It can be very hard to stay motivated when you start a business. This is especially true if you start a business by yourself and will spend a lot of hours working alone. If you do not feel motivated, if you do not know why you are doing it then it is very easy to start cutting yourself some slack and ending up watching TV instead of working.
Why are you starting your own business?
You need to know and remind yourself of why you are starting the business. What you hope to get out of it. All to many entrepreneurs starts a business without knowing the answer to this question. If you do not then it is very hard to stay motivated. Make sure to sit down and really think about why you starting a business. Your true motivation might not be what you first thought. Your motivation might be that you want to become rich, that you want the freedom to work for yourself or something completely different. There is no wrong answer to this question. All that matters is that you know the answer to it.
Once you know why you are starting a business you can use that to motivate yourself. Try to figure out different ways to measure your progress towards this goal. Being able to see progress makes wonders for the motivation.
Track your progress
It is very important to track your progress over time and to develop methods to illustrate this progress. If you do not it is very easy to lose sight of the progress you are making and feel like you are not making any progress. The human mind will very quickly get used to things. It is very easy to thinks that the business was in about the same state a year ago. However if you track and save your progress then you can go back and see the progress you have made. You can see that the business have grown even if you don’t feel like it has.
Lets say that your business has grown 50% in a year. This is a very good result but small enough that your mind might feel that things are staying the same. It is very easy for us to completely miss gradual change.
Use the different metrics you use to set goals for yourself. I recommend that you set small goals. Small enough that you are able to see progress towards them every week. (every day if you are just getting started). These small goals should be steps on the way to achieving your larger goals.
Track the progress you are making regularly and end each work week by seeing how much closer to your goals you got during that week. This allows you to visualize your progress.
Try to celebrate when you reach certain milestones. It is up to you to set this milestones and how to celebrate them Celebrate them in a way that you will enjoy but not so lavishly that it will hurt the business.
I also recommend framing a little reminder from this milestone and put on the wall in your office. This way you can look up at a wall of milestones and feel that you really are making progress. You do not have to celebrate all milestone but your should try to celebrate more important ones.
Expect it to be hard
Expect it to be hard to start a business. This way you will not lose faith when things seem impossible. Expect it to be hard but know that you can do it. That you can be successful if you just keep working even though it seems very hard to become successful.
Most business hit a point when they are on the brink of failing. This is the point that separates successful entrepreneurs that keep working hard from unsuccessful ones that give up. Working hard does not guarantee success but given up guarantees failure.