We live in an environment where entrepreneurial ambitions are celebrated, and in almost all arenas of life people are being encouraged to pursue those goals. For those who set out to blaze their own path a strong truth quickly becomes evident. We must stay motivated.
What is your motivation? What gets you up out of that chair, or out of bed in the morning, and pursuing your “IT”? Is it Money? Perhaps Fame? Or perhaps you simply love the field you are working to play in? These are key things to consider because without motivation to forge on, we will stop moving.
The very nature of an entrepreneurial effort means at its base that we are not being paid. Sure we may make profit from our efforts, hopefully a healthy portion. In the start however we are simply working. We’re waking up and clocking in the hours. To a large extent we may never know if anyone will even realize what we’ve done or set out to do. Before that can happen we must complete the effort and have a product to offer. Through this effort there will be, notice the “WILL” and not might or maybe, there will be moments where quitting seems our next best step. What will motivate us to keep going?
Bestselling Author Jim Butcher has said, when asked what motivates him to push through writers block and complete his novels, his motivation is simple: He has a mortgage. This brazenly truthful statement drives home an inescapable fact. No matter our “IT” that we are pursuing, life continues on. With all its demands and costs and expectations, life offers little allowance for procrastination or slacking. This supersedes any passion or emotionally grounded motivation, this is reality.
Where emotions can waver, and hope can fade, if we build on this practical truth that to see results we must put in the work, we will see results.
This logic applies to any effort, not entrepreneurship alone. If you are an employee, stay at home parent, or simply trying to build a new skill or finish school, it all applies. Here are four steps we can apply to help us stay motivated:
- Set Goals. – This can sound redundant. We hear it all the time. In this case, we hear it often because it works. The clarification should be added that we need to set up progressive goals. It is always good to have a main goal, an end game established. For example you could be working to drop weight and get in shape, so you set up a goal weight and size to work towards. If that goal is more than 10lbs from your current weight, why not set up progress goals? This allows you to hit attainable goals and build momentum, which is quite motivating. It also promotes a pathway to track success.
- Celebrate Accomplishments. – As we progress and reach our goals, enjoy those moments of accomplishment. Perhaps your progressive goal was a daily call number to reach out to 10 potentially new clients each day, and you surpassed that. Enjoy that, celebrate it. After you’ve surpassed that goal a couple times, increase your daily call to 15, or 20, and when you reach and exceed those goals continue to celebrate that accomplishment. This continues to build momentum and foster growth and progress in our efforts.
- Help Other Succeed. – So often in our own efforts to become successful we become myopic and lose sight of the whole picture. Make a purposeful effort to step back, and help other reach their progressive goals. Even if they are someone you might view as competition, encourage, support, and aid them where you can. Then as they reach their goals, celebrate those accomplishments with them. We will find ourselves encouraged in the process and our desire to keep up with those we support will keep us motivated.
- Be a Student. – No matter what we are trying to accomplish, be a student of it. More than simply learn what to do, strive to know it, understand it, and be a practitioner of it at a level that we could keenly explain it to another. If you are trying to grow in your career, do not be comfortable simply being able to do your job well. Grow beyond that by understanding the business, learning supportive roles, and actively seek out opportunities to be involved in aspects outside of your assigned role. If you are focusing on your fitness, do not simply rely on a personal trainer. Instead approach it as if you were going to need to be someone else’s personal trainer. Learn the moves, lifts, stretches, and logic behind the activities involved. Study the nutrition, track your progress, test things out, and approach it as if you were looking for the treasure hidden within the activities itself. Even more so if we are pushing out to be an entrepreneur, we do well to pull back the curtain on the area we desire to work in. Learn the market, trends, and methodology already applied. Track patterns of success, and failures, as if we weren’t working to build our own business, but working as a consultant to help someone else launch theirs. Recognize that this is a craft, an art, and our mastery of it only comes through the ongoing effort to learn and know it fully. The better we position our perspective and understanding, the stronger our grasp and more firm our motivation to succeed will be. We will be able to truly see opportunities, and better avoid pitfalls, as we more than have a map of our terrain, we are the guide.
When all the chips are down, motivation is a choice. Choose to do it. Choose to Succeed. Choose to put in the work. If we implement these four steps we will strengthen our ability to choose wisely.
Stay Motivated, Stay Focused, Make IT Happen!!!
(Images from Google images)