Staying motivated as an entrepreneur isn’t just “helpful”, it’s essential. You are your own boss and no one else will care what you are doing with your time.
Want to finish at 2pm, get into bed and eat popcorn? You can! (I do). Want to ignore all hunger pains and continue to pretend you don’t need to pee to work just a liiiiitle bit longer? Go for it! (I do).
Motivation will inherently fluctuate. I have gone through seasons in my business where I cannot be pulled away from my desk (case in point: I worked some of Christmas Day and Boxing Day last year, and not because I had to). But there have certainly been other times when making myself sit down and actually be productive has been a huge challenge or a total failure.
As we’ve all recently learned, we need to roll with the punches in life. Sometimes our energy is fire and sometimes it’s not. That’s TOTALLY OK and it’s normal. But, as you know, in order to find success in business, you have to ask a lot of yourself. You have to push yourself when you don’t feel like it because no one else will.
I treat self-care and good mental health like it’s my job. Because. It. Is.
Managing my mindset is my number one priority in my business. Not joking. I know that if I am not in a good headspace, I will not be able to serve my clients the way I want to. They deserve the absolute best of me and in order to give every project the passionate attention it requires, I need my inner self to be in the best shape possible.
Over time, I have found many strategies for improving my mindset and keeping my motivation high. My list is longer than this one, but I’ve pulled out the most unconventional ones that you might never have heard of. Read on, slightly unmotivated one!
1. Get a goal accountability buddy.
This might sound kinda weird, like “we are not in primary school, are we?”. But hear me out. I decided to find an accountability partner after reading “The Success Principles” by Jack Canfield. He quoted a study about goal achievement that showed participants who gave a weekly progress report to a friend had a success rate of 76% vs. 56% for those who just wrote down their goals.
Daaayuuum! Those are pretty numbers, right? I had never tried any kind of accountability partner arrangement in my whole life, but I found that study pretty persuasive. Yeah, it’s a little cheesy, but if it means I am more likely to achieve my goals, then it sounds good to me!
I spoke to one of my friends (also in business, also my brand photographer!), asked if she’d be interested, and she was! It is one of the best decisions I made in terms of keeping my progress on track. We report to each other weekly using our ClickUp task list, and I find it ridiculously motivating. Like, why do I care so much that she’s proud I posted to Instagram this week?! I don’t know exactly why it works, but it really does!
This is a “don’t-overthink-it” kind of thing that you can do to improve your motivation. Seriously! Don’t worry about HOW to do it! Just find someone and work out a system that works for the two of you to stay in touch (email, Slack, Asana, whatever man). If it doesn’t prove quite so helpful to you, you’ve not lost anything!
2. Read, read, no seriously, read.
You’ve probably seen every successful entrepreneur has a blog post or a YouTube video or a list somewhere of their favourite books. That’s a hint, huh? They ALL read? Yeah, they do! If you’ve not read anything to improve your mindset, skills or understanding of how to run a business, you are MISSING OUT.
There is so much knowledge out there and sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know until someone tells you. It’s easy to think you are learning something because you’ve read a blog or watched a video. The reality is that experts and those who’ve gone before can’t dive deep into sharing their knowledge in short-form content. They need your undivided attention and the long-form space to truly drop the juiciest knowledge bombs.
Reading is a habit I truly think every entrepreneur (and person tbh) needs to develop. Not every book I’ve read for my business has been earth-shattering. But almost all of them have changed the way I think and contributed to my personal development in some way. Here is a quick list of my favourites:
- The Success Principles Workbook by Jack Canfield (seriously, just get the workbook).
- Unleash the Power Within by Tony Robbins (do not knock him til you try him!)
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (you’ll see this on lots of lists, for good reason)
- Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach
- The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
3. Embrace automation and set up workflows
Systems are BORING to me (and probably to you!). I am a designer. I care about VISUAL things. Spending my time setting up workflows and new software is not my favourite. But, after avoiding it for a long while, I finally took some time to get my systems working for me. It has taken a HUGE amount of draining tasks off my list and helps me to know what I should be doing. It means I don’t have to remember to do things like email my clients to remind them their homework is due. It magically gets done for me!
I’ve found that embracing automating has cleared up some headspace and time so that I am more motivated when I look at my list each day. Here are the programs I use and link together to make my life easier:
- Dubsado (contracts, proposals, workflows, emails to clients)
- ClickUp (project and task management, plus I track my goals here)
- Flodesk (pretty email marketing, responds to my website leads)
- Zapier (connects all three of the above together)
4. Find an inspirational hero
If you’re a woman in business, my guess is that a lot of your time on social media has been spent comparing yourself to others in your industry. You know those thoughts like… “I’ll never be as good as her” and “She’s way ahead of me, I could never compete”.
It’s a symptom of our culture and it’s a battle we all absolutely need to fight. There are several ways to stop playing the comparison game. But I want to talk about the inspiration game. Let me explain by talking about my inspiration hero.
About six months ago I discovered Jenn Im on YouTube. She is the single most inspiring person I think I’ve ever come across (thank you, internet). She’s absolutely killing it in her multiple (!) businesses, but the reason she has made such an impression on me is because of the kind of person she is. She has this incredibly loving relationship with her husband, her parents, her brother and her friends. She is super honest about her battles, her growth and her failures which constantly reminds me that I don’t have to be perfect to be amazing. I don’t even have to be the best to be amazing. She is also beautiful, cares about the same things I do, and is incredibly hard working.
Jenn Im might not be YOUR inspiration hero, but I encourage you to find one. Find someone who makes you want to be a better version of yourself. Find someone that makes you feel like, “damn, there’s no reason why I can’t also do XYZ”. Then focus on letting that kind of influence into your life.
Jenn Im is the only person I watch on YouTube now (except for the IKEA hacks guy ?) and that has had a significant impact on how I feel about myself! Amazing, right?
Curate who’s voice and influence you let into your life. Find your inspo hero and let that motivate you!
Got more unconventional ways to stay motivated in business? I’d love to hear about them! Send me a DM on insta!
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