If you’re an entrepreneur, you may at times feel beaten down by the constant stress and work that comes with running a business venture. As the owner of your own business, you’re the person in charge – you have to make the big decisions, and if something goes wrong, it’s on you. There’s no longer anyone above you to pass on decisions. This challenge means that you’re going to be doing a lot of work. You may find yourself working long hours, on the weekends, and even during holidays.
None of this was what you thought about when you started your business. When faced with the reality of all the hard work they have to put in, some entrepreneurs start to feel discouraged and lose motivation to continue. It seems like they’re always working but getting little in return. If you’ve hit this phase of your entrepreneurship, here are a few things you can do to boost your motivation so you can stay at it.
1. Have Your Own Mission Statement
You probably have a mission statement for your business. This statement is what guides your company and helps direct it. It provides motivation to everyone in the company. You should have a personal mission statement, too. This statement will help you determine your own professional direction and motivate you to achieve your goals. You should right down this mission statement and, if needed, read it out loud every morning when you’re feeling stressed and demoralized.
2. Have a Plan
Just like businesses have mission statements, so too do they have plans based on these statements. You should develop a plan from your mission statement that includes your short and long-term goals and your personal as well as your professional goals. You don’t necessarily need to write this down, but you do need to know what it is you want to accomplish and how you plan to do that. Also be ready to make adjustments to this plan—it’s likely that something unexpected will arise that forces you to make a few changes. That’s okay.
3. Have a Routine
Some people think falling into a routine is a bad thing and means that they’re boring, but that’s definitely not true. If you have a morning routine that helps you wake up physically and mentally, prepare for the day, and set your focus, it’s definitely not a bad thing at all. It’s a good habit to fall into. As part of your routine, consider your plan for the day, the week, the month, and more long-term. Is everything you have lined up going to help you achieve the goals you need to achieve? If not, consider if these tasks or your plan need to be revised.
4. Make Time for Yourself
You can’t be hyper-focused on your business all the time. If you try to be, you’re going to exhaust yourself. Always set aside a little time for yourself to unwind, relax, and keep healthy. Make sure you take breaks during the day to get up and walk around, eat lunch, and drink plenty of water. You can’t keep your business moving forward if you’re not at your peak, and you can’t be if you’re sick or mentally stressed out. Setting aside time for yourself will keep you healthy and fit.
5. Have Reminders that Keep You on the Right Path
While you may have a plan for the day, there are inevitable things that are going to pop up that can make you lose sight of your plan and your goals. By having little reminders spread throughout the day, you’ll be better able to make certain you complete your daily goals and tasks that you need to finish. Having small alarms that remind you to keep at it can help motivate you even it’s close to the end of the day and you just want to go home. These alarms can also help you block out time for certain tasks as a way to make certain they get done.
6. Treat Yourself
Make sure you have a system of rewarding yourself when you meet your goals. Humans react to incentives—it’s just something we are naturally programmed to do. Giving yourself a little reward or treat now and then for doing well will help motivate you to reach that next milestone.
7. Reach Out to Friends
If you’re feeling a lack of motivation, your friends or colleagues may be able to help. Reach out to them when you need a boost or when you simply need to escape from the pressure of work. You can even keep up this type of engagement during the day with apps that help you connect with each other. Just don’t let these apps swallow up large amounts of time.
8. Look for Inspirational Moments
There are a number of different ways you can inspire yourself. You can listen to inspirational podcasts or watch TED Talks while eating lunch. You can listen to Inspirational speakers either online or in person when they’re in town. These professionals often know exactly what you need to hear. Take the time to attend motivational events, find good podcasts, and watch online inspirational videos on a regular basis so your motivation never flags.
9. Keep Positive
It can be hard to have a positive outlook on things when it all seems like it’s going wrong, but do your best to always look for the good in every bad situation. Some people find it helps to have a personal mantra to chant (even if it’s just to yourself) when things begin falling apart. Simply remember that you can choose to be miserable or you can choose to smile, step back, and plan a new approach to the problem.
10. Get Enough Sleep
Too many entrepreneurs put sleep at the bottom of their priority list. They will go without a good night’s sleep for days or weeks in order to get everything done. In the end, they’re exhausted and functioning well below their physical or mental peak. It’s okay to set aside work to get the sleep you need to function. For some, that’s eight hours, and that’s fine. Others might actually function better on six or seven hours of sleep, but they still need to get those hours. If you start trying to function on less sleep than your body needs, your work will suffer.