How to Stay Motivated When Starting a Business If you are a recent or new business owner, you are likely facing some challenges that discourage you occasionally.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Americans launched new businesses at unforeseen rates during the pandemic. Perhaps the time in isolation inspired individuals to finally take a chance on a new idea, or maybe unfortunate layoffs prepared people to take a new path. Either way, if you are a recent or new business owner, you are likely facing some challenges that discourage you from time to time.
If that sounds familiar, keep reading to find out what those common challenges are and what you can do to motivate yourself again.
Common challenges business owners face
Starting a business requires a high level of grit, resilience and reliable resources to make it possible to overcome challenges and see through to your goals. Individuals who start businesses of all kinds — from products to services, startups and more — face many of these challenges:
- As you embark on the new path, fear and uncertainty lead many business owners to worry when taking risks and find themselves second-guessing their plans or intentions.
- Financial issues like needing funding, using your savings as an investment and making ends meet at the start of a business can pose significant hurdles for many entrepreneurs and cause stress early on.
- Differentiating yourself from competitors and standing out in the market can be challenging initially.
- Finding and maintaining a solid team and reliable employees can be complex and majorly impact your success rate early on. High turnover and a poorly functioning team can negatively impact a business' workflow and output.
- Balancing your new business with your personal life or full-time job, if you have one, means you will be tight for time, and this can be a point of stress early on for business owners.
Related: 7 Factors That Make a Brand Stand Out
How to stay motivated
With all these challenges, it's important to put systems in place to help you manage your workload and stay on track. Running a business is challenging in the long term, but there are particular stresses associated with starting up that may level out over time. So, when you are getting started, consider the following strategies to help you maintain motivation amid hurdles.
- Set goals: Make sure you use the SMART method when setting goals so that you make specific and achievable targets. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound. This structure can help you stay focused and on track.
- Celebrate as you achieve goals: Make sure to enjoy your wins. Honoring those moments will help you feel optimistic about your progress and your path forward.
- Track your progress: Check in at various milestones to measure how far you've come beyond just income and earnings. Have you acquired more clients this month than last, sold more items, or increased your average order value? Tracking various metrics will help you see your strengths and accomplishments.
- Get inspired: Consume media and content that excites you and find leaders who inspire you. Listen to podcasts, read books and watch videos that can teach you how to look at your challenges in a new way and expand your understanding of your business and yourself.
- Upskill: Keep improving your skills and learning new ones to add additional value to your business operations. If you still need to hire a whole team to cover tasks that need to be done, you will need to learn to do them yourself. Brush up on your marketing, Excel, accounting, or sales skills to elevate the part of your currently lagging business.
- Remember your why: When you feel like giving up, it's hard to remember why you started doing all this in the first place. Having your why written down somewhere you can always see it can help you feel motivated again when you feel like you can't go on.
- Visualize success: It's vital to create a strong mental picture of what success looks like for you. Make a vision board, keep a journal and return to these things when you're feeling unmotivated.
- Create a motivating workspace: Surround yourself with an atmosphere that promotes inspiration. Motivational quotes, pictures, or just things that make you happy can help you achieve this. Keep your workplace clean and free of clutter that could contribute to stress.
- Seek an accountability buddy: Sometimes, you'll need help to get where you're going. Find someone or a group of people on the same path as you that can help you stay accountable. It feels great to connect with like-minded people to help achieve your goals.
- Take strategic breaks: Working too much or too hard can lead to burnout. It's important to plan breaks that rejuvenate and refresh you. Find an outlet that helps you destress, such as yoga, hiking or swimming.
Related: Building a Business? Here Are 4 Common Challenges You'll Likely Face Along the Way
It is understandable for any new business owner to feel inspired some days and lack motivation the next. Running a business can feel like an uphill battle in the early stages, but when it works, it's worth it. Incorporate some of those practices into your daily routine to keep yourself motivated.