth has been a crucial practice for me during this time. Whether it’s learning to manage my energy with friends (re-assessing if I actually do have the bandwidth for that hundredth zoom gathering), or managing my energy with work (learning to communicate realistic timelines), setting boundaries and learning to communicate them has been a large source of support to my mental health during this time. Remember, “no” is also a full sentence.
Thanks to Judith Martinez, InHerShoes!
#8- Amazing team members
What keeps me motivated, more than ever during these trying times, are the amazing team members we have at ZenBusiness who are devoted to ensuring that more and more people have the tools needed to follow their dreams of starting, running and growing their own business. It has been completely awe-inspiring to watch more than 70,000 entrepreneurs take the leap and start a business during this pandemic and to witness the unrivaled dedication of our team to join their journey and serve as a trusted resource for them every step of the way. Seeing the success of our customers and the passion that the ZenBusiness team has for growing more entrepreneurs inspires me each day and instills a deep sense of pride for our mission.
Thanks to Ross Buhrdorf, ZenBusiness!
#9- Forcing myself to start
To stay motivated at the beginning or throughout the duration of a project, I have to force myself to start. That's the hardest. Usually I force myself to start. Once in the midst of it I have an urgent desire to finish it. That is in the blood. That desire to finish nothing left unfinished. So just forcing myself to begin something gives me natural motivation to finish it. It is like a book you do not want to read. If I force myself to start reading it, my subconscious trait will force me to finish it
Thanks to Michael Kansky, LiveHelpNow!
#10- My desire to bring happiness and fun
Understanding the need for your business in the initial stages is the only way to remain purposeful and productive. I was inspired to bring happiness and fun to people and their loved ones so I figured out what niche would be in the industry and built my business around that. This desire helps me get up everyday and produce.
Thanks to Assaf Kostiner, Paint Your Life!
#11- Focusing long-term
I find that focusing long-term keeps me motivated and focused on solving the problems that matter. Entrepreneurs continually face short-term emergencies and stressors that can become overwhelming. I remind myself not to worry about things that aren't impactful over the long-term. I make sure to ask myself, Will this matter six months from now? The answer is usually No. It's also imperative to enjoy the journey and not try to rush to some destination. Don't stress about an upcoming exit or milestone. It's a long journey, and embracing that journey will let you stay motivated for longer.
Thanks to Phil Santoro, Wilbur Labs!
#12- Doing things that keep my creativity alive
I find that in times when the world is so uncertain, if I take some time to dig deep and find my creativity, it really helps. I LOVE doing other sessions for my clients, and creating what they want, but I find that if I don't take time and do something creative photography-wise for myself, I can get burned out. I always advise people looking to stay motivated to try to take time for themselves and find what keeps their creativity alive.
Thanks to Mandy Penn, Mandy Penn Photography!
#13- Adopting a growth mindset
What works best here is turning unforeseen situations into opportunities for growth. Drastic changes in 2020 have made many of us fearless risk-takers because even if an idea fails, you go back to the drawing board to better it and eliminate the loop-holes. Adopting this mindset has worked miraculously in opening new doors. Even better for small businesses where the risk is less. Reflecting on my journey and reminding myself of how we made it, how far our team has come — against all odds, keeps me motivate and excited!
Thanks to Cody Crawford, Low Offset!
#14- Following my passion
After the loss of my family dog, I started a blog to help others through the grieving process of the passing of a beloved pet. I applied my SEO skills and slowly began to expand the blog to all things dog care. After a year I was able to quit my full-time job and make job-replacing income with my own content-based website on dog care, K9 of mine. Owing a successful website that brings in considerable revenue requires constant hard work developing new content and establishing and maintaining relationships. What keeps me motivated is that the content of my online business is a topic that I am passionate about, which is very important as my key to success has been putting the time and energy into my business. I started my business to help myself and others cope with the loss of a pet. Today, I stay motivated knowing that I am helping people understand their pets better. Pets are a cornerstone in many people's lives. And yet, there is so much miscommunication and misunderstanding between humans and pets. If I can resolve some of that and help humans better understand their pets while improving their relationship, all the hard work is worth it.
Thanks to Meg Marrs, K9 of Mine!
#15- Waking up at the magic hour
Waking up at the magic hour (5:30am for me) has proven to be the most advantageous habit that I've created as an entrepreneur. I now start my days in ‘receiving' energy as opposed to ‘survival' energy, and the importance shows in the outcome of my every productive move. I find that the work that I produce is more conscious-based as opposed to impulse-based. In other words, I feel most in control over the problems I am able to solve in my days/weeks and months when I start each day to be of service to ‘self', as opposed to starting it being of service to others.
Thanks to Jenny Chang, ROCKNEVENTS!
#16- The path itself
A person does not need some extra motivation if he is in harmony with the way he lives. That is why we bring together people who are in love with the process of creating something new and such people form our team. People who dare to look beyond. Thus, we are motivated by a common goal every day and support each other in times of crisis. Some are driven by the result, but the path itself, that’s what drives me. The result gives a short-term feeling of happiness. And the feeling of walking your own path makes your steps firm.
Thanks to Yura Lazebnikov, Techiia Holding!
#17- My calendar is my boss
Everything I intend to accomplish is scheduled, with a time and duration, in my calendar. That includes thinking about important strategies, working out and answering email. If I don’t put it in my calendar, I have decided that I don’t plan to do it. Having blocked time for every activity–and cushioned those blocks of time with significant unscheduled time for the unexpected – I utterly surrender to that calendar. When it says jump, I jump until that planned activity ends. The key is to start as soon as I hear the calendar alert. If I do it really fast I can beat the moment when my brain kicks in and tries to justify procrastinating.
Thanks to Amie Devero
#18- Motivational activities and incentives
Working all the time is not enough to bring success; you need to stay motivated in order to become successful. I have made it a habit to use some motivational activities to stay motivated. These motivational activities are of different types. For example, exploring, reading or watching the success stories of successful entrepreneurs has given me so many advantages and successes. They have been the source of motivation for me, and the best part of this activity is that I have learned so much from them, and I have been able to solve many entrepreneurial issues with the help of these success stories. I also have a habit of listening to motivational podcasts once a day. Moreover, every time I do something well, I reward myself. No matter how big or small the reward is, the happiness and calm I get after giving incentives to myself are enough to boost my motivational level.
Thanks to Klaus Meire, Viirastus!
#19- My small accomplishments
There could be a hundred things going wrong, but I focus on that one positive result to keep myself motivated. Over the years, I have convinced myself that every accomplishment, small or big, matters a lot. It brings you one step closer to your ultimate goal and should be celebrated. It takes passion, results, and achievements to stay motivated. Define your goals to every little detail and celebrate every time you check one of those off the list. Being passionate about the end result and the curiosity to see how something will turn out to be is what keeps me working hard.
Thanks to Donna Tang, CreditDonkey!
#20- The thought of where I started
I'd say I step back, look at the bigger picture and think about where I started. Staying motivated is a daily choice you have to make. I always go back to the business's heart by asking, What motivated me to start the company in the first place? It helps boost you to keep going! Looking back at where you started will help you remember how far along you have come and measured how much you've already accomplished. You have to find inspiration from your previous business success. That same passion for your business will ignite you to keep up, work harder and think bigger.
Thanks to Tim Clarke, SEOBlog.com!
#21- Through the inspiration of others
There are a few Facebook business groups I am apart of. Oftentimes, there are motivational showcase posts in which the author may share milestones reached (or exceeded.) Some share metrics dashboards, or inspiring client case studies, and some even show their actual revenue. For myself, this is very inspiring to see others are profiting and thriving during this pandemic.
Thanks to Antonio Wells, NAMYNOT Inc.!
#22- I live at the moment
If you are adept at dealing with a problem as and when it crops up by being focused on the now will not let anything affect you or your business. If you live in the moment and are quickly able to make decisions that are best for your company, you are already a motivated and focused leader.
Thanks to Chris Von Wilpert, Content Mavericks!
#23- Making a list of prices I want
The best way I've found to stay motivated is to make a list of prizes you really want (something that will make you feel acknowledged and celebrated for a job well-done.) That list should have both smaller prizes for steps on the way to the goal and a bigger prize for the main goal. Give yourself one of those smaller prizes every single time you accomplish a step on the way to your goal. Then give yourself the big prize when you achieve your goal. Science has shown that the pleasure center in your brain gets flooded with serotonin and dopamine (feel-good biochemicals) every time you get a reward. That, in turn, increases motivation at the cellular level. (You feel good, you like feeling good and want to feel good again, so you keep working toward your goal). Cool thing is that it doesn’t matter whether someone else is giving you the reward or if you’re giving it to yourself. So to sum up: break your goal down into smaller steps, small enough that they don't scare you, then give yourself a prize every time you accomplish a step and another prize when you achieve your main goal. Note: prizes don’t have to be expensive. Prizes can even be free (like watching your favorite TV show, taking a long bath/shower, picking wildflowers, etc.). The only thing that matters is that it’s a prize that matters to you and will make you feel good (and like you're celebrating yourself for a job well-done) you when you get it.
Thanks to Shelli Johnson, Start Where You Are Weight Loss!
#24- I surround my PC with photos
Beautiful photos that make you smile. I surround my PC with photos of things I love or places I want to visit. Anything that when you look up makes you smile and think. Include some that are currently unattainable so you can think of what you will achieve and what your future will be like. But also include things that make you happy right now, family, pets, past vacations that you enjoyed. I also have beautiful nature photos that just make me smile. It helps me push forward through hard times.
Thanks to Alan MacLachlan, Improves!
#25- Through focus and discipline
I have learned that focusing your mind, thoughts and energy to what you are working on, helps to reduce the feeling of exhaustion and boredom or feeling like you are overworking. To give you perspective on this, what I do is first determine my financial goals, my non-financial goals that are related to the work I am doing and then my non-financial goals that are personal which will be met when I achieve the financial goals. For example, say I am working on my online business which I feel will succeed and be bringing me a given amount of money per month. And I hope to create a stream of income from it that will help me maybe buy a car or a home or invest. So the current goal(s) I have on what I will do with the money once I get it, are my financial goals. Now, since financial goals are not a good enough motivation for someone who wants to success in their industry, I normally focus on how I am going to be the best in the industry I am in. That is, I focus on the progress I am making everyday, the next steps I need to take to keep moving forward and the resources I need to make those steps. And as I do this I always keep reminding myself of the big picture which is to make the whole business succeed and become an authority in my space of work. Those are my work-related non-financial goals. And then the last part is the non-financial goals that are personal which are also facilitated by the money I get. This could be having more time with my family, helping my parents and grand parents out and spending more time with them and being healthy.
Thanks to David Oscar, Affiliate Dove!
#26- Forgetting about the business
During difficult times it’s easy to obsess about your business but this is counterproductive and leaves you feeling drained. I’ve found the best way to stay motivated is to forget about your business and do something fun for the entire day once a week – especially the weeks where you don’t think you have the time to do so. That’s when you need it the most. I love hiking so I head to the mountains. I can literally feel stress ooze out of my body as my blood gets flowing and I take in the gorgeous views that are a welcome change from my white office walls. Ironically it’s at this time that the great ideas come to me – when I’m not thinking about my business and that motivates me for another week. it. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it’s fun and revitalizes you.
Thanks to Laurel Robbins, Monkeys and Mountains Adventure Travel!
#27- Asking myself ‘WHY?'
One of the things I do in order to stay motivated is that I always remind myself of my goals and why I want to achieve them in the first place. In short, I ask myself “WHY?”. “Why do I want to grow my business?” “Why do I want to be successful?” “Why am I putting all the hard work and the sacrifice for this certain thing?” After doing so, I am always reminded of my purpose and my goals, and with that, I continuously stay motivated all throughout the day.
Thanks to Michael Humphreys, Z Grills Australia!
#28- Exchange with our customers and users
As first-time founders and especially in the current times, we have been asking ourselves more often how to keep our motivation up. The thing that always gives us a real motivation boost is the exchange with our customers and users. No matter if positive or negative feedback, the conversations always show you if you are on the right track or how to reach it. One additional thing we can only recommend to every entrepreneur is to join a network of like-minded people and to stay in constant exchange with other founders. Together we entrepreneurs are even stronger.
Thanks to Stefan Olejko, Traxplorio!
#29- Creating time for creative activities
I stay motivated by creating time for myself to do activities that give me the creative energy I need which carries over into all other areas of my life. It doesn't have to be a major endeavor or take a great deal of time. For example, if I pause in the middle of the day to think about, write about, or express to someone else gratitude, not only does it energize and motivate me, but it brightens someone else's day as well. Brief breaks in my day for gratitude, exercise, or meditation refuel my tank and give me the motivation to tackle challenges as they come up during the day.
Thanks to Eric Harrison