Feel Like Giving Up? 5 Tips For Entrepreneurs To Stay Motivated
Dan Waldschmidt once wrote, “Motivation is like oxygen – you only know it’s missing when you are gasping for more.”
For some entrepreneurs, due to the lack of financial resources to hire a large team, they frequently have to take up multiple roles – the boss, the CEO, the human resources manager, the finance manager and many more. The initial costs of starting a business are high and the lack of profit in the early stages of a start-up can be quite demoralising for many. Yet, failure may not be an option due to the sunk costs.
You may be encouraged to rely on sheer willpower, but juggling multiple responsibilities can be overwhelming and quickly lead to burnout. Learning to manage your drive and motivation can sustain your energy and make your entrepreneurial journey a more rewarding one. Here are five tips for entrepreneurs to stay motivated!
1. Identify Your Extrinsic Motivation
Extrinsic motivation refers to external rewards or push factors that motivate you to work harder. For some, it may be the reward you give yourself when you have accomplished a goal. For others, it could be finding a conducive environment to work, or perhaps even working together with someone. Having a team to work with and a good support system can also be motivating factors.
As an entrepreneur, positive customer testimonials may also be a good form of encouragement. If you have little interest in the activity, a small reward such as treating yourself to your favourite drink could go a long way.
2. Find Your Intrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic motivation is where enjoyment is derived from the activity itself. The good thing about being an entrepreneur is that you are more likely to be working for a cause that you are passionate about. When you feel unmotivated, remind yourself of why you started. A strong mission statement may be helpful for you and your team when the going gets tough.
Also, the difficulty level of the task should correspond with the person’s capability. A slight challenge may be rewarding, but a task that is too difficult may demoralise a person. To circumvent this, break the task into smaller achievable tasks rather than tackle everything in one shot.
3. Delegate Task To Your Team
One common motivation trap for fresh entrepreneurs is the loss of passion while monetising a business. While one may be passionate about what they do, they may not enjoy the administrative aspect of managing a business. This may lead to disruptive emotions such as anger and anxiety, and one may feel overwhelmed and start to doubt their abilities.
To overcome this, delegate the administrative work to someone else. It is also important to manage your emotions by finding an outlet, such as journaling or speaking with a trusted friend. Your co-workers can also help you by suggesting new strategies to complete the task. While taking care of yourself, remember to look out for your workers as well – do not wait until they burnout or it will be too late!
4. Take Care of Your Health
Do not underestimate the importance of taking care of your health as this can impact your work performance. Taking care of your physical health includes eating balanced meals, getting enough exercise and getting sufficient sleep. Balanced meals and exercise can improve your body confidence and this can impact your leadership as well.
Regular exercise and sufficient sleep improves alertness, attention and motivation. Physical health is also correlated with your mental health. When you have the right headspace, you are also better able to deal with the dynamic challenges that many entrepreneurs face.
5. Set a Realistic Schedule
It is tempting to be ambitious and set many goals for you and your team. However, if they are unrealistic, they can be demoralising and become counterproductive. For example, if you have the habit of sleeping late, setting a goal of waking up at 7 a.m. daily is not immediately achievable in the long run. You could try smaller increments such as waking up an hour earlier every week to make the change more manageable.
Another way to set realistic goals is to understand your own pace of work. You can do so by measuring the time taken to complete a certain task, and from there consider how you can spread your work out within a reasonable timeframe.
Mark A. Copeland once wrote, “Motivation is like ‘steam’. Properly channelled, it can move large objects, like a steam-powered train. But without it, the train remains motionless.” To add on to the analogy, motivation is also seemingly invisible and insignificant, but with a proper understanding of how to use it, it might just help us to go the distance.
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