Owning a business and running it successfully is hard work. If you’ve just started your own business or have been running one for quite some time, you probably know by now that staying motivated to continue is tough as well.
But being motivated to run your business is essential if you want to succeed! If you find yourself running out of patience and wondering what prompted you to venture into entrepreneurship, help is at hand.
Read on for some tips that can keep you motivated:
1. Money isn’t everything
Yes, you need money to get your business up and running, but money isn’t everything! Most importantly, you need to have clear goals and a strong desire to succeed. You also need to be focused and determined to take your business to new heights.
At the same time, accumulating as much wealth as possible doesn’t always translate into success. Note that money will motivate you to an extent but it will cease to be important once your basic needs are met. So ascertain what your minimum needs are and concentrate on building a sustainable business.
In the end, you will be more driven by challenges than the urge to make more money!
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm”. – Winston Churchill
2. Imagine good things
More often than not, what you imagine can transform into reality. So whenever you’re faced with a tough situation, avoid negative thoughts and think of the best that can happen to you.
Be positive and distance yourself from negativity. Instead of saying ‘I can’t’, develop a can-do attitude. Think of problems as an opportunity or a challenge and your subconscious will automatically work on positive solutions.
3. Don’t turn away from reality
Note that there’s a difference between fantasizing and thinking positive. When you set unrealistic expectations, focusing on the positive can actually become self-destructive.
Further, stop pretending that everything is fine. Turning a blind eye to the problems in your business or seeing things with rose-colored glasses on won’t help you. Be truthful to yourself and realistic in tough times instead of simply assuming that things will get better.
This doesn’t mean that you doubt your abilities or lose hope; acknowledging reality no matter how harsh it is will only help you find the best solution.
4. Take positive action
Just thinking in the right direction or being positive isn’t enough; you also have to take positive action. For example, if you say to yourself that you’ll concentrate on driving safely but refuse to put on your seatbelt, your positive thinking won’t be of any use.
Always put-in adequate efforts to succeed, never underestimate the importance of hard work, and anticipate obstacles that you’re likely to face. Additionally, remember to maintain a positive attitude even when you don’t see the desired outcome.
5. Grab opportunities
You never know which opportunity will work in your favor. Perhaps the opportunity you’re trying to pass up because you’re overestimating your importance can help your business immensely. So don’t be embarrassed by the opportunities that come your way; grab them with both hands and focus on giving your best shot every time.
Don’t wait for an opportunity to come your way! What if an opportunity never comes by? A good opportunity might be right in front of your eyes and you might not be able to see it.
Being open-minded and calm, and visualizing your goals will help you be aware of opportunities. Changing your mindset will also help you conceive new ideas and create opportunities where there are none.
6. Hold yourself accountable
For your successes as well as failures! A lot of people crave the independence that entrepreneurship provides but few are willing to acknowledge that owning a business means being accountable for each and everything.
As an entrepreneur, you will be responsible for all the decisions you make; blaming your subordinates won’t be an option. Take the blame for failures but don’t dwell a lot on them and always rejoice when you taste success!
7. Count your blessings
When things don’t work out the way you want them to, it’s easy to be upset. Counting your blessings in times of distress and expressing gratitude for the smallest of things can bring a smile to your face.
Consider how your last job was and how far you’ve come, be thankful for the food you eat, the roof over your head, and the car you drive, and think of your family and the love you share. There’s definitely a lot in your life to be happy about than sulk over business losses or failures.
“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done”. – Bruce Lee
8. Stay inspired
There will be times when you’ll ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. Answer the question! Think of why you started your business and where you want to go.
Perhaps you had enough of your last job, wanted to earn more money so you could give the best to your kids, or wanted to make this world a better place. Whatever your reasons for starting your business, think of them and you’re sure to rediscover your inspiration.
Do take regular breaks and reward yourself for your achievements; no matter how small they are. Stay in touch with positive people and spend time with your family and loved ones. Also write a mission statement for your business, have it framed, and hang it where you can see it daily.
Staying motivated shouldn’t be a problem now that you’ve read the tips given here. Do the right things and you and your business are sure to succeed!
How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals
Time is the raw material of our lives. How we choose to spend it, shapes our life accordingly. So having the motivation to spend it on achieving goals is crucial to creating a life we want.
What is Motivation?
The Oxford dictionary defines motivation as the desire or willingness to do something – our drive to take action.
Scientifically, motivation has its roots in the dopamine pathways of our brains. When we do something that feels good, that’s dopamine kicking in. Our actions are driven by the desire for that reward (the good feeling).
Author Steven Pressfield describes motivation more practically. He says we hit a point where the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it. He sees motivation as crossing the threshold where it’s easier to take action than it is to be idle. Like choosing to feel awkward while making sales calls over feeling disappointed about a diminishing bank account.
However you choose to think about it, we all want to harness motivation to achieve our goals.
How to Get Motivated
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, says that most people misunderstand motivation. They think that motivation is what gets us to take action. In reality, motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Once we start a task, it’s easier to continue making progress. Like Isaac Newton’s first law: objects in motion stay in motion.
This means most of the resistance when working on your goals comes right before we start. Since motivation naturally occurs after we start, we need to focus on making starting easier.
4 Ways to Make Starting Easier
1. Schedule it
One reason people can’t get started on things is that they haven’t planned when to do it.
When things aren’t scheduled it’s easier for them to fall by the wayside. You’ll end up hoping motivation falls in your lap or hoping that you’ll muster enough willpower to get it done.
An article in the Guardian said, “If you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your capacity to do the work.”
2. Measure something
It’s easy to feel uninspired when you don’t know if you’re making progress or what you’re even working towards. That’s why you need to make your success measurable in some way. Starting is easy when you know exactly how much closer your current actions will bring you to achieving your goal.
3. Extrinsic motivation
This type of motivation is from external factors. It can be either positive or negative. Positive motivation consists of incentives like money, prizes, and grades. Negative motivation consists of deterrents like being fired, having a fight, or being fined. Extrinsic motivation doesn’t work effectively long-term, but it can work well in the short term to get you started on something.
4. Make it public
Keep yourself accountable by telling friends and family your goals, or even sharing them on social media. This makes it easier to start something because you’re pressured to not let others down.
How to Stay Motivated Long Term
When we say we want to feel motivated to do something, we don’t want to be pushed or guilted into doing a task. We want to be so attracted and drawn to the idea that we can’t resist not taking action. That’s why it’s important to build a foundation that will set you up for consistency.
These are 5 techniques that will help you do just that:
1. Stay in your goldilocks zone
The goldilocks zone is when a task is the perfect level of difficulty—not too hard and not too easy. In this zone, we reach peak motivation and focus.
For example, let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against a 4-year-old. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become bored and not want to play. Now let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against Serena Williams. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become demotivated because the match is too challenging.
The Goldilocks zone is in the middle of that spectrum. You want to face someone with equal skill as you. That way you have a chance to win, but you have to focus and try for it. Adjusting your workload and goals over time to stay within your Goldilocks zone keeps you engaged and motivated long-term.
2. Pursue intrinsically motivated goals
Being intrinsically motivated to achieve a goal is when you want to achieve it for what it is. There are no external factors like a reward or the risk of being fired. The drive behind your actions is coming from within.
For most intrinsic goals we pursue them because they will enrich our lives or bring us closer to fulfillment. That makes these goals extremely sustainable long-term because they directly affect our quality of life and the things we care about.
3. Use “chunking”
Chunking is the technique of breaking down a goal into smaller short-term targets. By doing this you achieve multiple successes in your pursuit of the main goal. This triggers the brain’s reward system and drives you to keep going.
Traditionally, you may set a goal that you expect to achieve in one year. That’s a long time to commit without seeing any results along the way. By chunking your goals into monthly or quarterly targets, you get the consistent positive reinforcement you need to stay motivated long-term.
For example, instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in one year, try to lose 4 pounds every month for 12 months.
4. Be flexible
We’re all victims of circumstance. Things happen along our journey that we can either adjust to or quit because of. That’s why it’s important to have leeway and flexibility when you’re pursuing a goal. If you expect everything to go perfectly, the inevitable failure can make you disengaged and desireless. When you plan for things to go wrong, you make sure you can keep up for the long haul.
5. Pursue your goals in a sustainable fashion
Don’t lose hope when you’re not an overnight success. Overnight successes are the 1%—for the most part, they don’t exist. What we see as an “overnight success” is actually countless hours of work behind the scenes finally hitting a tipping point. Pursuing goals is a story of patience, persistence, and unseen effort.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is a recipe for a drop in self-confidence and satisfaction. It also cultivates a mindset where you think you haven’t done enough. As a result, you may raise your expectations and put more pressure on yourself.
This is pointless because things worth achieving take time. So we obviously won’t compare to the things around us when starting.
Mastering motivation is a superpower. With that ability at your fingertips, you can accomplish your goals and shape a life you want to live in.
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