5 Ways to Power Through Difficult Times

Entrepreneurship is hard. Here's how to handle things like a champ.

learn more about Jonathan Long

By Jonathan Long


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Entrepreneurs are the biggest dreamers on the planet. We are slightly crazy at times, but that's what gives us the ability to "go for it" while others sit back thinking, "This might not work out as planned."

Being an entrepreneur can be an emotional rollercoaster. We often experience fear, stress and anxiety. Sometimes we do fail. Not every startup idea is a unicorn. In fact, most eventually fail. There are going to be difficult times throughout every entrepreneurial journey. Here are five ways to remain highly motivated when the going gets tough.

1. Have a purpose.

Have a larger purpose, far beyond just your business. Once identified, use your entrepreneurial journey as a means to fulfill it.

There is no right or wrong purpose. Some might want to be able to start a charitable foundation that supports a specific cause, such as cancer research. Other people might want to start a family, and build a larger house. Some might want to travel the world. There are unlimited examples. Whatever yours is, make sure you write it down and look at it daily.

Related: These Entrepreneurs Succeeded -- But Only After Failing Once Before

When you have something to work towards, and it consumes your mind, it makes the difficult times and situations much easier to confront and deal with.

2. Surround yourself with a strong support system.

Often times when faced with difficult situations, our friends and family become our sounding board. The biggest hurdle most entrepreneurs have to overcome is being able to ask for advice when it's needed. We are a very proud and sometimes stubborn group. Once you get over the initial fear of asking for feedback and advice, it becomes clear that your support system can help you get through even the most difficult times.

Talk to your friends and family on a regular basis if you don't live near them, meet up weekly with friends to socialize, and consider hosting a weekly family dinner for your closest friends and family members. Positive energy is contagious, constantly interacting with positive individuals that have your best interest in mind is very healthy.

3. Press pause.

Many entrepreneurs assume that if they face a tough time, the only way to power through it is by working 20-hour days until it has passed. If you work nonstop, it's just going to make difficult times worse, and you will experience burnout.

Related: The 12 Invaluable Lessons Learned Enduring Hardships and Stress

Not only will pressing pause and getting away from your business allow you to recharge your batteries, but there is a good chance you will come back with amazing ideas for your business. When you are unplugged for a few days, it allows you to think more clearly than you would if you were head first in the daily grind.

I recently took a trip to recharge, and it was on that trip that two new startups were conceived -- a home teeth whitening kit and a diet detox tea -- both launching this November. We also have another half dozen products rolling out over the next few months, and all of them were ideas that were sparked on this trip.

4. Don't give up your hobbies.

A hobby away from work is a great way to break up the constant stress and worrying an entrepreneur endures. The time away, focused 100 percent on your hobby, is healthy for you, as well as your business.

Whether it's fishing, playing a weekly round of golf or hiking, make sure you don't give up what you love to spend all of your time working. I'm guilty of putting my hobbies on ice because of work and just recently started to incorporate them back into my life.

5. Always make yourself priority number one.

Difficult times are extremely stressful, which can really have a negative impact on your health. Always make yourself the number one priority, because if you aren't around, who is going to run the business?

Related: 5 Ways to Stay Sane and Healthy on Your Entrepreneurial Trek

Get regular exercise, eat healthy, drink plenty of water, and get quality rest every night. Feeling healthy and full of energy will make it much easier to deal with tough times.

Jonathan Long

Founder, Uber Brands

Jonathan Long is the founder of Uber Brands, a brand-development agency focusing on ecommerce.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Everyone Wants to Get Close to Their Favorite Artist. Here's the Technology Making It a Reality — But Better.
The Highest-Paid, Highest-Profile People in Every Field Know This Communication Strategy
After Early Rejection From Publishers, This Author Self-Published Her Book and Sold More Than 500,000 Copies. Here's How She Did It.
Having Trouble Speaking Up in Meetings? Try This Strategy.
He Names Brands for Amazon, Meta and Forever 21, and Says This Is the Big Blank Space in the Naming Game
Business News

I Live on a Cruise Ship for Half of the Year. Look Inside My 336-Square-Foot Cabin with Wraparound Balcony.

I live on a cruise ship with my husband, who works on it, for six months out of the year. Life at "home" can be tight. Here's what it's really like living on a cruise ship.

Business News

These Are the Most and Least Affordable Places to Retire in The U.S.

The Northeast and West Coast are the least affordable, while areas in the Mountain State region tend to be ideal for retirees on a budget.

Business News

Amtrak Introduces 'Night Owl' Prices With Some Routes As Low As $5

The new discounts apply to some rides between Washington D.C. and New York City.

Business News

The 'Airbnbust' Proves the Wild West Days of Online Vacation Rentals Are Over

Airbnb recently reported that 2022 was its first profitable year ever. But the deluge of new listings foreshadowed an inevitable correction.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas To Start Right Now

To start one of these home-based businesses, you don't need a lot of funding -- just energy, passion and the drive to succeed.

Business Solutions

Master Coding for Less Than $2 a Course with This Jam-Packed Bundle

Make coding understandable with this beginner-friendly coding bundle, now just $19.99.