There is nothing secret about entrepreneurs.
There’s no secret formula for success. There isn’t a special club or trick or anything that they have that you don’t. Entrepreneurship is about hustle and I believe that anyone can do it.
The one thing you do need to have, however, is the ability to persevere.
You need to be able to keep pushing. Even when it’s hard, even when it seems impossible, and even when you fail. Because businesses aren’t built overnight and a lot of successful people have failure in their pasts. The ability to get back up and keep going is what eventually makes an entrepreneur.
And while this is reassuring, it’s also difficult. Sometimes it’s so hard to keep working.
I remember when I first started blogging. I wasn’t using the right strategies and so I wasn’t seeing much growth. I can remember a period of time when I just stopped writing because I felt like I would never get where I wanted to be. And this happened often. Everytime I would get discouraged, I would take a break – unable to even return to my blog. My spark just died. Thankfully, none of my breaks were forever – and I’m SO glad about it. If they had been, I would never be here. So trust me, I understand how hard it is to keep going sometimes. But I also understand what can happen if you do.
Today, I’m going to share with you the top 10 ways that I motivate myself to keep working, even when it’s really difficult. So grab a big coffee (😍 ) and get ready to put some work into your biz!
Before you start, I really want you to think about two things:
Think about your goals.
Think about your WHY. Really imagine the life that you want to live. Most of these methods that I’m going to talk about involve connecting yourself with your dreams and reminding you why you’re working so hard and why you need to keep pushing.
Do you want to travel the world? Do you just want the freedom to work when and where you want to? Do you want financial independence to be able to help your family or move to your dream place? What is your big WHY behind working for yourself and what are all of the little whys? Use these to keep moving forward.
Be gentle with yourself.
It’s okay to hit a roadblock and it’s okay to feel discouraged. It happens to all of us. But building your business should be fun! You’re doing an incredible thing and it should be exciting to watch it come together and grow. You need to get past this bump or you can’t be successful.
1. Take it a few minutes at a time.
Sometimes, when I’m staring at my computer and feel like everything is overwhelming, I just tell myself to work for five minutes. I tell myself that if I can just keep writing for five more minutes, I can take a break or stop for the day. And when that five minutes is up, I’ll tell myself to go for 5 more minutes.
Some days, if I’m really discouraged, I’ll just do work by a single minute. Or just do one small task. Write the next sentence and then the next one and then the next. And if I can’t go on, I move to something else for a few minutes. Then I’ll try to go back and write another sentence. Sometimes I just write the bare bones of a post and then, as I keep going, I find inspiration along the way.
And if it’s not working, I really will stop. I don’t want to force myself until it’s not fun. I’ll try another strategy or just do what I feel like in the moment. Then I can try again in a few hours or tomorrow. Working in small doses like this helps me to get a few things done but without the overwhelm of thinking about all the things I have left to get do. Sometimes, especially as a solopreneur with no one to lean on, it can be super stressful to think of everything on your plate. It’s probably A LOT. But if you work on it one sentence – or a few minutes – at a time, with no pressure on yourself to continue if it doesn’t feel good, it helps take away some of this stress that can block your motivation.
2. Watch someone who inspires you.
Sometimes you just need a visual reminder that this is possible and what it might be like if you reached your goals.
I like to watch vloggers who are living the kind of lifestyle that I dream of living. Travelling, friends, family, etc. When I see their lives, it pushes me to keep working and reminds me that the life that I want exists. People are living it! After watching the video, I’m overwhelmed with the sense of wanting that to be me – and I’m motivated to work to get there. Working with an ocean view? Yoga anytime I want because my business runs around my schedule? Connecting with other bosses who believe in girl power as much as I do? YES PLEASE.
I also use Instagram for this. I’ll scroll through my favorite accounts – ones that really resonate with my goals & dreams – and use them as a push to get myself there.
3. Listen to an uplifting podcast.
Podcasts are really powerful for me. It feels like I’m talking with a friend and they’re always a source of knowledge and motivation. If I feel stuck, sometimes I’ll put on a podcast and do something else – clean my room, cook, just relax. If I’m listening to the right thing, I often feel motivated when it’s over.
I don’t always listen to business advice, though I often do. I’m also a wellness junkie and I totally believe that you need to work on all aspects of your life if you want to thrive in business. You can’t just work, work, work on your blog. You have to work on yourself too! I really like some of my wellness podcasts when I’m feeling down because they remind me to be gentle with myself and lift my spirits. And once I feel better, I’m more likely to want to work.
Want the list of my favorite Youtubers, blogs, podcasts, and more? Enter your email and I’ll give you the password to my resource library where you can find this – and way more tools to help you grow your business, like 35 places to promote your blog for free! 💕
4. Listen to music that connects you to your goals.
I love listening to music while I work. It helps me to get focused and work for longer. But it’s not it’s the listening to music that helps me to get motivated – it’s the songs in specific.
There are some songs that make me think of my goals. There’s a song that always makes me think of being on a boat. When I hear it, I can really imagine being on a boat in a beautiful place, jumping into the water and having a great time with my friends. I would love to make the amount of money it would take for me to bring a few of my friends away and have an amazing day on a private boat. So every time I listen to that song, it makes me think of how it would feel to be able to do that. It pumps me up and reminds me what I’ working for – so I can go back to the laptop and get started on something that will help take me there.
If you don’t already have songs that remind you of your goals, then spend a bit of time imagining! Listen to some music, think of all of the things that you want to achieve and how they would feel. You’ll make some connections and trust me, these songs are a powerful motivator.
5. Do something that makes you feel good.
Before I was able to work from home, I always dreamed of the days when I would have the freedom to go to my yoga studio whenever I wanted. But it’s expensive and often when I would come home from work, I would be way too exhausted to go even once a month.
Something as simple as this yoga class was a symbol of the life I was trying to achieve. The life where I would be able to work when and where I wanted, and afford to do things that were good for me. It’s a beautiful space that always leaves me feeling inspired. So if I was having a down week, I would go to a drop-in class. The activity itself calms me down but it’s more than that – it was a reminder of the kind of life I could live if I was able to make my living online. So whenever I walked out, I left knowing that I had to keep working on my business because I wanted to be able to do this all the time.
6. Get close to a symbol of your goal.
Sometimes we can’t really feel the importance of our goals until we’re around it in person. Similar to the yoga studio I just talked about, sometimes I need to be reminded of things that I want. All the ripped jeans, books, and coffee in the world? Absolutely.
But seriously – go out and find something that you want! It’s okay to be a bit material. I would be lying if I said that financial security and beautiful things weren’t part of the allure of blog success. If you want a certain car, go look at the car! Let yourself feel what it would be like to own it and imagine the work you need to put in to get it.
7. Create a vision journal or add to your vision journal.
You may have heard of vision journals before, or more likely vision boards. It’s a place where you collect photos of your goals so you can look at them and be inspired. I love the idea of symbols of your goals – obviously. It just helps on those down days to look at the WHY. Why you’re putting in all this work and why it’s worth it. I like to do a journal because I can have different pages for different parts of my life and I can take it easily on the go.
I especially like to visualize the work that I’m going to put in to get the goal, rather than the goal itself. I’ll imagine myself writing posts easily – ideas coming, feeling so inspired and motivated that I can work for hours and get it done effortlessly. I find that this method works better for me than imagining the actual goal sometimes! Give it a try.
8. Confide in a friend.
Speaking about your frustration or discouragement or just plain lack of ideas can be really therapeutic. Sometimes it helps to just say it all out loud to a supportive ear. It may even give you someone to bounce some ideas off of!
Another thing that I like to do with my girlfriends or sisters is to ask THEM to keep me accountable. And because I have some wonderful women in my life, they’ll shoot me a text asking if I’ve gotten that post done or check in on me to make sure I’m working on that course content. When we’re solopreneurs, it’s easy to slack because no one is holding us accountable. Get someone to give you some accountability in your biz if you’re feeling especially prone to procrastination.
9. Join a group of supportive, like-minded women.
Like ours! Sometimes we don’t have friends or family members in our lives who are supportive or understand what we’re working on. I know that when I first started, most of the people in my life just didn’t get it. They tried to support me but it wasn’t the same because they just didn’t understand what I was doing or why certain things were a big deal. But trust me, this online business thing is way harder if you have to go it alone.
Join our Facebook or a mastermind group. The effects that these groups – these communities and friendships – can have on your life and business is amazing. You won’t regret it.
10. Get into alignment before you work.
In one of my favorite podcasts the host, Jess, always talks about alignment. Basically, getting yourself into a good headspace where you feel in tune with your goals, yourself, and your intuition BEFORE you start to work. By doing this, your work is often better and more powerful because you’ve done it from a good place as opposed to forcing and pushing and demanding of yourself. She speaks about it more eloquently than I do but I really like this philosophy. It can be hard to follow – especially when we have goals and deadlines – but the results can be great if we’re working when we feel good.
And really, that’s what we’re trying to do with the other strategies I shared – we’re trying to get ourselves into a good, motivated place to sit down and get to work. So if I’m not feeling motivated, I won’t force myself to get to my computer right away. I’ll do the things that I enjoy and help me to feel happy and in alignment first. I might have a cup of coffee and watch my favorite YouTuber. I might write in my journal or do some yoga. Whatever feels right to me in that moment. And when I’m in a good space, I let my body and mind tell me when it’s time to work.
Bonus: Get dressed! It sounds silly but hear me out. Sometimes getting dressed, putting on a little bit of makeup – or whatever you do to feel put together and confident – helps to translate that good feeling into your work. If you know me, then you know that I am ADDICTED to ripped jeans – I just love them. Throwing those on, getting ready and feeling good, often gets me ready to work. Sounds kind of strange, but give it a try! 👖
Feeling motivated? I hope so!
And you can always browse through our motivation tab! If you have any other motivational tips, be sure to share them in the comments.
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