Eight ways to stay motivated as you build your business

September 20, 2018
5 minutes read

Motivation is a limited resource, which you’ve probably figured out by now. Entrepreneurs are responsible for everything that’s happening with their business. Your customers, your employees, your costs, and even your competition—your job is to oversee everything, all the time.

Your motivation is one of the most important things that allows you to keep moving forward with your goals and dreams. It is the resource that all entrepreneurs need during dark times, yet only a few know how to effectively trigger it when they need it the most.

In today’s post, I’m sharing eight ways to become and remain motivated while running a business.

Follow a bigger purpose

First thing’s first. If you strive to become a successful entrepreneur, you surely have larger goals to achieve and expectations to meet. There is always a bigger purpose in the life of a successful business person.

Take for example, Elon Musk. Musk wants to make humans an interplanetary species by developing spaceships that will take people to Mars. Google, Amazon, and Facebook are looking to universalize the world. They’re aiming to make it possible for everyone to experience things that in the past only a few could.

These are just few examples of highly successful businesses that are not just hustling ‘for the cash’. With a bigger purpose in mind, you can find the motivation and inspiration to achieve your goals.

Achievement drive is the key moving force that keeps people motivated. Without it, none of the tips described below can really work for you.

Know yourself

When you identify what moves you and makes you “tick”, you’ll be in a much better position to get back on your feet whenever your motivation is low. Knowing yourself helps you get prepared for problems that might occur along the way, and put your good skills into action in order to prevent the bad skills from ruining your business.

This knowledge can come really handy at times when you need to tackle a problem, and fast. If you know your traits and skills, you can use them to fix what has been broken and with it, keep your company up and running.

Knowing your abilities is one of the greatest ways to maintain your motivation. By using those skills to your advantage, you can build on your self-confidence and self-esteem, both of which are essential to you if you want to remain a great business owner.

Remind yourself why you’re doing it

If you have a strong “why” behind running your business, you can always come back to that reason when you need strength to overcome challenges. Every day is different, and your level of motivation, energy, and focus will vary.

Take a moment to reflect on the reason why you chose to pursue this path. There could be more than one reason, or there could be a single big one. Either way, note it down and put it on your wall, on your phone’s background, or in any other place that you frequently visit.

At times when it is too hard for you to solve a problem, go back to this note to get motivation from it. One of the greatest motivational pushes in life comes from your dreams and the desire to make them come true.

Learn from your failures

There isn’t a single entrepreneur in the world who hasn’t failed at least one. Failure is a result, just like success. This also makes it an essential part of running a business, so why not use it to your advantage instead of dreading it or tossing it aside?

When you fail, agonizing over your mistakes will only drain your motivation – nothing good can come from it. If you want to be a success, jump straight to learning from your failures. Use every failure to identify what you could have done better and leverage the knowledge you gain to improve your future actions. Remember: every failure gives you valuable feedback.

And the mistakes you’re learning from don’t necessarily have to be yours. To avoid making mistakes on your own, at least the common ones, read up on from other entrepreneurs’ mistakes.

Aim to exceed your own expectations

A great way to motivate yourself is to do things that you never thought you would be capable of. For example, if you’re used to working for six focused hours every day, why not make a change in your schedule and work extra hours? You can switch your schedule completely to break up the monotony. Changing how you work can help you find motivation.

Look around yourself and see what other entrepreneurs are doing. Take what you see and do it two times better. When you’re able to control your performance while your motivation is low, you’ll realize that you can achieve everything. More often than not, excelling at something makes us more confident, and the more confident we are the more motivated we’ll become.

Learn to control your own mind

We often become overwhelmed and demotivated because we allow chaos to rule our minds. Whether you realize it or not, your subconscious is constantly active. This means that your thoughts, emotions, and actions are often triggered by subconscious beliefs and reactions.

Here’s an easy way to take control over your mind:

Carefully assess your thoughts and try to figure out what emotions they lead to. Once you’re able to consciously perceive your emotions, figure out the action that is generally resulted from them.

It’s a simple loop of thoughts-emotions-actions. If you’re able to become fully conscious of your loops, you’ll be able to manage and change them according to your own wishes. This way, even if your motivation is down every now and then, you’ll be able to rely on your mental management system.

Develop empowering habits

You might not acknowledge this, but your performance is mostly influenced by your habits, not your skills or the environment. A habit is a controlled action you can change without losing motivation. When you wash your face and teeth in the morning, you’re doing it automatically without giving it too much thought. This is a habit, and it was built through practice and repetition.

Therefore, building healthy habits is one of the ways to improve yourself and your business. Here are some empowering habits that’ll lift you up as an entrepreneur:

  • Eat healthy – avoid GMOs, junk food, sugar, and all the substances that hurt your physical and mental performance.
  • Exercise regularly – many entrepreneurs exercise early in the morning, right before they tackle their most important tasks.
  • Kill procrastination – the moment you realize you’re procrastinating, use your whole power to overcome this state, as it can become habitual.
  • Meditate – allow your mind to rest every now and then. You’re not only going to improve your motivation but also your energy, focus, and work.

All the things in this list are essential for not only a healthy life, but a motivating and productive life. Without the strength and power to do things, you cannot be motivated.

Make changes

When you were a kid, you probably wanted a bike, a toy, or a trip to Disneyland. As you grew up, your perspective changed as your horizons became broader . We desire things, but those dreams are often temporary.

What does this have to do with your motivation as an entrepreneur?

It’s simple. Even if you don’t realize it right now, you might have grown out of your goals and dreams. After a while, you might have stopped desiring to finish the goals you had before. This is perfectly normal, but it can be a huge motivation-killer.

If nothing else works, it is time to search for some new passions. This could be a new business, or some changes to how you think about your existing business. Perhaps a new goal for the company, a new business plan, or something as simple as a new design of your boring, ‘outdated’ office.

Changes can make things much better and sometimes change is what’s missing from your life and presents a barrier between you and your motivation. Make some changes and see what happens!


Running a successful business is not something everyone can do. But, if you have got what it takes, the only thing left to do is learn how to maintain your motivation and your productivity. Developing high levels of motivation is not an act—it is a skill. If you keep working on it, you’ll never run into motivational troubles again. Keep your head up now, pick a few strategies and follow them rigorously and consistently!

Joe McLean is a young and successful entrepreneur who has assumed the role of a teacher. He’s currently co-leading AssignmentMasters help service, a reliable business that helps students overcome both their academic and entrepreneurial struggles.

By Joseph Mclean

The information and tips shared on this blog are meant to be used as learning and personal development tools as you launch, run and grow your business. While a good place to start, these articles should not take the place of personalized advice from professionals. As our lawyers would say: “All content on Wave’s blog is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal or financial advice.” Additionally, Wave is the legal copyright holder of all materials on the blog, and others cannot re-use or publish it without our written consent.

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