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Motivational Article: 23 Ways Small Business Owners can Stay Motivated

Updated on July 30, 2015
23 Easy ways for small business owners to motivate themselves to get more done
23 Easy ways for small business owners to motivate themselves to get more done | Source

Motivation is perceived as something that is fleeting - it comes and goes and no one knows how and when it will appear, and why it disappears.

The Truth About Motivation

The truth about motivation is that it is constantly available, but most people just don’t know how to access it, sustain it, or strengthen it – motivation is not something that's magical, and everyone has control over their motivation.

As entrepreneurs, or small business owners, our motivation has to come from within more so than from outside forces - we gave up having a boss hanging over our shoulder and don’t always get the support we need from others.

This motivational article is a compilation of motivational strategies for small business owners and entrepreneurs. We can...and Will do it!

Personal Motivational Strategies for Small Business Owners

The foundation from which your motivation will come from is you - so you need to be your biggest fan, and build upon the faith you have in yourself - you didn't get to where you are today by accident.

Remember that your desire for independence is what got you to start-up and run your own small business - you knew you could be your own boss.

#1 Motivation Technique - Attitude Adjustment

If you feel disgusting, you just need some adjusting. This adjusting begins with changing your attitude about you.

Extend the same courtesy you do to others and don't be so hard on yourself. Remember how you felt about yourself when you realized you were destined to do great things for others.

#2 Personal Motivation: Stay Humble

When you're not humble you're closed minded, which stops you from profiting from the experiences, thoughts and wisdom of others.

Although you need personal confidence, you have to keep an open mind that there is always room for improvement and learning. Otherwise you may find yourself standing still, instead of advancing.

Always be grateful for the blessings you have.


#3 Get Motivated: Be Inspired by Success

Be inspired with success whether it’s yours or others. Learn from others who are better than you at something, and improve. We’re all born with our own personal talents and there are others who have talents that we’ll never possess. But that’s okay.

This will help motivate you to improve your talents and skills so that you can make what you do best, even better.

#4 Motivational Strategy Get Creative - Use Procrastination to Your Advantage

There are different types of procrastinators, perhaps if you're stressed about procrastinating you're not using the right strategy to put your procrastination to work for you.

If you're a structured procrastinator, this article can help you use procrastination to your advantage.

#5 Motivation - Keep Learning

If you set a goal of learning something new every day, or week about your industry it will motivate you to implement new things or restructure aspects of your business that aren't working.

Plus it keeps your mind sharp and inspires creativity.

#6 Business Skills Motivational Tip: Stop Thinking About Making Money

Entrepreneurship is so much more than making money, and this idea is best conveyed by Daniel H. Pink, the bestselling author of Drive – The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.

According to Pink, What motivates the masses is:

"The deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world."

You'll really want to listen to Dan Pink's talk on motivation - you will be pleasantly surprised by what you'll learn.

An Eye Opening Look at Motivation

#7 Motivation Booster: Take the Focus Off Yourself

Every night and/or every morning – whenever you’re planning your day - think about what your client's want and need the most. If you're constantly engaged in thinking about how you can serve them best, you'll always be on the look out for ways to make THEIR lives better.

The result of thinking this way helps you to do what self development expert Steve Plavina calls CREATING and DELIVERING real value for your clients - which is what propels your business, even through recessions.

The motivation to help others is stronger than the motivation to help ourselves.

#8 Motivation Tactic: Have the Courage to be Yourself

Believe in yourself - You're unique and awesome, but It's almost impossible to stay motivated if you're trying to be someone else.

Our connections to others and relationships are stronger when we're genuine; and I'm sure you'll agree that one of the biggest turn offs, is when people aren't being genuine.

#9 Connected Motivation Technique: Your Environment

Avoid people who suck your energy dry. The ones who are negative about everything, and never try to accomplish anything because they think it's impossible. They see the world as nothing but stress and the word Can’t runs their lives.

My mom always told me that “CAN'T” isn’t a word, and I wholeheartedly believe her.

#10 Confidence Motivation: Ponder Past Achievements

Setting and achieving goals is intrinsically motivating. So when you need motivation, make a list of the goals you have set and achieved in the past.

While you carefully review them remember the amazing feeling you had when you reached your goals; this will not only motivate you but it will also boost your confidence.

#11 Motivational Approach: Remember the Old Days at the Office

When you get discouraged with being your own boss, remember what your life used to be like when you were stuck in an office.

Remember when:

  • You had to ask permission to go to your daughter’s afternoon school play
  • You had to fill out a form to request your holidays
  • You sat in traffic for what seemed like forever to get to work, and get back home
  • You always had a boss or supervisor breathing down your neck
  • Co-workers drove you nuts

Suddenly whatever you're dealing with won't seem so bad, and you'll be motivated to keep going.

#12 Motivational Theme: ADVERSITY Will NEVER go Away!

When you find your motivation is waning because things are going wrong, remember that there will always be something wrong.

There are opposites to everything, and adversity will always be there no matter what you’re trying to do. Don’t dwell on it, just accept it.

If you feel like your battle is always up hill, it's because it is. Be proud of it and your stamina.You can't do great things without overcoming many obstacles.

Don't be afraid of adversity - overpower it.
Don't be afraid of adversity - overpower it.

#13 Mental Motivation: Eat Healthy, Stay Energetic and Optimistic

Your clients need you, so you can't let them down. You have work to do and eating healthy is what will keep you going.

Healthy food gives you energy, and when you feel good you're optimistic - that's just how life goes.

If you don't eat healthy then you don't have energy, or the stamina to be optimistic - optimism takes effort.

#14 Physical Motivation: Work Out and De-Screen

Chances are high that you spend a fair amount of time in front of a screen. So don't spend your breaks at the computer.

Do a little cardio, lift weights, walk, run in the spot - anything to get moving. Endorphin's are one of the best stress releases there is - use them.

They help you clear your head, relieve tight muscles, and give you the oomph you need to get through the day.

If you don't want to do it for yourself, do it for others - your family and clients.

#15 Motivation Killer: Avoid Self-Pity Like the Plague

Nothing kills motivation quicker than feeling sorry for yourself.

If you dwell on bad or negative things that happen to you you'll run the risk of believing that bad things only happen to you. This kind of thinking is dangerous because the only way this can be true is if you don't have control over your life (see #16 and 17).

If you feel self-pity creeping in try this experiment:

Ask yourself these questions about the situation or problem that is making you feel sorry for yourself:

  • How many business owners in your state or province has this probably happened to - Best guess?
  • How about your county?
  • How many in your city?

When you put problems into perspective you get motivated to keep going, because facing them makes them smaller.

#16 Spiritual Motivation: Agency - Freedom to Choose

You are in control. As humans we have the ability to act, and not be acted upon; unlike nature and animals who are acted upon.

When you're faced with decisions and conflict you always have a choice, let this power be your motivation.


#17 Motivational Characteristic: Be Self-Accountable

With freedom to choose comes self-accountability. If you’re not accountable for your choices and actions then you're saying that you don’t have control - stuff just happens all around you.

If you're just flowing to and fro, then how can you be motivated to run a business? Your success hinges on your ability to be accountable for your actions - good and bad.

You should always do your best, and be the best you can be; because if you're not life can turn out the opposite of what you want. The two-minute video below is a sad story about someone who lost his inspiration, and it hurt him in the end.

The Importance of Inspiration

Getting Help When you Need it

Motivational strategies #18 and #19 involve getting direct help from other people.

#18 Motivation and Productivity Tip: Accountability Partner

An accountability partner should not be confused with self-accountability.

If you need motivation to stay on target with your to-do list, a self-accountability partner can help. When you plan to take on a project or a task you share it with them, and then you report your progress to them, at set times.

When you have your own business its easy to get sucked into time killing tasks. An accountability partner is there to hold you accountable and gently nudge you back onto the path to reaching your goals.

It's a lot easier to get to work on something when you know you'll be explaining to someone what steps you've taken.

#19 Motivational Method: Get A Mentor, or Stalk One Online

Get a mentor to help you, If you can't find a mentor, or while you're looking for one, get guidance by researching someone who is successful in your field; and read everything you can about them - what they have to say (on their blog, or books they've written) and what others have to say about them.

But, make sure they have the same values and goals that you do, and have achieved what you are trying to achieve - or similar achievements.

AVOID: Reading people's stuff who have different goals than you. In the end it is a waste of time and screws with your focus.

For example there are two totally different types of online business owners who give advice on how to set up and run an online business - John Chow (how to make $40,000 a day from your blog) and Steve Plavina - Self Development, how to keep growing as a person.

I like them both because both men have a great sense of humor, both seem to be honest and have integrity. and they both have successful online businesses.

But they have totally different value systems, strategies, and ways of making money.

#20 Motivational Concepts: Remember the Big Picture

When you feel like you're getting nowhere, remember the big picture. If you focus on what's around you at the moment you'll miss opportunities, because your focus is too narrowed.

Remembering the big picture will help you stay motivated to get where you want to be.

Don't narrow your focus by only looking at what's going on right now.
Don't narrow your focus by only looking at what's going on right now.

#21 Motivational Advice: Boost Your Passion for Success

Since motivation doesn't come naturally to most people we have to work at sustaining it. You were motivated when you planned your route to success with your business, but somewhere along the way it got drowned out by negative self-talk and self-doubt.

So you need to boost your passion for success. You can do this by listening to motivational podcasts, and/or reading motivational literature (books/blogs/quotes).

At the end of this article there are 10 motivational quotes for small business owners. You can write down your favorite ones or print them off and refer to them when you start to lose that loving feeling for your goals.

#22 Motivational Sanity Tip: Get Rid of it

Don't hold on to things that aren't working or giving you the results you want or need.

Ask yourself if you would do it again if you had to do everything over. If your answer is no, stop doing it...move on to something else that will get you the proper results.

The time you spend in turmoil or spinning your wheels is wasted time.

#23 Motivational System: Take Risks - Have an Opinion

When you try to please everyone you end up pleasing only few, or no one; and your clients need a leader they can count on.

If you pussy foot around not trying to offend anyone, your message will be wishy washy at best. It's a lot harder to express your thoughts and actions when you're walking on egg shells than it is to say what you think.

It's also really hard to stay motivated in this situation.

What's troubling you? Vote in the poll, or let us know in the comments

What is Your Biggest Challenge With Your Desire to Get Stuff Done?

See results

10 Inspirational Quotes for Small Business Owners

The following quotes by successful entrepreneurs will help you sustain and build upon your motivation.

“It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.”

— Scott Belsky, co-founder of Behance

“If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.”

— Mark Zuckerberg

"You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever."

— Steve Jobs

"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."

— Henry Ford

“You shouldn’t focus on why you can’t do something, which is what most people do. You should focus on why perhaps you can, and be one of the exceptions.”

— Steve Case, co-founder of AOL.

"A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new."

— Albert Einstein

"I'd rather invest in an entrepreneur who has failed before than one who assumes success from day one."

— Kevin O'Leary

"Honesty and integrity are by far the most important assets of an entrepreneur."

— Zig Ziglar

"I'm convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance."

— Steve Jobs


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    • KoraleeP profile imageAUTHOR

      Koralee Phillips 

      4 years ago from Vancouver British Columbia Canada

      Thanks DDE :)

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Informative and helpful indeed.

    • KoraleeP profile imageAUTHOR

      Koralee Phillips 

      4 years ago from Vancouver British Columbia Canada

      I know exactly what you mean Flourish Anyway :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      4 years ago from USA

      11 really brought back the memories. I would never go back.


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