Motivation is a daily struggle for entrepreneurs, so I’ve put together these motivation-boosting tips from 10 of today’s successful entrepreneurs.
1. Fear of failure.
In an article that he wrote for Bloomberg, Mark Cuban stated that he uses the fear of failure for self-motivation.
“No matter what business you’re in, you’re always at risk — particularly in technology, where it changes so rapidly you’ve got to put in the effort to keep up,” writes the Shark Tank panel member. “There’s always the opportunity for some 18-year-old to come out of nowhere and crush you—that motivates the hell out of me.”
“Every one of my companies, whether something I started or something I invested in, is a scoreboard. How am I doing? A lot of investors or advisers play it as a numbers game.”
“If they invest in 20 companies, as long as one success covers 19 losses, they did OK. I look at every loss as a huge failure. I had an investment go bad recently. I lost $1.5 million on it. It pisses me off to no end.”
Failed at something? Ask these Mark Cuban questions.
“You can also use it as motivation. What did I do wrong? Who did I trust that I shouldn’t trust? What can I learn from this situation so I can avoid it next time?”
2. Do what you’re passionate for.
This is the key. However, as Chalmers Brown, co-founder and CTO of Due writes, “We want to not only make a lot of money but enjoy what we do as well. We are willing to take on the risk of unstable pay in exchange for following our dreams.”
“Unfortunately, your dream job may not always be the best decision financially. Sometimes your hobbies are best kept as projects in your spare time for fun (which is great!). If you do want to try to turn your passion into a full-time job, these tips can help you get started the right way.”
3. Keep affirmations where you can see them.
“It’s so easy as an entrepreneur to get sucked into feeling exhausted or frustrated, and often the blame is yours alone,” writes Murray Newlands, founder of online invoicing company Sighted. “But a negative mindset sucks up mental bandwidth and energy that you need to stay focused and successful.
“It is crucial to maintain an optimistic attitude in the face of setbacks. Whenever you see a quote or a picture that helps you stay positive, place it front and center so you can remember what this journey is all about.”
4. Leverage the power of rejection.
“On June 26, 2008, our friend Michael Seibel introduced us to seven prominent investors in Silicon Valley. We were attempting to raise $150,000 at a $1.5M valuation. That means for $150,000 you could have bought 10 percent of Airbnb.”
“Below you will see five rejections. The other two did not reply,” writes Airbnb Co-Founder Brian Chesky on Medium. “The investors that rejected us were smart people, and I am sure we didn’t look very impressive at the time.”
Today Airbnb is valued at just under $30 billion.
5. Surround yourself with highly successful and motivated people.
“No one does it alone,” said Mark Zuckerberg during a Q&A in 2016. “When you look at most big things that get done in the world, they’re not done by one person, so you’re going to need to build a team.”
When building your All-Star team, seek out people who excel in the areas where you’re not strong or have less experience. “You’re going to need people that have complementary skills,” Zuckerberg emphasized. “No matter how talented you are, there are just going to be things that you don’t bring to the table.”
6. Never feel sorry yourself.
“All of my best successes came on the heels of a failure, so I’ve learned to look at each belly flop as the beginning of something good,” said Barbara Corcoran, founder of The Corcoran Group and Shark on Shark Tank.
“If you just hang in there, you’ll find that something is right around the corner. It’s that belief that keeps me motivated. I’ve learned not to feel sorry for myself, ever. Just five minutes of feeling sorry for yourself takes your power away and makes you unable to see the next opportunity.”
7. Look for inspiration.
Inspiration is a driving force that you can use to motivate you. Lyft Co-Founder Jordan Zimmerman said that, “Right now, my daughter is a huge inspiration. Thinking about the future of our cities, the world and what environment she’s going to grow up in.”
“Also, the driver and passenger stories we hear every day. In a past team meeting, we had a mother come in and tell the story herself. She is a Lyft driver living in New York and her daughter is in Los Angeles.
“The daughter was going through a rough living situation with a roommate and had to leave and move into a new place. The mother called a Lyft for her daughter, had a quick conversation with the driver and the driver took care of her daughter in this tough situation.”
“These stories inspire us to think how we can make things more efficient and create a platform for two people to have a really positive interaction?”
8. Don’t obsess over your vision.
Yes. Think about your vision. But don’t spend too much time over it or it will bog you down. Elon Musk, for example, only spends around 30 minutes a week on his vision of SpaceX colonizing Mars. Besides those 30 minutes, Musk spends a majority of his time focused on the milestones that are the most immediate and critical.
9. Be grateful.
“Most of the time when people ask me about motivation, 80 percent of the time I attribute it to gratitude. If you want real fuel to win, be grateful,” writes Gary Vaynerchuk.
“Gratitude is what has gotten me through my toughest moments in business. Whenever I have lost a deal to a competitor, or an incredible employee, or millions of dollars in revenue, I default to gratitude. It’s impossible not to stay motivated or get too down when you’re feeling grateful.”
10. Forget about motivation.
“So many people wait to feel ‘motivated’ before they do anything. Here’s a newsflash: happy productive people do not wait for motivation, they just get on with it,” said Marie Forleo.