You’re alarm clock goes off bright and early on a Monday morning. Your first thought isn’t how you’re going to tackle the day. It’s questioning why you ever embarked on this entrepreneurial journey. Whether you’re an 18 year-old aspiring entrepreneur or Bill Gates, we all have those mornings when the motivation tank is on empty. Instead of moping around, fill-up your motivation by using these motivation tips from today’s most successful entrepreneurs.
Do what you’re passionate about.
“We want to not only make a lot of money but enjoy what we do as well. We are willing to take on the risk of unstable pay in exchange for following our dreams,” writes Chalmers Brown, co-founder and CTO of Due.
“Unfortunately, your dream job may not always be the best decision financially. Sometimes your hobbies are best kept as projects in your spare time for fun (which is great!). If you do want to try to turn your passion into a full-time job, these tips can help you get started the right way.”
Improve something that you’re already doing.
“A great place to start is with ideas that improve your life. If you need help brainstorming ideas, start by writing down all of your daily activities for a month,” says Chalmers.
“I’m talking about everything from your first cup of coffee to the morning commute to responding to emails to ordering lunch. Record everything.”
Figure out where to sell.
“For each idea, see if there is an existing company that does something similar. Use this to get a quick sense of how much people are already paying for the service.”
Due “started from the need to improve the process of freelancers getting paid. We started with an invoicing solution and are currently growing our payments solution for businesses.”
Share your passion with others.
“When you’re passionate about a hobby, don’t keep it to yourself. Share it as much as possible with others.” That could be anything from a blog post to newsletter.
Stay happy and motivated by assigning tasks that you’re not a fan of to someone else.
“Your passion can quickly become a job that you loathe after the daily tasks of running a business absorbs your initial excitement. Thankfully, there are easy and convenient ways for you to stay happy.”
Start by hiring people to do the tasks that you can’t stand.
Be A Self-Motivator
According to Sir Richard Branson, entrepreneurs have to be good self-motivators. Branson advises that entrepreneurs use it to their advantage:
“It’s important to understand what your main motivation is so that you can focus your efforts on reaching those goals. Then structure your job – perhaps by delegating some work – so that you can spend as much time as possible turning this energy to your company’s advantage.”
He says that making money shouldn’t be a main motivator:
“Above all, you should work on building a business you’re proud of. This has always been a motivator for me, from my Student magazine days, through to our latest startups today. I have never gone into any business purely to make money. If money is your only motive, then I believe you shouldn’t launch the business at all.
“Once you know what your own motivations and aspirations are, talk to your employees and colleagues about theirs, if you haven’t already. Then structure their jobs in a way that allows them to tap into this energy, too. With you and your employees approaching your work with renewed energy and commitment, you’ll find that there’s little that you can’t accomplish together.”
Find your purpose.
“The secret of the most successful people I know is that they can stay motivated, activated, inspired and moving no matter what happens around them,” says Grant Cardone entrepreneur, New York Times best-selling author, and founder of 10X Growth Con 2017
“Motivation is that inner drive to move toward or away from something. To get and stay motivated, you must find your purpose. So many people are going to work doing something they don’t believe in.”
“You don’t get burnt out from work. You burn out because you aren’t working on your purpose. Get motivated, get on purpose, and you won’t feel like giving up.”
Surround yourself with people you admire.
Linkedin co-founder Reid Hoffman says that,“The fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be.”
In fact, several psychology studies have shown that we’re significantly influenced by our social environment.
As an entrepreneur, you need to be the main source of motivation for yourself and for your team. Honestly, that can be draining. But, you can keep you spirits up by surrounding yourself with people that you admire.
This could be those in your support group, like a spouse, parent, friend, or mentor. But, you can also read biographies or quotes from successful entrepreneurs that you look up-to. Or, attending events and conferences and following these inspiring people on social media.
Exercise and stay healthy.
“Exercise is, of course, great for energy levels and I believe it makes me more productive no matter what. But energy and focus naturally ebb and flow throughout the day,” says Evan Williams, the founder of Blogger, Twitter and Medium.
Williams is right. When your exercise you release a flood of endorphins. This triggers the classic “runner’s high” where you feel psyched and energized.
Communicate with customers.
“Establish strong, yet effortless communication channels for your customers to provide you feedback (an easy-to-find email, occasional surveys, sending a personal email to a customer, social media, etc),” suggests Vincent Ko, Co-Founder and Chief Panda of PANDA Sunglasses.
Not only is this a good customer service practice, but you will be surprised by the number of purchasers who are advocates of your brand. Receiving positive feedback and reassuring messages from happy customers is inspirational and keeps me motivated.”
Never feel sorry for yourself.
“All of my best successes came on the heels of a failure, so I’ve learned to look at each belly flop as the beginning of something good,” said Barbara Corcoran, founder of The Corcoran Group and Shark on Shark Tank.
“If you just hang in there, you’ll find that something is right around the corner. It’s that belief that keeps me motivated. I’ve learned not to feel sorry for myself, ever. Just five minutes of feeling sorry for yourself takes your power away and makes you unable to see the next opportunity.”
Be afraid of failure.
Corcoran’s fellow Shark, Mark Cuban, once said, “I’m always afraid of failing. It’s great motivation to work harder.”
He elaborated in an article he wrote for Bloomberg:
“No matter what business you’re in, you’re always at risk — particularly in technology, where it changes so rapidly you’ve got to put in the effort to keep up.”
“There’s always the opportunity for some 18-year-old to come out of nowhere and crush you — that motivates the hell out of me.”
Use your unique strengths to help others.
Part of being a successful entrepreneur is having enough money to live comfortably and grow your business. But, again, that should never be your chief motivation. Instead of focusing on money, think about how you can use your strengths and knowledge to help others. Expanding from there, it’s good to think of ways to help and inspire other people with your work.
“Empower yourself and realize the importance of contributing to the world by living your talent. Work on what you love. You are responsible for the talent that has been entrusted to you,” says Catharina Bruns, co-founder of WorkIsNotaJob.
But, there’s more to it than, according to Joe Reynolds, founder of Red Frog Events. “Because not only is it good business, but it’s also the right thing to do. And it just feels good.”
You can use your skills to help and inspire others by sharing advice, becoming a mentor, or using your skills to contribute to the greater good. For example, if you’re a web designer, then find a non-profit you’re passionate about and offer to build them a website.
If you can’t find a way to contribute to a non-profit, then at least create a company that can change the world.
As Elon Musk says, “My motivation for all my companies has been to be involved in something that I thought would have a significant impact on the world.”
“Most of the time when people ask me about motivation, 80 percent of the time I attribute it to gratitude. If you want real fuel to win, be grateful,” writes Gary Vaynerchuk.
“Gratitude is what has gotten me through my toughest moments in business. Whenever I have lost a deal to a competitor, or an incredible employee, or millions of dollars in revenue, I default to gratitude. It’s impossible not to stay motivated or get too down when you’re feeling grateful.”
Keep affirmations close by.
“But a negative mindset sucks up mental bandwidth and energy that you need to stay focused and successful.
“It is crucial to maintain an optimistic attitude in the face of setbacks. Whenever you see a quote or a picture that helps you stay positive, place it front and center so you can remember what this journey is all about.”
“I thought we’d end on an inspirational note,” writes online educator Melyssa Griffin. “But seriously, some days you’re just not going to feel it and pushing yourself to work when you absolutely CAN’T will probably only result in mediocre results and be even more overwhelming.”
“Play hooky for the day or a few hours. Relax. Take a freakin’ break. Try a few things from this list. I promise you’ll feel a whole lot better tomorrow, you little hustler you.”