Staying Motivated ~ Tips For Entrepreneurs During Difficult Times

  1. Keep the end goal in mind as you build.

Push yourself to stay motivated by picturing the end goal of what you’re trying to build.  Don’t lose focus.

  1. Take care of yourself.

If we don’t take care of ourselves — if we don’t put on our oxygen masks first — we won’t be any good to our business, clients, family, or anyone else that matters in our lives. We all need good food, good sleep, exercise, grooming, etc. Then we can run our best race

  1. Thrive on tackling difficult situations and creating a story.

Hard problems are only hard problems because they seem impossible at the outset. The satisfaction from hard problems only comes afterwards once the darkest times have been passed. The darkest times could be the most fertile for generating great ideas.

  1. Fake it ‘til you make it (your energy).

The entrepreneur life can feel pretty lonely, and as if you’re up against the world. The one thing you will hear over and over is to stay positive, and if you have to fake your energy, it’s fine to ‘fake it ‘til you make it.’ Also, network and surround yourself with positivity reinforcers — look for cheerleaders, and cheer other entrepreneurs in your circle.

  1. Focus on your mission.

When times are difficult and entrepreneurs are faced with adversity, it is crucial to focus on what brings you closer to your mission. One of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs is the persistent adversity we face on a daily basis. Big challenges like running out of cash, new competition, and raising capital often get the headlines. But the daily challenges are often the ones that sap motivation the most. Stay focused.

  1. Maintain a written to-do list.

Obviously, money is the key motivator for any entrepreneur but sometimes there are so many things going on that the mountain of to-dos seems impossible to climb and it’s easy to throw up your arms in exasperation and lose focus.

Have an actual, physical list on paper of what needs to be done. At times, the list seems to grow far quicker than things can be scratched off of it, which is demoralizing and certainly not a great motivator. Prioritize things in order of what will lead to the greatest business benefit first, when you become dismayed by the sheer volume of things that need to be done, sometimes flip things and decide to do the quickest tasks first, even though they may not be the things that lead to the greatest rewards.

  1. Listen to podcasts.

It lets you escape by listening to stories of how founders of major companies faced adversity and overcame them. It’s an introspective reminder that success is often defined by not giving up and that failure is a part of the process.

  1. Trust the process and put in the work.

Action begets motivation — not the other way around.

When you’re feeling down or the world is not on your side, just put your head down and do the work. Slowly but surely it’ll start to pay off

  1. Weather through ‘down’ days productively.

Being able to stay motivated is important, we all have days (even weeks) when we just can’t get motivated and that’s unavoidable. Because of that, it’s far more important for entrepreneurs to be able to weather through these “down” days productively even while not being motivated.

Commit to a process rather than an outcome. Instead of letting the prospect of achieving ‘wins’ motivate you — like closing a sale — you can commit to finishing a certain number of tasks that day — like sending out 10  emails or catching up with customers.

  1. Believe in what you are building.

Staying motivated is easy when your business is growing and feedback is positive. But, eventually, everyone hits a dip. Whether it’s losing a big contract, struggling to find investors or challenges from competitors. Your momentum can come to a screeching halt. Hitting significant adversity can feel personally defeating for a passionate. To stay motivated, you need to recognize these moments for what they are, dips not dead ends. Dive into whatever challenge or problem caused your dip, listen to your investors and customers, and find a solution. That solution is the bridge over your dip. As entrepreneurs, we need to recognize that dips are a normal part of the process. Our ability to work through them will be what sets our organizations up for success.

  1. Celebrate the small victories.

One way to stay motivated when times are tough is to make sure that you celebrate the small victories. Often, when we have a large and significant end-goal in mind, it’s hard to feel content about most of our progress, since even when we manage to move forward there is still so much left to do.The best way to avoid this pitfall is to make sure to acknowledge the small victories along the way to your end goal.

  1. Ask for advice.

Reach out to other entrepreneurs in your field and be honest about your struggles and ask for advice.

Other business owners are facing similar types of problems and the more we talk about it openly and honestly, the more we are able to help each other come up with solutions to fix them. Sometimes it takes a third-party to look objectively at your business and point out potential mistakes you may not be seeing because you’re so closely attached to the work.

  1. Always follow your gut.

Staying motivated during adversity is not always easy. You need to remember your purpose and tune out the background noise. Let your purpose drive you.

  1. Keep pushing forward and stay busy.

Being an entrepreneur in the first place takes a lot of self-motivation. Business owners don’t have supervisors over their shoulders asking for status updates. So being a self-starter is part of the gig. That being said, there are certainly times where keeping a high-level of motivation can be challenging. As an entrepreneur you should never – not have something to do.  Develop a list of to-dos to complete when your workload is light or when you’re hurting for clients. Keep moving, keep pushing, and stay busy.

  1. Understand that certain consumer patterns or economic conditions are beyond our control.

Remind yourself that certain consumer patterns or economic conditions are beyond your control.

What should motivate you during this period is to think of how your hard work will eventually pay off, even if the reward is not immediate.

This might mean keeping up meaningful communication with suppliers or clients, brainstorming ways to increase your brand equity, staying active on social media and so forth. Sweat equity always pays off for, but patience is required – and looking at things from a bird’s eye view – keeping in mind that previous years have been successfully despite seasonal lows. An honest assessment of these patterns can pay dividends, but it’s something that needs to be consciously attended to. Stay focused.

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