The day when we chose to become an entrepreneur is the day we chose to step on a long and lonely journey. This is not a path where the “normal” take. As entrepreneurs, we spend hours grinding on the most pressing issues that the society faces. This is fun, but sometimes it may not be. Many times, in light of all the distractions around us, the devil within ourselves is constantly wooing us to quit and start living an 'easy life'.
In fact, one of the main reasons why entrepreneurs quit is due to the lack of motivation. It may be caused by isolation, confusion, stress, tiredness, boredom or even depleting passion. It is disheartening to see entrepreneurs quit because massive adoption and success may just be around the corner, if the entrepreneurs stayed on for a little longer.
If you are running your own business or start-up, and the motivation that you once had for it is waning or no longer there, this article on motivation techniques dedicated to you. The motivation techniques below will help to restore your motivation and allow your business to grow faster than before.
1. CONNECTING WITH LIKE-MINDED PEERS
There are a lot of events and meetings where you can meet with like-minded entrepreneurs and other individuals who are in business. You’ll never know where these connections will bring you but if they are like-minded and entrepreneurial, it is very likely that what they do, and what they want to achieve, is similar to yours.
Having these connections is very helpful in keeping your motivation high because you now have people to go to when you hit a wall with or have a question on which path should you select for your business. Being surrounded by entrepreneurial peers will also allow you to continuously learn from them and improve yourself through discussions on various issues relating to running a business.
2. YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS LOVE YOU
Although our family members may not fully understand what we are doing , they are always there to lend their shoulders for you to lean on. Often times as entrepreneurs, all we need is an arm around our shoulder or someone who is willing to listen to our ideas and concerns.
When you feel stressed or down with your ventures, open yourself up to your family members. They will be there for you and will try their best to understand.
3. WHAT ABOUT A CO-FOUNDER?
Having a co-founder in your business allows you to focus on what you do best. Many entrepreneurs and small business owners get caught up doing things that they don’t really like such as accounting, paperwork, and for some, email marketing, marketing in general or solving IT issues. When this happens, they will get frustrated for not being able to move things forward.
Getting one or more co-founders gives you the freedom of delegating areas that are not your strength within your business to others. In order for your business to succeed, you need to focus on what you do best and the same goes to your co-founders.
4. HAVE A MENTOR
Having a mentor gives you the opportunity to get advice from somebody with experience. A mentor is more than an adviser. A mentor is someone who is an adviser and also, a friend. A mentor is willing to help you because he or she wants to see you become successful with your business. They are interested in what you do and they believe in your abilities. Why? Because they have been in your shoes and they sincerely want to help you.
It may take some time to know who is a suitable mentor. The forming of this relationship takes time and it may require that you network rigorously at events where entrepreneurs that you look up to hang out.
5. OPTIMIZE YOUR WORKING ENVIRONMENT
Your workplace and its environment affects productivity level as well as your motivation to get things done. I follow productivity blogs like Lifehack.org and apply the recommended tips bit by bit to my work flow. Over time, you will start to realize which table layout or tools work perfectly together to bring the best out in you. Depending on the way you work, preference for elements like table layout, temperature, background music, wall colors and others differ from one person to another.
However, be warned that some people may go overboard in applying productivity tips and this is obviously counterproductive.
6. KEEP UP WITH INDUSTRIAL HAPPENINGS
Knowing what other companies and entrepreneurs are doing in your space will get you pumped up. Whether this news will arouse your sense of competition or admiration, keeping yourself updated with all the happenings within your industry will make you wanting to do and achieve more with your own startup or business.
7. STAY INSPIRED
Keeping up with industrial happenings is a way to stay inspired. To add to that, the following are a few things that you can do to stay inspired as an entrepreneur:
- Meetups and conferences: You will get to meet people from all walks of life, bounce ideas around and create new relationships.
- Reading & Articles: Books and articles, whether business or non-business, will bring your ideas that you can test or start working on in your business.
- Interviews: Reading and listening to interviews with entrepreneurs can pump you up and bring you great ideas. On Sprout Geek, we have Sprouter Exchange, our own series of interviews with entrepreneurs and small business owners on topics that they are extremely good at. I also listen to Mixergy by Andrew Warner and This Week in Startups by Jason Calacanis.
8. SET GOALS AND MEASURE ACHIEVEMENTS
There’s nothing more motivating than setting a set of goals and focus all your energy and strength to achieve them. Your goals have to be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.
Make yourself accountable. Or even better, tell others about your goals. They can be your peers, employees or even the public (you can do this via a blog, Twitter or Facebook). With this simple trick, people will make you accountable for the goals that you set for yourself. Trust me, you will find it embarrassing when people start asking why a particular goal was not achieved.
9. ENGAGE WITH CUSTOMERS
If you are super passionate about your product and its customers, engaging your customers, whether casual visitors, power users or evangelists, will give you interesting insights or ideas that you can start working on immediately. If your product or service is good, you might even get words of praise, which is a motivation booster to keep you going.
10. TAKE A BREAK
For some of you, entrepreneurship is all about hustling and taking a break is like taking a poison pill. Yes, you should not be taking a long break but having short breaks from running your business allows you to take a step back, see things from different perspective and open yourself to accepting new ideas.
Moreover, taking breaks gives you the chance to focus on something else that is equally important such as your health and your family. When your focus switches, the accumulating stress will slowly clear off.