Get Motivated and Stay Motivated

Because starting a new business takes a lot of sustained effort over a long period of time, staying motivated can be a challenge. When your motivation is flagging, you can't muster any enthusiasm for your work or give it your all. If you want to keep the motivation going, it helps to know yourself and what your own personal motivators are.

Remember your reasons. You need to periodically refresh your memory about why you wanted to go into business for yourself in the first place. Remind yourself of what's great about your business and why it's right for you.

Identify your own personal motivators. Different people are motivated by different things. What's motivating for you? It might be financial freedom, pride, recognition, proving yourself, a sense of accomplishment, or freedom to live the lifestyle of your dreams. Whatever your motivators are, make sure your business provides plenty of what you need to keep you going.

Set some short-term goals. It's important to have long-term goals, but you need to set some shorter-term goals, too. Achieving those smaller intermediate goals will give you a sense of accomplishment and make it easier to keep striving for the bigger ones.

Reward yourself. Whenever you've reached a milestone, worked extra hard, or experienced a breakthrough, reward yourself. The reward could be a cash bonus, a day off, dinner out, or something else that you enjoy.

Create a pleasant work environment. Smart employers know that providing a clean, comfortable, and relaxing work environment is the key to more productive employees. Do the same for yourself - create a pleasant work space that you'll enjoy walking into each morning.

Do more of what you like. The more you like what you're doing, the more willing you'll be to do it and the better you'll be at it. Structure your business so you can do more of what you like and less of what you don't.

Takes stock of your accomplishments. At the end of each day, review what you've achieved and the progress that you've made. Building a successful business is a long journey of many small steps, so remember that each day brings you closer to your ultimate goals.

Challenge yourself. Set a personal challenge for yourself. You could decide to polish up your website, come up with a clever advertising campaign, or find a co-marketing partner. Break from the status quo and stretch yourself a bit.

Celebrate your successes. In the corporate world, managers often motivate employees by celebrating business successes and recognizing their contributions. Why shouldn't you do the same? Ask a friend or colleague to join you for lunch or dinner to celebrate important milestones.

Envision success. Don't lose sight of your dream. What does "success" look like in your mind's eye? What are you hoping to accomplish by running your own business? What are the rewards for succeeding? Envision success as you define it and surround yourself with images and objects that help you stay focused on that vision.

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