Do you need some motivation to start your business?
Most entrepreneurs face burnout at some point. If you’re reading this, you probably feel this way right now.
The feeling of burnout is all too familiar – demotivation, stress, and frustration.
It’s like an unending cycle…
Let’s face it, we know that the hardest part (or one of the hardest parts) of being an entrepreneur is staying consistent.
The truth is that It gets daunting. It is difficult.
For a couple of months, I felt this way about my business. I experienced burnout and abandoned everything for a while.
I understand how difficult it can be to get out of a slump.
But getting out of a slump is possible. You CAN get back on track. And you can achieve everything that you dreamt of.
You probably feel like giving up because you’ve wasted so much time, but remember that it’s not about how much time you think you’ve wasted, it’s about how far you’re willing to go this time and how much work you’re willing to put in.
You can get 3 years’ worth of work done in 6 months with a focused and carefully planned effort.
So, how can you overcome demotivation and become a more focused entrepreneur?
First, let’s discuss a little bit about how it feels to be demotivated, especially as a business owner.
What it Means to Feel Demotivated
You wake up in the morning and are determined to strike off all the tasks from your to-do list.
However, you just can’t seem to get started with anything.
You’ve completed several mini-tasks and feel overwhelmed or simply uninterested whenever you think of getting to the main task, so you just don’t do it.
Instead, you procrastinate for another 5 minutes which eventually becomes 1 hour and perhaps you end up going the full day without getting to your main task.
This pattern continues for days, weeks, months and even years until you finally give up – or almost (you’re here and that’s a good sign!)
If this sounds familiar to you, then what you’re experiencing just might be demotivation.
Here are some signs of demotivation:
You once cared about this project or business idea and you still kind of care but not really.
Most times, you feel like you’ve given up but other times you want to try again (like right now).
Whenever you think of getting to work, perhaps you remember all the failures you’ve experienced and that makes you reluctant to do anything.
Generally, it’s hard to muster the motivation to get started with the things that you want to achieve.
2. Having no goals:
At this point you don’t have a clear vision anymore concerning your business, you’ve lost track of your goals and you’ve given up on trying perhaps because when you tried, it didn’t seem worthwhile.
Your goals are the main things that keep you motivated. So, when you don’t have clear goals or you struggle with staying on track with your goals then that’s a huge sign that you are experiencing demotivation.
3. Putting in no effort into work
When you don’t enjoy doing something, you find that it’s a struggle to put in the maximum effort needed to achieve clear results.
It’s the same thing when you feel like you don’t have the motivation for your business anymore.
This could result from several things and there’ve been several instances where people who loved what they did as entrepreneurs still struggled with demotivation.
One of the huge causes of this is having many failed attempts at reaching goals.
Another common reason is personal/life issues. Maybe you recently experienced a huge or sudden change and that is taking a toll on your motivation levels.
Procrastination is the fear of taking action by avoiding what you have to do.
It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re lazy but it can massively deter your growth.
If you procrastinate very often, this could be another sign that you are experiencing motivation.
Why Motivation is Important
Achieving anything significant is next to impossible without feeling motivated. Here are some reasons why motivation is important:
1. Keeps you focused on your goals
Setting goals is one thing while sticking to those goals is another thing – which is often more challenging (especially long-term goals).
Have you ever tried working on a project that you had no interest in?
Maybe having to attend a 2-hour talk about a subject that bores you…
If you have been in such a situation, then you understand why being motivated about something makes all the difference.
2. Boosts Creativity
Motivation doesn’t only keep you focused, it makes you more creative.
You may be wondering “how?”
I’ll use an example…
Think of something you enjoy doing, then think of working on a project in that field.
If you face a challenge while working on a project you enjoy, you’ll be likely to find a solution compared to if you were working on something that you’re not interested in.
3. Better Problem Solving
Just like I mentioned, when you’re motivated, you’re able to solve difficult problems.
When you’re trying to find a solution for something you don’t enjoy, finding solutions can easily become stressful.
4. Helps in building skills
When you build mastery in solving complex problems, you may not realize it but in that process, you’re building important skills.
The point I’m making here is that, yes, you can do okay working on something that you have no interest in but, doing something that you are naturally passionate about boosts your motivation and thus, helps you build important skills.
The best way to learn anything in my experience is:
- pick up a genuine interest in the topic that you’re trying to learn
- Learn the basic theories and applications of your topic of interest
- Start a fun project and keep solving problems that you face as you continue on your project.
How to Get Motivated to Start a Business
Getting business ideas is not the hardest part of starting a business as opposed to what many people think.
Launching the business itself is much more challenging, especially for people who have perfectionistic tendencies.
Wanting to get every detail sorted out, being scared of failing, and overthinking little mistakes are some things that could stop you from starting a business.
When starting my business, I learnt how real imposter syndrome is.
Feeling that you’re not good enough, you’re underqualified or nobody would possibly value what you have to offer.
The simple truth is that you’ll never really know how far you can go unless you try…
Here’s how to muster the motivation and confidence that you need to start a business:
1. Do some research
One surefire way to spark your interest when you’re trying to start a business is research.
You possibly don’t have any interest in starting your business because you don’t see any opportunities or fun challenges yet.
The key to seeing the gold in your business is through research.
Research doesn’t have to be intense, professional or expensive. Youtube, blog posts or podcasts could be great sources of important information about certain business ideas.
Keep researching, keep learning. The more you learn about starting a business, the more motivated you will become when it comes to starting your business.
2. Network and surround yourself with the right people
The people that you surround yourself with influence you more than you think.
When you’re still trying to gather the courage to start your business, do not stay around people who discourage you or fail to see the big picture.
Instead, network with like-minded people and build meaningful connections with them.
Thanks to social media, you can connect with other awesome and inspiring people from all over the world.
Having such people around you to encourage you goes a long way in helping you feel motivated to start a successful business.
3. Consume content that motivates you
Another great way to build the motivation to start your business is by consuming inspiring content.
I’m not talking about motivational speeches (by all means go for that if it helps)
But I’m talking about drawing inspiration from the journeys of other entrepreneurs.
Again, Youtube and other social media platforms are great for this purpose.
Do not compare yourself negatively with the people that you see on social media. Always remember that huge milestones come from small steps and that everyone is on a different journey.
4. Visualize success and imagine what it would mean to you
One of the best ways to get yourself in the mood to do anything is through the power of imagination.
Think of what you want to achieve. Maybe you want to be able to take care of the people you love without having to worry about money.
Maybe you want to travel the world
Maybe you want flexibility and not being fixed at a 9 to 5.
Now think of yourself achieving all the things you want.
All you need to do is connect to the bigger picture of why you want to start your business to the steps you need to take to bring your dreams to reality.
5. Make a plan
You must’ve heard the saying that goes… “Failure to plan is planning to fail”.
I couldn’t agree more.
It’s not enough to set goals, you need to work towards them too. And the best way to keep track and stay motivated towards achieving your goals is by making a plan.
It starts with asking the little question of what is the first step to achieving my goals.
6. Have fun with your work
Working in an environment or using a system that frustrates you is the greatest punishment you can give yourself.
Your business belongs to you, you have control over it, so make it fun.
Make your workspace a place that you’d always want to be.
Build positive emotions around your work. Give yourself a pep talk each day and remind yourself of what you are doing.
7. Don’t rely on external sources
The best form of motivation is intrinsic motivation – the type that comes from within you.
When you get to understand the purpose behind what you are doing, you’ll feel motivated to continue working towards it.
Yes, external motivation is awesome too – motivational speeches, the journeys of other entrepreneurs, etc. But knowing and sticking to your purpose is the biggest source of motivation. Your own goals (not those of other people) and ambitions should motivate you. They should remind you of what you’re aiming for and help you get there. Think of the lives you will impact including yours.
How to Stay Motivated as an Entrepreneur
Ask any entrepreneur and they’ll tell you that they don’t have the same motivation they had when they started their business.
Now, when you’ve started your business, how do you keep the same energy until you achieve your big goal?
Here are some tips to help you:
1. Avoid Procrastination
It’s easy to say “I’ll start in 5 minutes” but what if you start now?
They say procrastination is the greatest thief of time – and time is a pretty valuable asset.
The easiest way to lose motivation is by procrastinating. It’s one of those things that become a habit pretty quickly.
Hours of procrastinated work can easily snowball into a pile of ‘unfinished business’ (pun intended) and I can’t blame you for losing motivation if it gets to that point.
It does get pretty discouraging looking at a tower of work to complete.
I found this awesome article about overcoming procrastination feel free to check it out if you struggle with procrastination.
2. Have an accountability partner or coach
There’s nothing like having someone who will keep you accountable when you don’t feel like getting yourself to work.
Two heads are always better than one.
I encourage you to get someone (a friend, partner or coach) who will be honest and direct with you and do this before you launch your business or ASAP
You have no idea what you’re missing out on if you have nobody to keep you accountable – I’ll tell you – it’s a lot.
3. Evaluate yourself periodically
After each goal attainment period, make sure to evaluate yourself to see how you performed.
Look at the goals you set, the plans you made, and the achievements that resulted.
Check for areas that you can improve on, take note of the areas where you performed well and think of ways to sustain those areas.
Keep working on yourself and your systems. Change is the only constant thing – it should be constant in your business and in your life too.
4. Set rewards for yourself
Speaking of achievements… you also need a plan to celebrate your achievements (don’t tell me you were going to let that slide).
Think of the things you will do when you achieve the goals that you have written down.
Perhaps a trip to your favourite place. Maybe you’ll buy yourself a Tesla…who knows 😉
Having a reward system works for entrepreneurs as much as it works for our furry friends 😀
5. Do an activity that rejuvenates you
Running a business can easily become overwhelming, especially when you are working on your own.
This is why taking a rejuvenating break is so important. Don’t take breaks which include more stressful work.
If you have workaholic tendencies, remember that you have the permission to take a break – if anybody asks, tell them that I gave you permission 😉
As much as you need to take care of your business, you also need to take care of your health and well-being.
Find out the things that make you feel relaxed and happy and DO THEM.
All work and no play makes you a frazzled and frustrated entrepreneur.
6. Set a personal mission and vision for yourself
Apart from the money that you will get from starting a business, there should be something else, something deeper that motivates you to keep working towards your goals.
Also, remember that to motivate others who will be working with you, you need to motivate yourself first.
Write out your mission and vision and keep reminding yourself of them until you get to where you want to be.
7. Have a structure or routine
I know, many people think that only boring people have routines.
But the truth is that if you ever plan to be productive, you need to have some sort of plan or routine.
How do you plan to get work done consistently, even when something comes up.
What is your emergency plan?
Routines keep you grounded, avoid overwhelm and help you stay on top of everything you need to do.
8. Find time for yourself to avoid burnout
If you don’t pick a time to rest, your body will and you probably won’t like the day it’ll choose.
So don’t wait until you break down, be intentional about resting and relaxing.
Burnout is real and please take it from me, it is not fun at all.
Plus, another reason you should rest is that it helps you stay creative. Overworking literally frustrates you and pretty much destroys your creativity.
9. Get enough sleep
After working during the day (hopefully), you need to get quality sleep.
A huge reason why many people don’t get enough rest is that they don’t sleep enough.
Not getting enough sleep (sleep deprivation) can be as bad as being drunk.
To feel motivated, you must be well-rested. Don’t downplay your health for the success of your business, remember that you have to be alive and well to run a business.
You read to the end! I’m proud of you 🙂
After this post, you should be ready to take the first step with your business.
Hopefully, all the motivation you need has been given to you so run with it and don’t let procrastination set in!
See you next time. (You can click on the little red bell below the page to subscribe and be notified when I release my next post.)
All the best,
Esther Alu, the Founder of TheAceBusiness.com is an entrepreneur who writes step-by-step guides for starting several business ideas. She is constantly learning and discovering effective ways to help her readers launch and grow successful businesses.