How to stay motivated as a solo entrepreneur

Running your own start-up company can be hard work. You’ve got so many different tasks to complete and skills to learn, all without the support of an established team behind you. However, what people often don’t realize is that one of the trickiest aspects of solo entrepreneurship can simply be finding the motivation to keep pushing forwards.

So, if that’s an issue you’ve been struggling with, this post is here to help. It talks about what motivation is and why it’s important, plus gives you some top tips on how to stay motivated when running your own business.

What is motivation?

Motivation can feel like an elusive idea that’s hard to define, but in essence it’s the driving force that keeps you striving to achieve your goals despite the obstacles that arise. Motivation is what enables you to overcome professional and personal challenges, and ultimately, triumph. It’s necessary for doing anything from writing a novel and learning the violin to landing an investor for your start-up.

Why is motivation important?

People need motivation because otherwise everyone would simply give up at the first hurdle and no great achievements would ever be made. Without motivation, you’d never be able to give up a bad habit or succeed at anything difficult. It helps you to get excited about the future, develop your talents, and feel happy when you reach your goals. Simply put, the world would be a very different and less interesting place without motivation!

How can I stay motivated when running my own business?

So, moving on to the key question: how do you maintain your motivation even when the going gets tough? Lots of entrepreneurs find they start off with high levels of motivation, but it dwindles over time as the novelty of setting up a business wears off and the challenges mount up. The good news is that there are plenty of steps you can take to help boost your motivation back up to where it needs to be. Here are some of the most effective:

  • Create a vision board full of inspirational images that remind you of why you set up your company and what you want to achieve. Look at it every time you need a motivation boost
  • Go and listen to a professional motivational speaker. They’ll be able to dish out some top tips, plus inject you with a boost of inspiration that you can put into practice immediately
  • Try making a Ulysses pact with yourself. Named after the legendary hero who tied himself to the mast of his ship so that he could safely listen to the sirens’ song, this involves limiting your future choices to ensure that you take the action you currently want yourself to take. As an example, you could give a friend an amount of money and tell them to donate it to a cause you hate unless you complete a certain task by the deadline
  • Use positive reinforcement to motivate yourself by allowing yourself a small reward each time you achieve a goal. This will keep you powering through to work on the next one
  • Surround yourself with a group of positive and driven people, ideally other solo entrepreneurs. Their attitude will then rub off on you and keep you motivated to succeed

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