15 ways to stay motivated as an entrepreneur
It’s quite ironic how I’m writing about this now because I was recently demotivated like you who are reading this.
I’ve struggled to stay motivated as an entrepreneur my whole life. I’ve tried tons of different strategies. But, honestly, I find it depends on the day for what specific strategies work. There are some core habits I do or are currently creating that make the biggest difference. But the small tips are still a vital part of keeping me motivated. It never used to be this way, I was lost and felt hopeless. Luckily, one day I had enough and started doing some research. This list has been made from my own personal experiences as well as the research I’ve done.
1. Write down your 1 month, 1 year, 3 year & 5-year goals this second
Drop whatever you are doing and get on this immediately. I strongly believe that it’s a requirement to have a certain “why” at the core of your work. If you don’t have this, you’ll feel hopeless when trying to get back on track on your ***ty days. Your goals can be anything. What I personally do is set 1 business goal, 1 partner goal, and 1 health goal. Your goals need to mean something to you though. They really need to hit home, connect with your heart and just make you feel warm inside when you think and visualize them. Once you’ve come up with these goals, the next step is to discover the leading habit that would help you attain this goal. Example: I want to gain 15 pounds in the next 3 months. My habit for this would be every Sunday after lunch, I’ll go grocery shopping and get my food for the week. I struggle with getting off my *** and going to the grocery store. Luckily I’m making great progress by taking advantage of coming and going to my place/fiances place.
2. Set routines
Setting your body to auto-pilot for those clutch days when napping for half the day feels like the best option. This way, you can slowly fall out of bed and know exactly what you’re going to wear, eat, and whatever else is important to you such as meditating. Try to get into the habit of making your day…well habit-based. That way you’re not caught wandering around aimlessly in your place getting distracted by every little thing like “Oh, maybe I’ll tidy the living room”. And then you find all this stuff you could sell so you start listing the items online. Following an unstructured day like this will get you nowhere fast.
3. Have steps
This fits together with routines because every routine should have an efficient & fun process. Like, washing your face then having some coffee is a great way to start the day. Then you start to go through the steps for your other routines. For example, after I finish washing my face & having a quick breakfast, I jump on the computer and start writing a blog article. I set an alarm for 60 minutes so I get up and walk around, stretch, take a break, have some water, maybe watch some TV or watch a YouTube video. Anything where I can lay in bed and chill for around 15 minutes. Then I get back to writing for another hour if need be.
4. Always question your priorities
Feeling down? Question your situation/life. Why are you feeling down? It could be circumstantial (ie. Monday after a long weekend). Or, it could be something more serious. Do you become unmotivated often? This could be a sign that you need to make some big changes. Take your time in doing so though. You could just need a little alone time for an extra hour per day working on your craft for example.
5. Take your *** breaks!
I’m still pretty terrible at taking enough breaks, but I am getting better. I often end up writing for 3 hours straight then wonder why my spine hurts when I try to go to bed. As mention above, I try my best to get up every hour for around 15 minutes and walk around my apartment, pet my cat then lay in bed and watch a youtube video or listen to a few pump up songs. You NEED to take your breaks. If you don’t you’ll definitely burn out. If you’ve just started an online business and not used to working on it, 15 minutes a day can go a long way. Even an hour is a pretty good place to start too. It’s far too common for people to get excited when starting an online business and they end up working 30 hours in 1 week on top of their 40-hour workweek. This is not only bad for your physical health but your mental health too. There are actually some reputable studies claiming we as humans aren’t built to work for more than 30 hours per week if we want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. So, it’s up to you to figure out how you can make more while working less. It’s all about multiple streams of income.
6. Get focused on your top priorities
As an entrepreneur, the end of the day can leave you completely drained and on your way to burnout city. It’s easy to get caught up in *** that doesn’t matter. Always stay focused on the 1-3 things that matter most to your business and nothing else. This tip is one of the most important to stay motivated as an entrepreneur.
7. Manage your money or your money will manage you
Sure, money isn’t everything. But, as an entrepreneur (and a human), it’s for sure something. Are you in tune with your own financial status? Sometimes the huneds can be a great motivation for an entrepreneur. And I don’t mean that in a negative/greedy way at all. The fact is, without profits coming in, you won’t last long. Enjoy or disgust it, money is an important factor in the entrepreneurial game. If you’re not keeping tally of what’s coming and going out, you could end up on thin ice like missing money or forgetting what’s owed. Feeling like you’re making nothing is one of the worst feelings an entrepreneur can get. It’s like you’re working your *** off for free. So, get on top of your financial game! Reddit & YouTube are great resources for this. Don’t feel like you have to buy a book on it, that $20 could be put into your savings or invested instead.
8. Read like your life depends on it
Schedule time in your day to read. Make sure to stay updated with everything that’s going on in your industry. It’s extremely motivating knowing that you’re well informed and following trends and doing what’s right. It’s healthy instant gratification as every page you turn feels truly amazing. Apart from giving you as an entrepreneur motivation, reading will get your creative side flowing too and re-spark your curiosity for the things you love most about achieving your goals.
9. Don’t forget reminders!
I used to be so bad with reminders that I’d set a reminder for setting reminders. This I discovered is actually quite common among people who are putting effort towards changing their life for the better. If you’re feeling demotivated, the last thing you want to do is plan your day or week. Create a plan whenever you’re at your peak motivation. Make sure to take advantage of your phone’s reminder apps too. I personally use Google Keep & Google Calendar. Realized that a deadline is just around the corner? Break apart the work between your go-to habitual working day, and schedule each part of the process in your calendar app, with appropriate reminders. Now, you’re not required to think at all. A great motivator can be setting reminders of your “why” goals to be randomly scheduled throughout the day. There are several apps out there that you can make random reminders, or you can just have them at a set time having several repeating weekly, but at weird times like 3:24 pm. That way, you’ll be reminded why you’re working yourself so hard in the first place. Lastly, set reminders to eat your big meals, snacks, and hydration too. The whole 8 gl***es of water every day is a myth. What people leave out of that old study is that 90% of the 8 gl***es of water you should get every day comes from your food. I guess our mother was right about eating our fruits and vegetables. Simply drink when you’re thirsty. Sometimes you don’t notice this though, hence the reminders.
10. Become one with your own mantras
If you haven’t created any yet, there are plenty of amazing guides on YouTube. Here’s one I found that seems pretty good.
11. Know your own motivation style
What inspires you? Are you more motivated by taking pressure off, or by putting it on? If you’re not sure, see which of these you relate more towards: “Each new day brings an opportunity to get it right.” or “If I don’t take the initiative to act, someone else will.”. The first is pretty relaxed and creates the idea that every day is a new beginning, so take your time and learn from your attempts (it’s not really failing if you’re still trying). The second is more pressured creating a sense of urgency that you must get to whatever you need to get to make the most money and have the most growth you can possibly get. I’m a bit of both, to be honest. I have a problem with trying to manage too many things in my life, but when I’m working on 3 big things and not any more, then pressure is great to keep me on the straight and narrow. But, it’s good to know what one you’re more inclined towards to help emphasize that in your daily life.
12. Live it up a little
This has been a recent mantra I’ve been living. Just as it’s crucial to take breaks, it’s important to reward yourself now and then too. It could be a hot fudge sundae from Dairy Queen, a new book from chapters or Amazon Kindle/Audible, or even just a tea on the porch for a while without worrying about a thing in the world. It’s easy to get caught up in trying to save every last penny you’re earning from your new business. I get it, this money was so much harder to earn than a traditional job. But, going on like this for too long will leave you feeling pretty depressed.
13. Rome wasn’t built in a day
I know it’s cliche, but there’s a reason it’s so popular. It’s not a race. The only real race is against yourself so you can go at whatever speed you deem adequate. “Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, be a trail. If you can’t be the sun, be a star, for it isn’t by the size that you win or fail. Be the best at whatever you are” – MLK Jr.
14. Have pads of paper where you may need them
Personally, I keep a tiny one tucked away in my zipper wallet, my bigger sized one on my night table that is my daily writer, then a medium-sized one in the bathroom that is waterproof and another plain medium-sized one in the kitchen for when I’m doing the dishes. Doing the dishes can be very calming which allows great ideas to pop up.
15. Get you F**k*n’ sleep
Eating, sleeping, and exercise are the 3 most important things to your success. Do you find that you need 12 hours of sleep even with knowing you’re not depressed? That’s okay. While most people need 7-9 hours of sleep (I personally get 9), some people need 12 hours to feel well-rested. Just remember if you are sleeping for longer than 10 hours, I highly recommend speaking with a professional about possible depression or other ailments. Lastly, this is probably the #1 point in staying motivated as an entrepreneur.
Hope you learned something!
Well, that about wraps it up. I hope this article helped you because I know just picking my own brain and going over past research I did honestly helped quite a bit. I feel like I’ll come back to this blog post whenever I’m feeling demotivated or just plain s**ty.
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