4 Ways to Keep the Entrepreneurial Fire Burning
You’ve seen it a million times before – a couple of friends, frustrated with their day jobs, finally decide they’ve had enough and quit to start their own company. And things are great, for a while. There’s a lot of motivation to get things done and progress is made, until it isn’t. Until the rosy haze of rebellion, being your own boss and flexible work timings fades under the routines, balance statements, graphs and charts.
Having a reason to start is great – it gives you the momentum you need to take that crucial first step. But, it isn’t enough. Without a sustained passion, an unquenchable fire that cares not about setbacks or success, it’s tough to be an entrepreneur. As someone who’s running their own company, you will have a lot on your plate – your entire income, partnerships, market variations, emails, calls, and everything else that comes with running your own business. This is the crucible that all entrepreneurs must pass through. If you want to wade through the muck of entrepreneurs and failed startups, you need to know how to keep the fire in your belly alive.
Let’s take a look a look at how you can do that, shall we?
- Surround yourself with your goals.
And by surround yourself, we literally mean surround yourself. Use post-it notes to stick motivational quotes and mission statements all around you – the fridge, the wall next to your favorite table, the back of your laptop. Use tools like Quotescover and Canva to easily design great wallpapers for your computer and phone that feature things you need to be reminded of. From the moment you wake up in the morning to the moment you finally rest your eyes for the day, having these reminders around will keep you focused. Even on days where you aren’t feeling like a world-beater, these reminders will keep you on course.
- Manage your expectations.
This mindset is extremely key to your success as an entrepreneur. Even if your business is doing well, there will be some days where things don’t go your way. A deal may fall through, one of your team members might quit unexpectedly, you might have a problem with one of your shipments, or you are just feeling under the weather yourself. You get the point – things happen.
But, as an entrepreneur, you need to expect these things and take it in your stride. Think of all of the problems that you face as the universe itself testing your passion. The entrepreneurs who make it are the ones who learn and grow from these setbacks. We’re here to sail our way to victory, but we don’t expect smooth seas all the way through.
- Be flexible and adapt constantly.
When Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple Computers in their garage, there’s no way they could have envisioned that one day, they would create the highest-selling smartphones of all time. If they had stuck, stubbornly, to the personal computing market, Apple probably wouldn’t have been the most valuable company of all time.
Your journey as an entrepreneur is much the same. You’ve created a business out of your passion, but it’s not a fully-formed thing yet. Once your product or service is introduced to the real world, it changes, and you have to change your outlook along with it. You’ll meet people who will open your eyes to new possibilities, new markets and new opportunities. You will learn from the feedback that your users give you.
You might have a vision for your company when you start, but don’t take it too seriously. Think of your vision or mission as more of a loose guideline for where you need to go. As you gain more information and experience, your vision should grow and evolve to reflect the real-world possibilities for your company.
- Consider what happens to your life if you quit.
As human beings, we’re more motivated to move away from loss than we are to move towards gain. You can use this behavioral pattern to your advantage.
When things are rough, you’re feeling listless and going through another day of all of the stress that comes with running a business seems unbearable, ask yourself “What will happen if I just quit?” And then listen, listen to what your inner voice tells you. Think of all of the situations in your past where you now wish you had done things differently.
Let’s use our nifty time machine to look 10, no, 20 years into the future. Here you are, working at a desk job in an upper management position. You’re older now. As is your routine, you open up a couple of different blogs you read daily. And there it is, a story about someone who turned their passion into a thriving business. What are you feeling? Do you feel that uncomfortable “I really should’ve done that” creeping up through your gut?
Remember that feeling. Remember it as you now think about the life you will have if you don’t let this setback defeat you. A life that will no doubt be filled with even greater challenges, but the rewards will be worth it. Use this visualization exercise to drive you forward.
Keeping the entrepreneurial fire alive is crucial. One of the best ways to ensure that you stay motivated is to ensure that your energy is being spent on the right things. As an entrepreneur, you constantly have to deal with timelines, leads, delegating work, client invoices and contracts. Wouldn’t it be great if you could automate all of those things, so you are free to focus on the big picture?
You owe it to yourself, and to the world, to pursue your passion. By making a choice, right here and now, to persevere, you are making a powerful decision. A decision that has the power to change your life, and the world around you.
Becca & Jake