Today we’re taking a deep dive into the minds of entrepreneurs: why it’s so hard being an entrepreneur and how to stay motivated in your entrepreneurial journey.
A very, very, very long time ago, back when humans were still living in caves, fighting for food, wearing animal skin, our brain developed three things that were essential to our survival back then. Crazy enough, these three things are still in our brains. They still manage what we do, and influence the actions that we take. Those three things are actually working against us as entrepreneurs. So what are those three things? Number one is our brain seeks immediate pleasure. Number two, our brain wants to avoid pain. And number three, our brain wants to stay efficient. Let me break that down for you.
Ever wonder why when you come home from work, you choose to eat the entire fridge instead of waiting for dinner knowing that that would be the healthier option? But instead, you want to eat now because you’re hungry. You initially want some chips or a little snack, but then you end up eating the entire fridge. Why? Because it gives you so much pleasure at that specific time. I think everyone knows that feeling!
The same goes for entrepreneurship. You could watch Netflix now, or you can work on your business. But, the work that you have to do at that time may cause you to stress, or the whole business may cause you so much stress that you tend to procrastinate. And what do you do when you’re procrastinating? You end up watching Netflix because you want to feel better right now! You choose to seek immediate pleasure now over the joy of having a successful business because you’re not working on your soon-to-be-successful business.
Our brain tends to want the immediate pleasure of a Netflix marathon instead of working on your business now, to be rich and famous afterward. Maybe not famous, but at least maybe rich and fulfilling your purpose, and having that joy later on. I think you can see how it’s working against you as an entrepreneur, right? We don’t want to procrastinate! We can’t if we want our business to be successful, so we have to put forth the effort. But, our brains really want to watch Netflix!
That, of course, could be normal pain, but it could also be failure. It could also be rejection and also shame. All those kinds of pain, like in an entrepreneurial context – Let’s say you make your offers to a lot of people and they say no, no one is interested.
No one is buying your cars. No one is signing up for your lead magnet (or whatever else). Instead of going through that and having the option to be successful, you decide not to do it because it might cause you to fail, to be rejected, to feel shame, or to be embarrassed. The possibility of feeling pain will win over the possibility of it being amazing and great, only because you don’t want to feel the ‘possible’ pain – so, we just don’t do it. Ever have that feeling? Ever not done something because you’re afraid? I thought so.
What does that mean? It means staying energy efficient. Our brain does not want to do new things. It wants to do the same things all over again and be very efficient at it. That means not coming out of your comfort zone. I’m sure you know that being an entrepreneur requires coming out of your comfort zone like every day, every week, every month. It’s constantly doing new things – Getting out of your safe zone, trying stuff out, and be willing to be rejected – all the traits of being successful!
It’s so necessary to get out of your comfort zone. If you don’t, you will not make it as an entrepreneur because you’ll keep doing the same things and if you want things to change, you have to actually change before things change. You can’t keep doing the same things and expect your situation to change. You have to get out of your comfort zone, but your brain doesn’t want you to.
Those were the 3 reasons why your brain is working against you and why it's so hard being an entrepreneur. Now let me tell you how you can beat your brain, stay motivated and become an insanely successful entrepreneur. Let’s go!
All right, we’ve discussed the three things that will work against you as an entrepreneur inside your brain. Now let’s talk about what you can do about it because of course, we’re going to fight against it. We won’t listen to our brains trying to hammer stuff into our heads that we can’t be an entrepreneur. No, we will fight against it, and we will be successful! But, how do you do that?
Keep that commitment right. There is a definite reason that you started your business. It could be financial freedom, it could be retiring your husband, it could be the Bali life, right? You want to be able to travel, to have the laptop lifestyle.
It could be anything, but there’s a reason that you started your business. You have a ‘why’ in your business, I’m sure of it! We all do, and that is what keeps us going. The most successful entrepreneurs have a huge purpose in their business. The only thing they want to do is serve their people and turn it into an amazingly successful business.
Ever heard of those stories of entrepreneurs who started with nothing, only having one option which was to make that business successful, and were crazy committed? Those are the ones who are now billionaires! We other entrepreneurs start businesses, but it’s not the only option. A lot of us have backup plans and backup-to-the backup plans. At least going for those backup plans, like sometimes you’re in the mood to go for it 100 percent, and other times you just want to take the backup plan!
That means you’re not 100 percent committed. You need to keep thinking of your ‘why.’ Why do you want to do this? Do not give into the backup plan! That’s just your brain saying they don’t want to do anything new, saying it doesn’t want to feel the possibility of rejection or failure. That’s just your brain telling you to keep it easy.
Don’t do the hard stuff. Don’t get out of your comfort zone, just do you what you know. Sound familiar? Do not go for the backup plan and keep your ‘why’ in mind.
Why did you start your business? How would your life change if you had a successful business? What would it feel like if you achieved your ultimate goal? Think about that! Get inspired! Journal it! Write a few pages of thoughts about what that life would be like. Visualize how that would be, how you would feel, how amazing it would be, and keep that in mind whenever you feel like you want to take the easy way out.
The second thing you need is to have a real strong focus on your goals. You have your ‘why,’ you have your huge commitment. Then you break it down into yearly goals, quarterly goals, monthly goals, weekly goals, daily goals even. You want to have this amazing focus on your goals and revisit them every week.
Don’t just set goals and then never look at them anymore. You want to be able to be that person who sets goals and achieve them one after another, more and more goals and just ends up being totally successful. Sounds great, right?
But, how do you do that? You don’t just set goals and expect them to happen. First of all, you write them down. Writing something down makes it immediately more powerful. It’s not necessarily typing; it’s just writing down on a piece of paper and keeping it with you so you can revisit it.
There’s a lot of planners that can help you do that, like the Full Focus planner, the Law of Attraction planner (my personal favorite), and the Productivity planner (another great one). Write them down in some kind of planner or journal, a piece of paper, anywhere where you can really write it down. That will help increase the focus on the goals by making it more real, that you really have to achieve it because it’s written down.
After setting your goals, you want to revisit them every week. Whenever you’ve finished your week on Sunday night, you check if you’ve accomplished what you wanted to accomplish. Have to be your own accountability to make sure you do it because otherwise if you’re just setting goals and not following up, then what’s the point of setting goals? Make sure to revisit your goals as often as you need to keep them fresh in your mind!
You want to wake up in the morning and not immediately start with checking your phone, checking your email or even social media, because then you start with someone else’s priorities. You’ve set your goals, and you want to achieve them, so every morning you want to check what you want to do for that date and start with that.
Make sure your work is done before you do the urgent stuff that is not important, like checking your email or even social media. Whenever you want to check on your phone constantly, it’s usually urgent, not necessarily important. Go for the important stuff first because the important stuff will be in your daily goals.
The last thing that will help you stay motivated is actually like this huge kept secret that everybody knows but don’t want to admit it. Can you guess what it is? Just take action! Whenever you take that first step, the second step will always be easier. It’s getting started that’s so hard! In the morning you want to get started, but first, you want to take your coffee, maybe read a little blog post or watch some Netflix.
Whenever you get started, you achieve something. Your first task of the day, the second task is so much easier, and that counts for everything. If you’ve achieved the goal you had set for the month, you’ll be so much more motivated the next month.
The key to staying motivated is progress.
Taking action, following up on that action, check that see you’ve achieved it, and then you’re so much more motivated for the next month! But, I guess you already knew that, but maybe not wanting to admit that you have to take action to get motivated to get more done.
I know you can do this, I believe in you!