Tips to stay motivated when times are tough

Going it alone and starting a business is not easy. There are always times things can get quiet and staying motivated is key. This requires a significant amount of effort on your part. After all it is you who are the master of your own destiny. No one else will drive and motivate you except for you.

But never fear; you aren’t alone in this. Many entrepreneurs and business owners will be feeling the exact same way. So if you think you are the only one finding it tricky to find motivation you aren’t. Everyone could do with some help sometimes. We think some of these tips will help you stay motivated when business is quiet.

Remember why you are doing what you are doing

It sounds simple, but this is really vital when you’re feeling a bit low. Take a step back and think about why you decided to go it alone. Remember why you are passionate about your business and what it offers to customers. What drove you to go down this route in the first place? This could be the flexible lifestyle; the chance to be your own boss and maybe increase your earning power. Sure things are tough right now, but try and think about all the positives (and there are many) about running your own business.

Perhaps you need some other pearls of wisdom. This is why it’s always a good idea to:

Learn from the moguls and their failures

Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos. Giants of commerce and genuine success stories. But guess what: they were once struggling small business owners. They got through difficult periods and made mistakes as well and emerged stronger. If your business is experiencing challenging times, it might be worth your while to read up on what famous business owners did to cope when they experienced difficult times. For instance former Apple founder, Steve Jobs, failed with Next Computers before being rehired by Apple. Richard Branson, for all of his huge successes, had to endure some flops too. Virgin Cars and Virgin Soda were two such disasters - showing even the biggest entrepreneurs can fail too.

Make small achievable goals

When things aren’t going according to plan, you might have to scale down your ambition for the time being. That is not a bad thing: because you can create goals which are smaller and more achievable. You won’t be thinking along the lines of doubling sales over the next 3 months. You can focus on things which are within your power to influence. This could be creating a new marketing campaign for the summer; gaining more followers on social media and even having meetings every week with potential partners. These are all measurable tasks. And if you find that you manage to achieve the small goals, readjust and make them even harder. Don’t overwhelm yourself with bold targets that you will struggle to meet.


One thing you don’t want to be doing when times are hard is sitting at your laptop all day firing emails, waiting for things to happen. This is a sure fire guarantee to make you very miserable. You must also remember that you are a human being who needs to engage in physical activity. Stepping away from the desk and taking the time to go to the gym; for a run; or for a swim (or whatever takes your fancy) is something we would highly recommend. Firstly, it will give your brain a rest and make you feel fresher. Exercise releases endorphins. This is a type of chemical that goes into your body during exercise which is proven to make a person feel more positive. To be honest, whether your business is doing well or struggling we think this is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

And finally...

Adopt positive habits

In order to be motivated, you must have a positive mindset. No one achieved success through procrastinating all the time. And that is what you need to be thinking. Unfortunately, we live in a world full of potential distractions that can derail our thinking. Facebook, WhatsApp, the news. All these things can really harm productivity. Make it your mission to filter out the nonsense. Only by channelling your mind can you open yourself up to positive ideas and thinking. Why not look for interesting podcasts related to your industry to have on whilst you work. You never know what type of ideas this might spark. We mentioned exercise earlier, but even going for regular strolls round your office or outside can be effective too. As an entrepreneur, the last thing you want to have is a sedentary lifestyle.

David Goulden Copywriter
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