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9 Ways To Improve Motivation As A Small Business Owner

Let’s face it; there will be days for a small business owner when your motivation desert you.

It’s not surprising. After all, running your own small business is difficult.

Most of the time, it’s rewarding to be your own boss, to take charge of your own future, and to create something that you are passionate about, and that’s why you do it.

However, there are also times when you feel the stress and strain of owning a small business, especially when something goes wrong, for example, when existing customers disappear and the sales pipeline crumbles. dries up. What you do know is that the responsibility lies with you, which can be a scary and demotivating place. Alone too and maybe that’s why even small business owners have a business mentor or coach!

Even when things are going well, it’s easy to lose motivation. Being tired, stressed, or just running out of ideas – it’s hard to find the positives and focus on the bright side of being your own boss.

It’s all well and good to say “think positive,” but when you’ve lost the motivation for what you’re doing, it can be difficult to pull yourself out of all the negativity that’s going on in your mind.

Also, if this is your first business and it’s the first time no one has told you what to do or how to do it, it can be difficult to motivate yourself.

How to get your Mojo back

If you’re a small business owner and struggling to motivate yourself for whatever reason, don’t worry; you’re not alone. Read on for our 9 simple steps to increase your motivation so that your small business can be successful.

First of all, don’t panic. Many other entrepreneurs have been in your shoes and have struggled to motivate themselves when running their business. There are things you can do to motivate yourself without having to rely on a boss to give you a reward or set inspiring goals.

Below are nine easy ways to motivate yourself when running your own small business. These are all things you can do on your own, although it is good to have the support of your family and friends. If you’ve found yourself staring into the abyss because you lost all motivation, wondering what made you start your business, these tips will help get you back on track.

1. Find yourself “why”.

Why did you start your business in the first place? Chances are it’s not just to pay off the mortgage. Money is actually a surprisingly weak motivator. Daniel Pink, the author of Drive: The surprising truth about what drives us, talks about it by explaining the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Carrot and stick style

Extrinsic motivation is the carrot and stick style of motivation. Do well, and you are rewarded with a higher salary. Make a mistake, get punished.

Intrinsic motivation occurs when you are motivated by internal rewards – for example, blogging about the latest successes in your business because you love to write. Studies have shown that intrinsic motivation is better for creativity and innovation.

If the “why” behind starting your business wasn’t to become a millionaire (although that would be a great result), then what is it?

Most people start a business in an industry they are passionate about. That said, it can be too easy to lose sight of why you were so passionate about your business in the first place, especially when it takes up such a large part of your life.

Simon Sinek, the author of Start with why, had this problem while running his own small business.

In this video, he discusses the importance of finding the “why” behind what you do and feeling inspired to go to work every day. Finding your “why” can restore your passion, even if you lost it.

Try to remember what prompted you to start your business in the first place. Was it to become your own boss? Because you have a product you believe in?

Ask yourself, “What turns me on or inspires me?” The answer to this question may have changed since you started your business. What are you the best at and enjoy it? Where are you adding the most value? These are all questions that can help you rediscover your goal.

2. Write your corporate mission statement

A good corporate mission statement should be clear, inspiring, and easy to understand. It will remind you and your team of the vision, direction and future of your business. It’s also another great way to remind you and your employees about your business purpose, which we already know is a great motivator.


A powerful mission statement also helps boost employee engagement and gives them the big picture. An example of an inspiring mission statement is TED: Spread ideas. It’s simple and to the point. It reflects the company’s mission to share short but inspiring lectures via free videos.

The mission statement should be accessible to everyone involved in your business, so that they can see and verify it regularly. You should also include it in your business plan.

There is plenty of content online to help you develop your business plan, such as a business plan template and advice blog post by online accounting solutions company ember.co. This is an easy-to-read, step-by-step guide that will make it easier to write your business plan on paper.

3. Write down your short and long term goals

If you have nothing to learn, then you will have a hard time motivating yourself. Conversely, if you set unattainable goals, you set yourself up for failure, which is incredibly demotivating.

Set short and long term goals that will challenge you but are also realistic.

Regularly reassess your goals to keep them aligned with your business as it grows. If you need help setting goals, you can use the SMART goal setting technique. Remember that the SMART goals are:

  • Specific – clearly defined
  • Measurable – you know when you have reached the goal
  • Achievable – doable but not that easy, you don’t need to have a goal
  • Relevant – your business benefits from reaching the goal
  • Time bound – the date by which the goal must be achieved

If your long-term goals seem overly ambitious, try breaking them down into small, concrete steps you can take every day or week to keep you on track.

4. Set aside time to rest

Since the whole business rests on your shoulders, you are probably not taking the time to rest. This is a false economy because it could lead to burnout.

According to a study of the startup community, 50% suffered from burnout, so this is a very real problem for business owners.

This is why it is so vital to take regular breaks to rest. Book time off and when you leave the office, turn on the automatic out-of-office reply and don’t be tempted to answer emails while you’re away.

If you have a team working for you, trust them to handle things in your absence. Delegate the work to them and confirm that they know what they are doing before you go so you can relax on your vacation.

If you are working remotely, it can be difficult to create boundaries between work and home.

At the end of your workday, turn off your computer and do something completely different so you can log out and walk away from your job.

If you are having trouble not responding to emails when your phone is constantly sending you notifications, there is a simple solution. Turn them off!

5. Get help if and when you need it


There is no shame in asking for help when you are in trouble. Contact your family or friends. Connect with a mentor or join a group of entrepreneurs online to seek advice.

If you are unsure of how to handle certain aspects of your business, such as legal or tax matters, seek expert help.

Don’t persevere just because you think you should. For example, not many small business owners are good at accounting, so if you are not an expert at accounting, don’t stress yourself out doing all the bookkeeping.

Many small businesses use third-party accounting services to help them manage their taxes, allowing them to continue running the business they love.

6. Talk to other entrepreneurs

If you’re struggling to motivate yourself, other small business owners will understand what you’re going through.

Build your entrepreneur support groups. Join groups of entrepreneurs online to find people with whom you can share experiences and seek advice.

7. Talk about your mistakes

When you make a mistake, it’s natural to feel bad about it, or even ashamed of it. By talking openly about your mistakes, you can eliminate them and even turn them into motivators.

Instead of dwelling on what’s wrong, talk about what you would do differently next time. Turn mistakes into a learning opportunity and remember that failure is necessary for growth.

8. Celebrate your accomplishments

Rather than waiting for your business to hit a long-term goal or a big target, reward yourself and your team for small wins. Celebrate when the going is good.

Remember past successes. How did you feel What did you do that made this success possible? How can you repeat it?

Remember to celebrate your team when they achieve something. Not only will this motivate them, but it will also increase their engagement and build their self-confidence. A simple well done will do; a little public praise will go a long way.

By praising someone’s work in public, you are also showing the rest of your team the behaviors you want to see more of.

9. Find something or someone that inspires you

It can be a TED Conference, a fellow entrepreneur or a business mogul. No one. As long as they inspire you, they can help motivate you too. Watch how they overcame adversity. What ideas, tools and tips do they recommend?

Use them as inspiration the next time you feel unmotivated. Schedule time in your day to watch one of their videos, or if they’re online, invite them over for coffee.


If you’re struggling to motivate yourself, this can be a tough place as a business owner. Fortunately, there are people in your network who can be an inspiring motivator.

Also use our tips for actions you can take on a daily basis to improve your motivation and make running your business a little easier.


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