Thursday, September 22, 2016

Staying Motivated as an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship is a liberating journey that highlights the emancipation of being an employee, but it is also work-heavy. And the natural accessories that come along with this position of leadership can quickly result in regret and remorse for choosing a path so heavily ridden with high levels of responsibility and stress. When discouraging moments do arise, how can a new business owner find enough strength to push through and see beyond the temporary circumstances? What keeps an entrepreneur motivated?

Track your progress

It is easy to point out all the things that are going wrong in your business. In those moments however, it is useful to remind yourself of  your accomplishments up to the point of your fatigue. This helps motivate entrepreneurs by identifying and categorizing attainable and realistic goals in comparison to goals that might take a little longer to accomplish and are better off as long-term ambitions.  Tracking your progress is not an exercise that should be reserved solely for moments of demotivation. Instead, implement this practice at the very start of your business and do weekly or monthly checks to see how far you’ve come and how much farther you have to go. This tangible tool will motivate you, on a regular basis, to work hard in order to see your business attain and surpass each level of success you envision for your company.

Reflect on the beginning

Why did you want to become an entrepreneur? Some individuals only have to recall a single experience whereby sitting at a cubicle at a dead-end job, with a boss who was not interested in accelerating the company while simultaneously suppressing the ideas of employees, posed a far greater challenge. Reflecting on previous experiences of “occupational prison” can jolt you back into your purpose and motivate you to keep going. Other individuals initially begin their entrepreneurial pursuit in the hopes that they can give their families better lives. If that was your starting point, talk to your loved ones and rediscover what their goals and aspirations are. Then, ask yourself if your contribution to their goals and dreams will be fulfilled working for yourself or working for someone else. The idea here is simple: when you reconnect with your origin stories, you can reconnect with the motivation that initially allowed you to start a business in the first place.

Join Networking groups

Mingling with likeminded people is perhaps one of the easiest ways to stay motivated as a business owner. Stepping away from your computer screen to listen and share ideas with others, sparks your own creativity and forces you to think about where your business is currently, and how you can make it better. Further, the sharing of similar experiences reassures you that a lack of motivation is a part of the discourse of entrepreneurship. Your peers have been through and may be going through the same things and you may benefit from their coping strategies. Socializing with a group of successful people who had the courage to stand alone and start a business can give you the mental push you need to move forward with confidence.

Make positive affirmations a part of everyday discourse

In business, you get out what you put in. Feed your mind with positive affirmations daily. It may sound silly, but it works. Some entrepreneurs have mantras that they recite on a daily basis. Others keep inspirational words in a frame on their desk as a screensaver on their computer. Whether you say these things out loud to yourself, write them down daily, or read them in silence, they are healthy for your mind and motivation. The more positive you are about your business, the less the negative shortcomings will affect you. They will occur, but their impact will motivate rather than discourage you.

If you’ve been feeling demotivated lately, try one or a combination of these methods and see how your behaviour changes. Share some of your motivation tactics below to encourage fellow readers.

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