10 Motivation Techniques for Entrepreneurs

The day when we chose to become an entrepreneur is the day we chose to step on a long and lonely journey. This is not a path where the normals take. As entrepreneurs, we spend hours grinding on the most pressing issues that the society faces. This is fun but sometimes, it may not be. Many times, in light of all the distractions around us, the devil within ourselves is constantly wooing us to quit and start living an easy life.

In fact, one of the main reasons why entrepreneurs quit is due to the lack of motivation. It may be caused by isolation, confusion, stress, tiredness, boredom or even depleting passion. It is disheartening to see entrepreneurs quit because scale, massive adoption and success may just be around the corner if the entrepreneurs stayed on for a little longer.


If you are running your own business or startup and the motivation that you once had for it is reducing or no longer there, this article on motivation techniques is dedicated to you. The motivation techniques below will help to restore your motivation and allow your business to grow faster than before.

Connecting with Like-Minded Peers

There are a lot of events and meetups out there where you can meet with like-minded entrepreneurs and other individuals who are in business. You’ll never know where these connections will bring you but nevertheless, if they are like-minded and entrepreneurial, it is very likely that what they do and what they want to achieve is similar to yours.

Having these connections is very helpful in keeping your motivation high because you now have people to go to when you hit a wall with your startup or have a question on which path should you select for your startup. Being surrounded by entrepreneurial peers will also allow you to continuously learn from them and improve yourself through discussions on various issues relating to running a startup.

Your Family Members Love You

Although our family members may not know what we are doing or up to, they are always there to lend their shoulders for you to lean on. Often times as entrepreneurs, all we need is a tap on the shoulder or someone who is willing to listen to our rants.

When you feel stressed or down with your ventures, open yourself up to your family members. I am sure they will be there for you and will try their best to understand.

What About a Co-Founder?

Having a co-founder in your startup allows you to focus on what you do best. Many entrepreneurs and small business owners get caught up doing things that they don’t really like such as accounting, paperwork, and for some, email marketing, marketing in general or solving IT issues. When this happens, they will get frustrated for not being able to move things forward.

Getting one or more co-founders gives you the freedom of delegating uninteresting functions within your startup to them. In order for your startup to succeed, you need to focus on what you do best and the same goes to your co-founders.

Yes, I do understand that finding the right co-founder is hard and having a partner in business has its risks too. Choosing a Minimally Viable Co-Founder by Dharmesh Shah and 5 Tips for Choosing a Co-Founder by Mike McDerment are two good blog posts on how to pick the right co-founder for your business or startup.

Have a Mentor

Having a mentor gives you the opportunity to get advice from somebody with experience. A mentor is not a mere adviser. A mentor is someone who is an adviser and also, a friend. A mentor is willing to help you because he or she wants to see you become successful with the venture that you are working on. Most of the time, they are interested in what you do and they believe in your abilities. Why? Because they have been in your shoes and they sincerely want to help you.

At first sight, you will not know who is a suitable mentor for yourself. The forming of the relationship takes time and all you can do right now if you don’t have a mentor yet, is to network rigorously at events where entrepreneurs that you look up to hang out.

Optimize Your Working Environment

Your workplace and its environment affects productivity level as well as your motivation to get things done. I follow productivity blogs like Lifehack.org and apply the recommended tips bit by bit to my work flow. Over time, I will start to realize which table layout or tools work perfectly together to bring the best out of me. Depending on the way you work, preference for elements like table layout, temperature, background music, wall colors and others differ from one person to another.

However, be warned that some people may go overboard in applying productivity tips and this is obviously counter productive.

Office Desktop Setup

Keep Up with Industrial Happenings

Knowing what other companies and entrepreneurs are doing in your space will get you pumped up. Whether these news will arouse your sense of competition or admiration, keeping yourself updated with all the happenings within your industry will make you wanting to do and achieve more with your own startup or business.

Stay Inspired

Keeping up with industrial happenings is a way to stay inspired. To add to that, the following are a few things that you can do to stay inspired as an entrepreneur:

  • Meetups and conferences: You will get to meet people from all walks of life, bounce ideas around and create new relationships.
  • Reading: Books, whether business or non-business, will bring you ideas that you can test or start working on in your business.
  • Interviews: Reading and listening to interviews with entrepreneurs can pump you up and bring you great ideas. On Sprout Geek, we have Sprouter Exchange, our own series of interviews with entrepreneurs and small business owners on topics that they are extremely good at. I also listen to Mixergy by Andrew Warner and This Week in Startups by Jason Calacanis.

Set Goals and Measure Achievements

There’s nothing more motivating than setting a set of goals and focus all your energy and strength to achieve them. Your goals have to be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.

Make yourself accountable. Or even better, tell people about your goals. They can be your peers, employees or even the public (you can do this via a blog, Twitter or Facebook). With this simple trick, people will make you accountable for the goals that you set for yourself. Trust me, you will find it embarrassing when people start asking why a particular goal was not achieved.

Engage with Customers

If you are super passionate about your product and its customers, engaging your customers, whether casual visitors, power users or evangelists, will give you interesting insights or ideas that you can start working on immediately. If your product or service is good, you might even get words of praise, which is a motivation booster to keep you going.

Take a Break

For some of you, entrepreneurship is all about hustling and taking a break is like taking a poison pill. Yes, you should not be taking a long break but having short breaks from running your business allows you to take a step back, see things from different perspective and open yourself to accepting new ideas.

Moreover, taking breaks gives you the chance to focus on something else that is equally important such as your health and your family. When your focus switches, the accumulating stress will slowly clear off.

Cycling during Sunset

Entrepreneurs, Have a Motivation Technique to Share?

Other than the motivation techniques mentioned above, how are you keeping your motivation level high? Are you pumped up because of someone that you look up to? Or is it because of your background? Share it with us in the comments section below.

Photo Credits: JohnGoode, Håkan Dahlström and thepatrick

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  1. Richard Ng says

    Wayne, great post!

    Self motivation is something that I tried to promote in my blog as well. I strongly believe that every business should put in place a ‘do good’ factor in their overall business model (something like the corporate social responsibilities carried out by big companies). For start-up/entrepreneur, it can be something in smaller scale which contribute to the society. With this, I believed it would form part of the self motivation for the true value of the existence of the businesses (instead of just the revenue, profits, share holder’s returns etc…)

    • says

      Very true, the reason why a venture is being started should be more than just for the profits and money. It’s true that every business has to make money but it will be more motivating for the entrepreneur is his or her startup has a purpose and aims to add value to the potential customers.

    • says

      Very true, it’s a long and tiring journey. We are not experts in everything too so you’ll definitely need people to help you along the way.