The Oxford dictionary defines motivation as “a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way.”
There is no doubt that motivation is complex. Sometimes it’s a constant presence, other times it is conspicuously absent.
If there is one group for which motivation is fundamental to their work, it’s entrepreneurs. A critical part of an entrepreneur’s success is rooted in their motivation. And so when motivation is lacking, entrepreneurs use certain strategies to get motivated, or better yet, stay motivated.
5 Key motivational techniques for entrepreneurs
1.Relax and create distance
Distancing oneself can be thought of as the motivational technique of essentially taking a break. Distancing oneself doesn’t mean taking a long trip. Entrepreneurs agree that taking a break helps clarify their thoughts and even exposes them to new—possibly even more creative—ideas.
It’s no wonder many entrepreneurs say their best ideas come when they’re in the shower, working out, walking the dogs, etc. In other words, when they aren’t thinking exclusively about work.
It might sound obvious, but organization is one of an entreprenuer’s motivational techniques. It’s not unusual to see pictures of geniuses like Einstein, whose office was a mess of papers, and pose the question: so what did he do to motivate himself? Organization is not completely connected to order, depending on which criteria one uses. A person can be very messy, but also very organized: it’s knowing what must be accomplished each day and continuing to meet goals that reinforces motivation.
Many entrepreneurs recognize that making a list to prioritize tasks according to their complexity is like compelling the brain to work: the simplest tasks go at the beginning of the list and the most complicated at the end. Thusly, one avoids being overwhelmed when it’s time to begin.
3.Do something new
Boredom is motivation’s perfect enemy. Boredom and burnout kill motivation in even the most active of minds. Having an active mind that likes to explore and discover new things is one of the most noteworthy characteristics of entrepreneurs. For this very reason, entrepreneurs need to seek out—whether daily or weekly—something outside their routine, discover a new place in their city, a new paper, book, etc.
The rush of adrenaline we get when faced with a new challenge wakes us up and energizes us. It’s an opportunity to learn, whether the new goal results in success or failure.
4.Take on responsibility
When they hear “entrepreneurship”, the majority of people who work for someone else think about the longed-for independence one doesn’t have when they are somebody’s employee.
But when motivation flags, an entrepreneur has to remember that the responsibility for the company’s smooth operation rests on their shoulders. This realization would be stifling for many, but it can also be a way to boost motivation, given that responsibility is a large incentive.
Many entrepreneurs say that what really keeps them focused and motivated is the fact that no one else is going to pay their bills for them. For example, a great motivational technique for entrepreneurs is looking at their company’s fixed costs and comparing them to revenue they’re generating.
All entrepreneurs should ask themselves a series of questions: How did I get this far? Why did I decide to start a business? How did it all begin? This is at the heart of staying motivated. One must remember how everything began, why they do what they do. Perhaps their idea was to have more independence, change the world, have some fun, or make people happy a few minutes a day.
In the hypothetical case that the inspiration that led to starting a business doesn’t achieve the desired motivational effect, it’s also recommended to read book, such as the biographies of other successful entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, for example.
If one’s motivation is still conspicuously absent despite these techniques, the best thing to do is accept the situation and remember that being unmotivated is not an option, that one undertook this venture for a reason, and that one is the only person who can keep it going.
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