I would venture a guess that there hasn’t been a successful entrepreneur, athlete, world leader—anything—who didn’t want to throw in the towel at some point. Venturing out on your own and pursuing your dreams and passions is huge; it’s risky, new, exciting, and at times extremely challenging. The ability to stay inspired as an entrepreneur is absolutely essential to your success because, let’s face it, if being a lone wolf in the business world were easy a lot more people would be doing it successfully! Fortunately, some superhero entrepreneurs have gone before and paved the way for those of us who are just starting out—and those who are well established but could use a positive kick in the pants. This week’s post offers 6 ways to stay inspired as an entrepreneur.
1. List Your Reasons Why
Write a list of reasons why you started your business and why you want it to succeed (you promised yourself you’d never work for someone else again, you’re following a lifelong dream, you want to help women in business, you want more time with your kids, you want to make more money, etc) and hang it on the wall behind your computer, on the bathroom mirror, or somewhere you look often. When you see it your inspiration and commitment to your goals will be re-awakened. Add new motivations to the list as they arise.
2. Inspirational Quotes
A simple visit to Pinterest or Google search for “small business inspiration” or “leadership quotes” or “quotes by powerful women” will yield thousands of results, and you can filter these to show you beautiful visual quotes by choosing “images” under your Google search. Choose the ones that resonate most with you and save them to your own Pinterest board, print them out to paste around the office, or make a desktop wallpaper for your computer of uplifting visual quotes.
3. Write and Hang Up Affirmations
When you’re feeling defeated, write a list of all the negative beliefs you have about yourself and your business, all the obstacles in your way, and all the reasons you should give up now. Then, on a separate page, go through one by one and write an opposite, positive affirmation to specifically counter each item on your list of blocks. Read your list of affirmations each day before you begin work, and post them in a place you look regularly. It can also help to do something symbolic to dispose of your negative list, like tearing it up, tossing it in the fireplace, or burying it in your garden.
4. Inspiring Photos
When you close your eyes and imagine achieving all your personal and professional goals, what do you see? What images do you associate with success? Make a list and search around online or in magazines for photos that match the images in your imagination and either post them around the office or create a vision board where you compile all your visual ideas of success.
5. Power Words
Do you remember those motivational posters that used in hang in your high school guidance counselor’s office—the ones reading “Motivation” and “Determination”? The aim of this cheesy but often effective style of wall art was to uplift and inspire anyone passing by who might need a little boost. If you are a conceptual or audio learner, it can help to write a list of “power words” that give you a boost of energy to read or say out loud. For some people, it might be a simple “Yes!” while others may uncover more abstract inspirational words when writing their list that have specific meaning to their goals. Write these words in bold black marker and post them in your office or read them aloud from a list each morning, or anytime you start to lack motivation.
6. Talk About Your Ideas
Discuss your ideas and passion with a mentor, trusted friend, or fellow business owner who can be unconditionally supportive. There is a time and place for constructive criticism, but these conversations are not it! Having one or more people in your ring to cheer you on and “fill your tank” is essential.
Now that you’ve got 6 new tools in your tool-belt to help you stay inspired as an entrepreneur, which one will you use first? What can you share with other entrepreneurs about inspiration and staying the course?
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