10 Ways for Online Entrepreneurs to Stay Motivated

Whether launching a ‘traditional business’ or an ‘on-line business’, the hours require to start a brand new business can be long, and the pay-off is uncertain. In the case of on-line entrepreneurs, profitability will only come after months of creating content and cultivating a loyal following. Perseverance and self confidence are personality traits common to all truly successful businesspeople.

I have long been fascinated by the human psyche, and in particular, why some people are seemingly destined for success at a young age while others are bound to be living hand-to-mouth their entire lives? The answer is surprisingly simple – it’s attitude. It was Napoleon Hill who made famous the idea that you could Think and Grow Rich. When you are working on your business in a positive and authentic way, that vibe comes through to your customers. For truly successful people, failure is simply not an option. They have a burning desire to prove something to themselves, the self confidence to believe in themselves and a stubbornness to never, ever quit.

The mental side of running a business is, in my opinion, the most important determinant in whether your new company will succeed. At some point, every successful entrepreneur has had a moment of questioning whether their efforts are truly worth it. In the end, those who persevere are the ones who achieve the highest levels of success. Choosing to stay positive can be difficult, so here are 10 ways to find motivation when you feel yourself starting to lose enthusiasm. These are listed from easiest to hardest.

Basic Strategies

1. Find small ways to give yourself regular positive reinforcement. For example, use your iPhone/Android/Blackberry ringtones to remind you of the things that ‘put fire in your belly’ – I have a different sound profiles set for each one of my email accounts – for email I receive from my blog, I hear the sound of a cash register.

2. Create a Vision Board – In the 2006 movie “The Secret”, John Assaraf described how he used visualization techniques to help with his goal setting. Although I was skeptical, my wife gave this technique a try and six months later she completed her first half marathon. Creating a Vision Board is quite easy – make a collage of inspiring pictures, images and quotes that represent different aspects of your ultimate goal. Make sure that these images inspire you – for me, I have a picture of a Maui beachfront house, a porsche and my family. Hang your Vision Board in a place that will frequently catch your eye during the course of your day. As I am frequently in front of my computer, my first vision board was a series of PowerPoint images that doubled as both the wallpaper and screensaver on my laptop. Keeping your goals “top of mind” helps you make small choices that will bring you closer to your ultimate goal.

3. Keep a list of the movies, books or quotes that provide you with inspiration. My all-time favorite quote is from the 1989 movie “Dead Poets Society”: “They’re not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? – – Carpe – – hear it? – – Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary. ”

4. Find your Mantra – Adam Kreek, Canadian Olympic Gold Medallist in Rowing from 2008, advocates finding a personal mantra to inspire success. While training for the 2008 games in Beijing, he repeated the phrase “I want a gold medal” thousands of times with each stroke that he took. Find something primal that resonates with your entrepreneurial spirit, then stick it to the wall near your computer.

5. This won’t work for everybody, but I have found meditation to be incredibly helpful. Sitting quietly for 10 minutes provides a clear perspective on things and allow you to distinguish between competing priorities. The goal of meditation is to stop thinking and just focus on breathing.

6. Go help somebody – online entrepreneurs can spend most of their time alone. Reconnecting with actual living human beings will lift your spirits, and helping somebody else will help you feel encouraged.

7. Don’t check your AdSense account more often than you brush your teeth. This is really a weight-loss technique that I have adapted for this list. If you weigh yourself frequently when trying to lose weight, you will become unnecessarily discouraged every time the scale is not giving you positive reinforcement. Frequent checking of your AdSense account (or Chitika, or Kontera, or Amazon, or … you get the idea) is both a waste of your time and provides you a small let-down if the balance has not moved. It is best to check the account no more than once a day.

Advanced Strategies

8. Cut the toxic people from your life and make sure the people you associate with are people who give you energy. There are two types of people in the world – those who pump you up and those who bring you down. Whether you recognize it or not, people tend to be a reflection of their peers. Make sure you associate with people who bring out the best in you.

9. Be authentic – this is easier said than done. Genuinely positive people are not conflicted with who they really are and whom they think others want them to be. Finding your own voice and making yourself vulnerable takes courage and is often-times a long, slow journey of self acceptance that can be easier for some than others.

10. Stay balanced – if you let it, starting a business can consume all of your free time and attention. In the beginning, this is a necessary burst of creative energy as your plans start to take shape. It is very easy to spend all your time thinking about the business to the detriment of things like exercise and family. Don’t burn yourself out and make sure to take the time to reconnect with the things that matter in your life. Make sure you are using your down time to reflect on how you spending your time in relation to achieving your original goal. Also realise that goals may shift over time. Shifting priorities are okay – the last thing you want to realize after having climbed the ladder is that you had it leaning against the wrong wall building.

Ryan’s blog, How To Earn Money Online HQ, is dedicated to teaching online entrepreneurs the ethical strategies, techniques and online business strategies to generate a lifetime of passive income.

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