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Finding motivation when you’re in a rut

The vicious cycle of lost motivation

Every entrepreneur – no matter how much success they have enjoyed – will have experienced setbacks to their journey at some point or another. And with that, can come a loss of motivation.

In these moments, it can be tempting to think that throwing in the towel and giving up your ambitions of conquering the world altogether is the best thing to do, especially if the problem you are facing feels like an insurmountable challenge.

But – as I started out by saying – these sorts of issues will come along every so often to test even the most steadfast and successful of businesspeople. Bill Gates, for example, started out with a company called Traf-O-Data, which aimed to process and analyse data from traffic tapes. Despite trying to sell the idea alongside his business partner, Paul Allen, the product barely worked and was an unmitigated disaster. Undeterred by this failure, Gates decided to explore new opportunities and, several years later, created his very first Microsoft product, and in doing so paved the way to becoming one of the wealthiest people on the planet.

motivation lost

The moral of the story is that you shouldn’t be too quick to give up when there doesn’t seem to be a way forward – often all it takes to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat is the know-how to generate motivation yourself and hold on for brighter days ahead.

Remember why you’re doing it

In your bleakest hour, when all seems hopeless, it can really help you to put things in perspective by remembering what it was that compelled you to set out in the first place. Sometimes, that will be the only motivation you need.

Think back to how you started out, and the progress you’ve made since then. You’ve come such a long way, so it would be a shame to let all that hard work go to waste for the sake of a single setback.

By reflecting on where you’ve been and how well you’ve done to reach this point, you may find the strength you need to continue going, and ultimately reach the goal that you set out to achieve in the first place.

Everything is temporary

As the old saying goes: ‘everything in life is temporary’ -even motivation. While this is often said during the good times as a reminder to enjoy them while they last, it is equally applicable to those moments when nothing seems to be going your way.

If your business takes a hit, you have to stop and consider whether the situation is salvageable, and is likely to improve in the short to medium term. In many cases, the answer is likely to be ‘yes, it is’.

So don’t do something impulsive that you’ll live to regret without seriously considering whether such a course of action is needed at all, as chances are that better days are just around the corner.

Only you can make change happen

As an entrepreneur, you will have grown accustomed to calling the shots and having the final say on the direction of your business. As such, the enterprise wouldn’t be what it is today if it wasn’t for the hard work and sound decision-making that you’ve demonstrated. Motivation is entirely within your own control.

But when things don’t go to plan, it is down to you, as the captain of the ship, to get it all back on course to ensure that there is smooth sailing ahead.

Don’t waste time playing the blame game or pondering where it all went wrong – focus on what you can learn from the experience, and how you can put things right. It is this very quality that sets the Bill Gates-type entrepreneurs apart from the crowd – not living in fear of making an error, but instead having the fortitude and knowledge to move onwards and upwards from a defeat.

So next time you find yourself feeling stuck in the mud, just remember that you are the master of your own destiny, and have the power to make your business the success that you know it can be.

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