Starting a business produces a mixture of emotions.
On one hand, you’ll have a lot of high points. It’s exhilarating to finally be working on something you’re passionate about. It’s inspiring to be surrounded by other people with great ideas and the courage to do something with those ideas. It’s rewarding to make progress towards building a business that you’re proud of.
And yet, on the other hand, there are some really LOW lows. It can be absolutely terrifying to not know what lies ahead. It can be frustrating to not see things happen as quickly or easily as you would like for them to. And it can be devastating on the days when you think it may not work.
Starting a business isn’t ever going to be easy, but when the low points come on too strong or too often, you might also find it tough to stay motivated.
The fire that once fueled you has died down. The little things that used to excite you now seem like a chore. You have so many things to do, yet you’re finding it difficult to make a start on any of them.
If so, try these four tips to help pick yourself up, dust off your knees, and try again tomorrow.
1. remember your purpose
There’s a reason that you decided to go into business.
You recognised a need that was not being fulfilled. You wanted to use your passion and change the status quo. And that is what brought you here, where you are now.
Constantly remind yourself of the reasons why you started your business. What do you stand for? What difference are you trying to make? What will happen when you are successful?
Remind yourself of how good it feels when you see people receive your support, product or services and benefit from them. And use this emotion to help you stay motivated!
2. take one step at a time
Sometimes your motivation can falter because it all starts to feel so overwhelming. You’re so far away from where you want to be and have no idea how you’re going to get there.
To stay focused and make consistent progress, try out this technique I use with my clients.
First, take a moment to think about where you want your business to be in 3 years’ time. See the potential of where you can go.
Next, bring your focus back to this year. What do you want to achieve by the end of the year to let you know you’re on track?
And then, break these goals down further into small, manageable tasks. No step needs to be massive. If any feel too big, just break them into smaller pieces.
As you make small achievements towards your goals, take a moment to celebrate your successes and remind yourself of how far you’ve already come.
3. surround yourself with support
Starting a business can feel like a lonely experience. Your friends and family want to be supportive. So you share your ideas, but sometime their suggestions make no sense. They just don’t understand what it’s like. And the more you question yourself, the more your motivation can suffer.
So get yourself out there and talk with other entrepreneurs.
Bounce ideas off one another. Share insights so you can see things from a different perspective. Learn tips to help you avoid costly mistakes. Tap into various networks and you may just come across some unexpected opportunities. Stay motivated together.
Finding support from people who ‘get it’ is absolutely crucial to keeping you going when the going gets tough.
4. enjoy the journey
Don’t forget that starting a business is a really exciting experience!
It will definitely test your courage, patience, and tenacity but if you can stay motivated, these tests will undoubtedly make you stronger and more resilient.
You will gain a sense of purpose and a great feeling of achievement.
You will receive many opportunities to learn – not only about business and industry topics but also about the interconnectedness of human relationships.
You will work with partners, clients, and beneficiaries who inspire you.
You will have many successes along the way that remind you it is all worthwhile.
So take a moment to sit back, reflect, and enjoy the journey!
over to you
When you’ve experienced low points in your startup journey, what has been your best way to keep yourself motivated and focused on the bigger picture? Leave a comment below, let us learn from you.
It is quite the roller coaster starting your business isn’t it? I certainly did not expect that when I started out. It was a real surprise. Since I started working for myself in 2009 I’ve also experienced these feelings when I evolve and change directions slightly. It can be so nerve wracking! You’re right – remembering your purpose and taking one little step at a time is all you need to do during the low points. For me having a connection practice has helped a lot too – centring myself with meditation and ensuring I’m eating and exercising well + feel good is so important – and so easy to forget during these times.
Thanks for writing this post!