How to keep yourself perpetually motivated on your entrepreneurial journey?

by Ashvini on April 3, 2011 · 8 comments

in Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is a difficult journey, I can say that with conviction having been myself an entrepreneur, for some time now. An entrepreneur works alone most of the time, is usually under a lot of stress and works in highly difficult circumstances. A lot of entrepreneurs have burned themselves out because of severe stress that is the part of entrepreneurial journey. When burned out, an entrepreneur will withdraw himself, avoid meeting with friends and gets depressed. A news here suggest how the rate of  such burnout affects an entrepreneur . Recession or no recession an entrepreneur constantly struggles to achieve sales, keep his team intact and keeps his venture from failure.

Even for a highly motivated individual, it is sometimes very difficult to keep up with the constant stresses that come along with running a business. The ultimate fear of failure hangs large . Most of the time he/she  gives up and return to a day job. This loss to economy then as a result of it ,  is huge because  when a venture closes it takes away possibilities of  new markets, new job opportunities, wealth creation etc.

So we at least know that stress and worry is a part of being an entrepreneur. However, if we avoid them or at least learn to live with them, it can make profound changes to our lives.

So how does one keep him/herself motivated so that she can fight the feelings of stress, burnout and all other troubles. Let us take a look at the ways, I keep myself motivated. If they help you as well, I am delighted.

  1. Find out the reason for which you started your venture .
  2. It is very important to understand the reason to starting your own business.

    Was it about making money? Was it about enjoying yourself? Or was it about learning all those skills that you could never learn in a day job?

    Though it is alright just to say that you want a little bit of all of these, find out your primary motive. Have you achieved it? If yes,( for e.g. you learned as many things as you wanted to), its time to find a new objective for yourself.

    If not, there is still some work to do.

  3. Accept and learn the perils of entrepreneurship
  4. Entrepreneurship is a risky proposition no doubt. The idea of starting on your own is challenging and stressful. It is like any other job and it comes with it sets of rewards and challenges. For e.g. a day job has its own risks( of getting fired, not performing as well as your peer, getting a bad boss) and rewards(promotion, salary hike, bonus)  You take x amount of risk and get equally paid for that.

    In enterpreneurship however you take 2X times a risk and get rewarded X/2. This is how this job looks like. The better you understand that the better you will be to cope with it.

  5. Surround yourself with right minded people or groups
  6. Negative people drain positive energy. People who have bad prior experiences or  who are risk averse will pass on their views and opinion. Many times these opinions are unfavorable .Try to avoid company of such people.

    Instead get hold of positive happy people and try to learn from them.

  7. Learn to catch negative thought as a cop catches a criminal
  8. In my opinion,  most of the problems in our lives start in our minds. I have met people who carry all the burdens on their shoulders and are just waiting for bad things to happen to them. Though possibly till now nothing bad that they had thought has ever happened to them.

    The key is to control your mind and catch those depressing, negative feelings and thoughts. To do this, I suggest simply doing this. Sit in a quiet room and let thoughts of failure come to you. Now think as if you are a cop and  these thoughts are like criminals. They will run everywhere to escape from you but after a while they will tire off(provided you continue your hunt). At that time you can tell your mind to behave. Repeat this game every time you get a negative thought and you see yourself controlling your mind with ease.

  9. Bring your fears to a conclusion
  10. Once you catch those nagging thoughts , its time to ask yourself what is the worst that can happen?

    Are you going to lose everything? No. Are you going to lose money? If yes, you know you can earn it back. If you are a failure does it mean that you cannot pick things up again? No.

    You will soon realize that most of the fears are not worth worrying about.

  11. Get a hobby or do something that you like
  12. Doing the same thing over and over sometimes results in burnout. Our mind is not created as a machine and hence it is simply not capable of working like one forever. We need activities that satisfy our ever increasing curiosity.

    Nothing satisfies a curiosity more than having a hobby. Hobbies such as learning to play instruments, a language or anything else refreshes the mind.

  13. Develop a thick skin
  14. It is a reality that you are indeed going to meet people who would say “what..” or “why… ” ( you can add your own sentence) when hear you pursuing your idea. Its a time to believe in yourself, get a  thick skin. Take advice, suggestions or criticism but do not allow them to trouble you. Remember there are no right or wrong answers. The people who criticize you will praise you once you are successful.

  15. Find a mentor or a friend
  16. Find those people who have taken a path similar to yours or who support you unconditionally. If you do feel down, its a good time to pick up the phone and have a talk . They could be your business friends, seniors, colleagues from professional life or your good old dear mother from your personal life, who listens to every single woe that you have.

  17. Finally, believe in yourself
  18. Believing in yourself is the most important part of yourself. Whether you were successful or you failed is immaterial. You should be proud of the fact that you took a risk, thousands are not willing to take. If you believe in yourself, you might find success slowly coming to you and all your doubts dispelled

Keeping yourself motivated is easier if you can find the right body and mind balance. That means knowing what you are doing and not letting things worry you unnecessarily. If you keep the discipline, nothing will worry you at all.


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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Veronica Cervera November 5, 2011 at 5:39 am

That’s why it’s very important that we have the right reasons, the right inspiration for going into business. These reasons and inspirations that we have in the beginning are going to serve as our touchstone whenever things don’t seem to be running the way we want them to be.


Robert April 13, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Being an entrepreneur myself, I found your post most interesting and the points you made are spot on.

One of the biggest reasons so many people fail is giving up to easily. They let those negative thoughts start to creep in and they become influenced by friends and family members who continually tell them “you’ll never make it”.

Those that do stick to it for the long haul and stay focused will soon find that entrepreneurship can be very rewarding mentally, physically and financially. ;-)


Ashvini Kumar Saxena April 15, 2011 at 12:30 pm

I have often fought negative emotions but of late I am winning a lot ;))
Thanks Robert for comments


Nicola Deiana April 5, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Wonderful post Ashvini as usual. If you want to succeed, you have to believe in yourself when nobody else will. Negative thinking is a habit, but if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will believe in you.


Aswain April 5, 2011 at 11:15 am

Ashvini…this is just brilliant piece of writing. I am particularly impressed with the 4th point. I think it happens with most of us. Negative thoughts do come once in a while and for some, there is no escaping from the same. Even, I’ve been plagued with similar thoughts and I think this happens mostly in cases where we tend to surround ourselves with negative people who have nothing much to do except pull others legs. Lack of self-confidence is yet another major reason for being so negative-minded. Also, one of the things which one must learn to have is patience. Most of us lack it. One must know that nothing happens overnite. Keep working on your goal and slowly but surely, you will make it to the top!

Your idea of catching negative thoughts like a cop catching criminal is just awesome! I will try it for sure ;)


Ashvini Kumar Saxena April 5, 2011 at 11:29 am

Hi Aswani,
The cop idea works for sure. The thing is to control the mind and make it think positively. If you can catch the thought just when it started, you will see that slowly you are gaining control over your mind.
Glad that you liked the post.



Nile April 4, 2011 at 2:21 pm

I think a lot of people fail on just more than attitude and the stress. It can be the niche chosen. Some of them, like web design, you constantly have to learn new tricks or you will not get the winning bid for a project.

You have to be positive, aggressive, open minded- and dare I say this almost sounds like what a presenter at an Amway conference would say.

I have been an entrepreneur for years and finally quite my day job in 2008. It was hard at first because all I had was my web design – felt like a cave…lol. I agree with you on the point of finding a hobby. I started karate this year…been at it for 4 months now. It really boosts those endorphins – those positive feelings.


Ashvini Kumar Saxena April 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Hi Nile,
Its really great to know your opinions, experienced as you are with entrepreneurship. It is usually very hard at first but with hard work and right attitude , success starts coming to us slowly and steadily. Getting a hobby is must for keeping the mind refreshed.

Thanks for commenting.


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