How to Stay Motivated: The Entrepreneur’s Secret Guide

You get to be your own boss. That’s a pretty good reason to become an entrepreneur. But as rosy as it sounds, there can also be long hours and lean times—especially during the early years. So how do successful entrepreneurs stick with it? Take a look at these strategies to stay motivated (and keep the business growing).

What Drives Entrepreneurs?

Not every small business owner is the same. But they have certain things that make them want to get up every morning and tackle another business day. They are a clue to what motivates them.

Manta, an online community of small businesses, conducted a survey of over 3,000 of their members. The 2014 survey lists personal achievement and financial stability as the top two success motivators. In addition, business owners listed “giving back to the community” and “great customers” as motivators.

Staying Motivated

So if you’re like the small business owners in the survey, staying motivated is about achievement—either personal or financial. Here are some ideas you may not have thought of that can keep you achieving:

Measure up – “Growing your business” is great goal but how will you know when you’ve achieved it? That’s why it’s important for goals to be measureable. Set specific milestones along the way. For example, add five potential customers each week to your email list. That’s more manageable. And you can see the progress you’ve made.

Stoke your engine – Business owners are personally invested. But successful ones diversify that investment with healthy work/life balances. Take time out to recharge, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. You might exercise, meditate, or spend time with the family. Give your brain a break from the business. It can motivate you to look at a challenge or opportunity in a new way.

Think bigger – Your business isn’t an island. It’s part of a larger community. So think about what you can do to make it stronger. According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses create 66 percent of new jobs. Hiring a part-timer for a few hours a week can be part of that. It’s motivating to know that you’re part of helping your community grow.

Reconnect with the start – Think back on when you decided to start your own business. Was it a person, an inspirational seminar, a book you read? Whatever it was, find a way to reconnect with it again. It will remind you of why you started down this road and renew your commitment. And it can motivate you to realign your priorities so you spend time on the things that matter most.

Get out of your zone – Push your comfort zone out a little by doing something you’ve never done before but wanted to. Try a new restaurant, take a cooking class, or repair that leaky faucet by yourself. It can give you a sense of accomplishment that spills over into your business life. If you can do that, what else can you achieve?

Invest in yourself as well as your business. Consider these ideas to keep your motivation high and your small business strong.

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