You were prepared for the uncertainty that comes with entrepreneurship. You braced yourself for the long workdays--and for your first business failure. You were ready for just about everything--except the inner strength it takes to be your own biggest motivator.
Sure, it would be great to have your own personal coach wake you up every morning with breakfast in bed and a hearty "Go get 'em, tiger!" But that's not likely to happen.
Nobody is waiting at the finish line to give you a medal for getting your business off the ground. Nobody is as invested in your idea as you are. You need to learn how to be your own coach, and it starts with giving yourself a killer pep talk (daily if necessary, then rinse and repeat).
If you've seen "Jessica's Daily Affirmation," you know how infectious personal motivation can be. Boosting your self-esteem won't just add power to your day; it's also likely to give your whole team a boost.
You don't need to climb into your sink like Jessica to psych yourself up (though it obviously does help), but you do need a mantra. Here are four of my personal favorites:
1. "The journey is the reward."
As an entrepreneur, the work you love doing is often overshadowed by revenue goals and other targets you put in place to gauge success. But as one of my most trusted mentors, Alan Cohen, says, "Do not be fooled by waiting for the ending. Sometimes the middle is more important."
Rather than looking ahead and feeling dissatisfied because you aren't where you thought you'd be (or "should" be) yet, stay present to take in the experiences around you and appreciate where you are now.
2. "Plan A is overrated."
If Plan A doesn't work, there are 25 other letters in the alphabet. Perfectionism can motivate you, but it can also be limiting--especially in the startup world, where markets, trends, and resources are always in flux. Often, the very best idea is the second, third, or eighteenth one that you try.
3. "No naysayers allowed."
If you are passionate about your project and your intuition tells you that it could be successful, don't pay too much attention to doubters. Instead, find the people who share your vision and will root for you and stand beside you when things get tough. These are the people who can help you by offering fresh ideas and perspectives--and a hearty dose of motivation. Good things happen when you work with people who believe in you and complement your strengths.
4. "Every failure is a step closer to success."
In business, you can often learn a lot more from your failures than your successes. You learn how to adapt, identify your strengths and weaknesses, and gain new insights into your industry.
More importantly, you learn what you're made of. You failed, yet the sun still came up in the morning. You're still standing. And you're probably a little wiser for the wear. When you dust yourself off and try the next idea, you'll be better prepared and much more likely to succeed.
Having a list of mantras that you can pull out of your toolkit in any situation will prepare you to turn challenges into successes. If all else fails, a simple "You can do it!" can give you that boost you need to keep going. Remind yourself that you've done it before and will do it again.
Always remember that your goals are possible to achieve. Believe in yourself and your ideas. Your intuition got you this far, so trust it. Don't ignore your own excitement. Keep the passion burning and your vision front and center at all times. It's the perfect fuel for your dreams.