How to Stay Motivated as an Entrepreneur

"Looking at the big picture when it comes to how far you’ve come will help you stay focused."

This one kind of seems like a no-brainer, right? You’ve left the 9-5, you’re not being told what to do by “The Man,” you’re following a dream you’re passionate about so motivation should be easy, yes? The answer to that is no, or at least, not always. After you’ve been at things for a while you may find yourself tired, broke, and frustrated and without the newness of that initial entrepreneurial fire, staying at it can be a challenge.

In case you find yourself in this type of situation, I’ve provided four of my personal motivational hacks to help you stay focused.

Take a look at the big picture - You know the saying “you can’t see the forest for the trees?” it really applies to entrepreneurial endeavors. Sometimes we get so bogged down in the day-to-day realities of trying to run a new business that we fail to see how far we’ve come. When that happens, take a step back and look at the progress you’ve made overall since the inception of your business idea. While you may not have hit every goal right on the head, you’ll find you’ve achieved more than you think. Looking at the big picture when it comes to how far you’ve come will help you stay focused on all you’ve accomplished rather than on all the things you still have to do.

Set new goals -Being an entrepreneur is a journey and like all journeys, sometimes a little adjustment to the itinerary is required. If you’ve been working on the same task or goal for a while and feel like you’re not getting anywhere, maybe it’s time to reevaluate. Perhaps your business went in a direction you weren’t expecting and now your original goals don’t quite fit. Maybe your initial timeline wasn’t completely realistic and you feel like you’re behind. Whatever the reason, setting fresh goals will help you find fresh motivation and will keep your business moving in the right direction.

Take a break - I know that seems like an incomprehensible idea when you’re in the middle of building a business but it really works. Creating a company takes a ton of time and energy and sometimes we forget that we need to rest for a bit to build that energy back up. Whether you decide to take an hour each day for yourself or schedule a few days of vacation time every couple months, make sure you’re doing something that will give you a break and let your creative juice recharge.

Listen to the success stories of others - Many times I’ve hit a wall and felt like I just couldn’t make it over, through, around, under, the obstacle that was facing me. In the early days of Outlier, before I’d started the podcast, this was especially rough. However, soon I began developing the magazine and talking to other entrepreneurs about their stories of success and failure. They inspired me. Hearing about how others hit their wall but found a way through it helped me realize that I could do it too. Today, my podcast keeps me talking to entrepreneurs from around the world and I have a wealth of inspiration to draw upon when my own motivational banks start to deplete.

How do you stay motivated? 

2 Comments

Derrick Kwa

Love these tips – especially the “take a break” aspect, and the point about remembering to celebrate the small victories. One more thing I think is important in terms of motivation is having the right support system around you. Have people who you can talk to about your journey. I’ve found that helps a lot.

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EverGonzalez
Ever Gonzalez

Co-founder & CEO @ Outlier