by Prerna Malik –
So you have a brilliant business idea and are all set to put in your papers at your day job so you can finally call yourself an entrepreneur. Excited? I’m sure you are!
But what happens when the business building begins? When you clock hours longer than you did at your “job”? When you hear the word “no” so many times, it reminds you of when you were 4-years old and in grade school, and when the money that was to come pouring in remains a distant dream?
That feeling of excitement, the passion and energy begin to fade and the motivation to “make it” starts to slip away. I get it. As an entrepreneur for the last 7 years, I’ve seen it all. And if you’re starting out, you need to dose up on staying motivated and inspired, especially in those early days when it’s all too easy to get overwhelmed and disheartened.
1. Surround yourself with people who get you
Who do you hang out with after you’re done with working on your business? Do they understand your work? Do they feel your passion? Can they be a sounding board? A supportive shoulder?
Surround yourself with people who understand what being an entrepreneur is all about. That is the power of a mastermind group. It can be just a few of you touching base every other day or a larger group for accountability and growth.
Whatever you’re trying to get from your mastermind groups, make sure that you have one and that they’re positive, supportive, inspiring.
“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey
2. Read, watch or listen to something positive every day
We live in the information age and it’s easy to get bombarded with all sorts of messages. Newspapers, books, magazines, social media, blogs, TV shows, podcasts, the list goes on and on.
To stay motivated on a daily basis, make sure you take your “positive pills” or small doses of content that keep you inspired. Feed your mind positivity and you’ll feel positive and in control. Feed your mind negativity and you know how you’ll feel.
Whether it’s an article, a podcast, a blog post, a phone call with a friend, make sure that ou have daily doses of positivity factored into your schedule.
3. Keep your why front and center
It’s easy to feel disheartened when it seems no one, other than you, is interested in your business ideas. When such thoughts threaten to take over, remind yourself of your “why”.
Answer this question: What is the core reason behind your desire and passion to be an entrepreneur?
Dig deep and reconnect with what really made you want to put in those papers or pursue this passion. Keep that “why” front and center.
4. Practice gratitude
Gratitude is a powerful and proven technique to keep motivation levels up. Looking for the good and being grateful for what we may take for granted helps entrepreneurs see what’s really working for them. Even when it seems nothing is.
Starting today, keep a simple notebook or journal and at the end of the day, write down 3 to 5 things that you’re grateful for. Review your journal whenever you feel the motivation levels dip. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll feel fired up and inspired.
5. Keep moving forward
There will be days when taking action will seem tough. When all you’ll want to do is curl up in the fetal position and bawl your head off. But I encourage you to step up and step forward. Baby steps are all that it takes.
Break down big goals into tiny actions and take one step at a time. Keep moving forward and you’ll never feel stuck in a rut again.
“Action is the real measure of intelligence.” – Napoleon Hill
6. Step away from the laptop
It’s tempting to hole up in your office and keep working away on your dream idea. One word of advice: Don’t. As someone who’s been there, I have to tell you, shutting down the laptop and heading outdoors is key to your mental and physical health.
Go outside. Take up a hobby. Power walk, run or do yoga. Meet people in real life. Travel. Read. You get the point, right? Do anything that doesn’t have you sitting in front of the laptop, all day long. Your brain and your body will thank you for it.
7. Dare yourself
Finally, motivation feeds on motivation. In other words, every now and then get the adrenaline pumping and dare yourself to take insanely scary actions. Want to reach out to that influencer or investor? Go ahead, introduce yourself.
Don’t let the little voice in your head hold you back. You’ll be amazed at how fired up you feel when you dare yourself to do something you’ve been dragging your feet on.