Editor's Note: College Treps is a weekly column that puts the spotlight on college and graduate school-based entrepreneurs, as they tackle the tough task of starting up and going to school. Follow their daily struggles and this column on Twitter with the hashtag #CollegeTreps.
Saying entrepreneurship is a difficult and lonely road is an understatement. Being a founder of a company can at times seem downright impossible.
There are a lot of big no's, people snickering at your ideas and the big tear you let out when you realize 90 percent of first-time startups fail. Don’t lose hope. There are plenty of ways to stay motivated during this process.
Here are three things you can do to lift your spirits when you are feeling down:
1. Start a support group.
I decided to share my business idea among my college peers and guess what? I found myself listening to other people having ideas about launching their own venture but were too afraid to act. After a few sessions of getting feedback from one another, I proposed we get together weekly to work on our endeavors.
Aside from researching our industries and meeting with mentors, we also had fun. We would hold dinner gatherings to not only laugh and kickback but also confide in one another about the obstacles we face.
2. Pick up a hobby you are terrible at.
That’s right, the heading was not a typo. People equate entrepreneurship to perfection, but nothing you do will ever be completely perfect.
By taking on an unfamiliar activity, you become motivated to get better and are more disciplined in the area. Also, it gets you more comfortable being uncomfortable without serious repercussions.
Besides, who said you can’t have fun and laugh at yourself? I remember when I first started writing and performing spoken word. I was awful. But now, I can say I'm more confident in myself, as I improved with practice.
3. Create a wall of positivity.
As a college student attending business school (the land of everyone doing their own thing), I surround myself with a bunch of go-getters.
Related: Richard Branson on Self-Motivation
Even though I am with these people almost every day, it took me my entire freshman year to realize they have one thing in common: They all have entire walls embellished with things they find inspirational.
If you are thinking of having your own motivational wall, don't go to an art store and spend $500. Instead, start with printing out pictures or quotes. You'll remind yourself of why you are the right person to pursue your passion.
When you are struggling with your worst days, be sure to take a breath and remember that your situation or failure is not a reflection of who you are. Also, remember you have adopted a lifestyle of taking chances, while someone else has declined that challenge. That in itself is reason enough to continue on with your business and life purpose. You only live once, so live out loud and be proud.
How do you stay motivated? Let us know in the comments below.
The author is an Entrepreneur contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.
Born and raised in New York City, Michelene Wilkerson is an entrepreneur, social justice advocate and mentor. In 2012, Wilkerson became both a Posse Scholar and a Gates Millennium Scholar. Michelene is a sophomore at Babson College and works as a research fellow with the University of Pittsburgh’s Information Science School, a Community Ambassador for Public Allies New York, and recently became an entrepreneur in residence with WIN (Women Innovating Now). By the end of this year she hopes to launch Back to Black, a social venture that looks to deconstruct negative stereotypes of Blacks in America.