Motivation can be hard to come by, especially when you’re stuck with an endless list of things to do while building a business. That is why we are here. Here are ten ways to motivate yourself when you just can’t find the spark you need to rejuvenate yourself and work on your business.
The reason I’m here today to share ten motivational strategies that will keep you working even when you don’t feel like it is because I know why 90 percent of you will quit on your entrepreneurship journey. I don’t have to read anyone’s horoscope to find out. The data is clear. Most people who stop online business just quit.
It’s not about the failure of a business system, but about a lack of motivation to keep going.
And I don’t blame you. This stuff is tough. However, I know from all the six- and seven-figure entrepreneurs that one thing that makes them different from the people who quit is that they keep going.
They are no smarter, no richer, no more talented, and no luckier than you. They simply decide to stay on their heels and keep going when everyone else would drop out of the race.
So today I’m going to share ten ways you can do the same. I am going to give you motivating superpowers and I hope that you read this article if you are about to quit because I want to see you on my website as a success story, not just a visitor, and the only way you will get it is to make it to the end.
Table of Contents
Top 10 Ways To Motivate Yourself When You Want To Give Up
Practice the 2-Minute rule
The first way to motivate yourself when you feel like giving up is to practice the two-minute rule. Well, physics was my worst subject in high school. But I remember that a body in motion tends to stay in motion. That’s literally all I remember. But the bottom line of this rule is that once something starts, it’s easier to keep going. On the other hand, the initial effort required to get started can be quite high.
Let’s get off the esoteric for a second and talk about your business aspirations. There are many things you need to do to start a business. And I know what it’s like to come home after a day of class or work, the last thing you want to do is work at your business. It takes phenomenal effort to sit down and open another laptop screen.
But if you just tell yourself you’re going to do it for two minutes, you can push yourself to do more work than you ever thought possible.
so the next time you schedule Instagram posts, clean up your product pages, or check a product’s shipping status, just tell yourself, “I’ll do this for two minutes,” and if you’re still hating it after two minutes, stop. Science suggests that you will go ahead, solve some problems and keep growing your business.
Make a list
The next way to motivate yourself when you just don’t want to keep working at this business is to make a list. No, not such a list. A distraction list.
One of the things that can so easily throw you off track when you get to work is those annoying little voices in your head. These voices say it all. They tell you to stop. They tell you that you are hungry. They ask you what you have to do tomorrow. They ask you why he didn’t text back.
Whatever they are, get them out of your head and onto paper. It’s amazing how this simple practice helps focus your mind. So the next time you sit down to work, whether it takes two minutes or more, have a pad of paper and a pen ready.
Yes, I recommend that you proceed in the same way.
Every time a thought comes in and starts making its way and snaking around your brain and distracting you from the task at hand, grab your pen, write it down and move on.
This has the added benefit of making sure that when you have thoughts in your brain that you need to address, such as E.g. taking the laundry out of the dryer, etc., have a place to put it where you can return it and do it later.
Put your phone on silent mode
The third way to motivate yourself when you feel like you’re out of motivation is to put your phone on silent. Here we get science. A senior psychology lecturer named Éilish Duke reports that even glancing at your phone for just 2.8 seconds can completely cut off your productive flow.
If you get that incoming text message and just think, “Oh, I’ll just check and get back to work,” you’re lying to yourself. You won’t, your brain can’t. So stop sabotaging yourself by putting your phone on silent and saying that three times quickly.
Here’s another interesting fact. The Journal of Experimental Psychology found that just hearing the vibration of an incoming message is enough to increase the likelihood that someone made a mistake at work. As you build your business, you cannot afford to make casual errors that you may simply prevent.
So, avoid this by muting your phone.
Accept that you could be on day two
My next tip for staying motivated is to accept that you could be there on day two. Well, what do I mean by that? Of course, every journey has a start, middle, and end. Author, podcast host and all-around human-angel Brené Brown explains that; in that middle things can get messy.
Think about the last project you started. On the first day, you probably had a lot of fire in your stomach and couldn’t wait to conquer the world and you knew that this was going to be a success.
Maybe you spend a few hours buying a domain name or creating a mood board. Then, what happened on the following day? Everything became real on the second day. You had to do the boring things like setting up shipping pages or actually writing for 60 minutes. When the dream becomes a reality and you have to start figuring out how to make it work, many of us get discouraged. This is the “day two” that Brené Brown describes.
Now you can follow some of the tips on this list to bypass it. But one of the best ways to get over that second-day feeling is to accept it. Accept that you are in the middle of a chaotic situation and that your idea is sound and that you are not being lazy; rather, you are simply going through the challenging but entirely natural process of building an online empire.
If you know that the “day two” phenomenon is completely normal, it may be easier to reach it and get to the other side.
Celebrate small victories
The next thing you need to do to stay motivated in this process is celebrating small victories. I love this tip. This tip is so important that we so often forget it. Many of us aspire to make a million dollars a year or even $50,000 a year. It’s still a pretty lofty goal.
What we fail to celebrate are all the little things we learn and achieve along the way. And when we fail to celebrate those small victories, we diminish our chances of achieving the big victory. We feel like it’s so far away and we haven’t done anything.
Celebrating small wins keeps you motivated. So think back to this week or this month. What have you learned that you previously couldn’t do? What problems have you solved that you previously thought were unsolvable? What do you need to show for your efforts, be it a website or a product?
Make a list, and then figure out how to celebrate those victories.
It could be as simple as ordering from your favorite restaurant or giving yourself a gift you’ve been wanting for a long time. All of my small wins are food-oriented, so I’ll be a little skimpy on examples here. But I’d love it if we shared some ideas in the comments below, little ways we can celebrate little wins because we’re on this journey together.
Know your chronotype
Knowing your chronotype is the next strategy for maintaining motivation. No, it’s not because you’re a Scorpio. Your chronotype refers to when you feel energetic during the day. In his book The Power of When clinical psychologist Michael Breus explains that knowing our chronotype can help us load work forward or backward in our day so that we get it done when we are at our peak.
That’s a very scientific way of saying: find out if you’re a morning person or an evening person. Many of us will feel like we do our best work either in the morning, or maybe in the afternoon, or maybe late at night.
knowing yourself can be really powerful.
For example, I am a morning person and if I have a lot of important things to do, I get up extra early so that I can power myself through. And that’s because I know full well that if you ask me to do anything after 6 pm, I’m going to kick and fuss like a toddler.
Instead of fighting your chronotype, get to know it and then plan your days to do the hard work when you feel mentally ready for it.
Plan to take time off
Motivating yourself is to plan for downtime. I’m not a softie here. Athletes will tell you that you can’t train seven days a week or you put yourself at high risk of injury.
The body needs time to recover and so does the mind. If you’re going to bring your mental “A” game to the business you’re building, you need to make sure you give yourself a break. Make sure those pauses count. If you’re someone who has a hard time with this, put it on your calendar, block off a part of your day and tell yourself that part isn’t for work.
All of the successful entrepreneurs are taking time off. You don’t spend hours watching Netflix every day. But sometimes they do. They are also humans, like you and I. The important thing is that you rest when you plan to do this and make an effort when you plan to do this.
So get inspired by these successful entrepreneurs and plan some time off to persevere in the long run.
Learn something new
This next strategy is somewhat the opposite of what I just said. But it’s a powerful tool for keeping yourself motivated because it plays a little psychological trick on itself.
The next tip for staying motivated is to actually learn something new. Let’s say you’re building an online business and you’re deep in the trenches, learning about marketing, building a store, researching products, creating a product, branding, and all those things.
You’re already learning a lot, there’s no denying that. However, just because you’re learning a lot about building a business doesn’t mean you want to neglect all of your other interests or potential interests.
It might seem silly to suggest that you learn how to make pasta or how to play the ukulele. However, science suggests that when we engage in new activities like these, our brains change and our perspective broadens.
Sometimes you can apply creative ideas you learn in a field to business.
And in fact, I would argue that this usually separates the mega-successful entrepreneurs from people making a few thousand dollars from their online business. They’re able to apply something they know from another field to entrepreneurship or e-commerce and then they really see the numbers go up.
So don’t neglect the other hobbies just because they are building an online business. Embrace them and keep that awareness wide so you can be creative and cross-functional in your work.
Choose your right goal
Tip number nine for staying motivated is to make sure you choose the right goal. Author and life coach Martha Beck explains that sometimes we lose motivation because we pursue goals that are wrong for us.
We each have a social self and an essential self. The essential self is creative and spontaneous and knows what is best for us. But the social self wants to impress and make everyone else around us proud.
Many times in life we can choose goals because it feels right for the social self. Who wouldn’t want to say, “Hey, I’m an entrepreneur”? It impresses everyone at a cocktail party. The fact of the matter is, if you choose a goal that doesn’t align with your essential self, you’ll lose motivation more quickly.
You can combine the two, but only pay attention to the activities that get you feeling creative and spontaneous. How are they related to your essential self? And how can you create goals around them?
For example, maybe you want to start an online business, but you’re someone who really loves talking to people and that doesn’t seem to fit the image of someone sitting behind a computer building a business.
You can get this to work. Use your essential self who loves to connect to build relationships with communities and influencers and market in that direction. Any folks who are more data-driven might go to Facebook Ads. Just pay attention to what your essential self wants and forge goals around it.
The last tip is a motivational quote and it’s not the motivational quote I originally intended to share. I personally find that motivating. But I’ll warn you now that it’s a little dark. My dad was in the military, so the motivational stuff I like is a bit darker.
I’ve also been in situations where I thought about giving up, and when I was I remembered this vivid but very motivational quote from Adlai Stevenson I:
On the planes of hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who lay to rest in the dawn of victory and died while they lay.
Fortunately, entrepreneurship is not a matter of life and death. However, this quote is a powerful reminder that so many people quit just before they make it big. Don’t be one of those people. I support you and can’t wait to see your success.