Building Motivation as a Small Business Owner

Last Updated: 

April 19, 2023

Motivation is a critical element in any business. You need to stay motivated if you want to continue working hard and making progress towards achieving your goals. Motivating yourself is important because it keeps you focused on what's important: making sure that your business succeeds. If you're having trouble staying motivated (or are unsure how to get started), here are some tips that might help:

Key takeaways to stay motivated

  1. Set clear and achievable goals: Define your short-term and long-term objectives, breaking them down into smaller, manageable tasks to maintain motivation and stay on track.
  2. Establish a daily routine: Develop a consistent daily routine that includes time for work, personal development, and self-care, fostering discipline and a sense of accomplishment.
  3. Connect with your purpose: Regularly remind yourself of the reasons behind starting your business and the impact you want to make to stay motivated and aligned with your vision.
  4. Celebrate small wins: Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small, to boost morale and maintain a sense of progress and momentum.
  5. Surround yourself with support: Build a network of mentors, peers, and like-minded individuals who can provide encouragement, guidance, and motivation during challenging times.
  6. Stay organised and focused: Use productivity tools and techniques to keep your workspace and tasks organised, reducing stress and enhancing focus on your priorities.
  7. Embrace continuous learning: Invest in personal and professional development through books, courses, and workshops to stay inspired and adapt to the ever-changing business landscape.
  8. Maintain work-life balance: Prioritise self-care and personal well-being to prevent burnout, improve mental health, and sustain motivation in the long run.
  9. Visualise success: Use visualisation techniques to imagine the successful outcome of your goals, creating a positive mindset and strengthening your motivation.
  10. Learn from setbacks: View challenges and setbacks as opportunities for growth and learning, cultivating resilience and a growth mindset that fuels motivation and perseverance.
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Don't be afraid of failure.

The first step in building motivation as a small business owner is to embrace failure. The most successful people have failed many times before they succeed, and so will you. If you don't fail at least once along the way, it's likely that you're not trying hard enough or taking enough risks.

Failure can also be good for your business because it helps us learn from our mistakes and prevents us from repeating them in the future. For example, if one of my clients decides not to buy my services after meeting with me for an hour-long consultation (which happens), I consider this an opportunity for improvement: maybe there was something about my approach that wasn't appealing? Maybe there were better ways I could have communicated what services would do? Maybe next time I'll charge more money!

Know that you are not alone.

It's easy to feel like you're the only small business owner who has ever felt overwhelmed by the challenges of running your own business, but you'd be wrong. There are so many people out there who have gone through similar situations and come out on top that it would be impossible to list them all here, but just know that if you ever need advice or support from other entrepreneurs (or just want someone to commiserate with), there is no shortage of online communities available for this purpose.

Recognize that success will take time, but you can make it happen.

You may feel like you're running a sprint and not a marathon, but the truth is that it takes longer than you think.

Building a successful business takes time, so don't expect to see results overnight. It's important to keep moving forward when things get hard, even if that means taking baby steps instead of giant leaps forward at first.

Don't let fear hold you back from reaching your goals.

Fear of failure is a common obstacle for entrepreneurs. It can paralyse you from taking action, and it's a major reason people don't start their own businesses in the first place. But it doesn't have to be this way.

The first step in overcoming your fear of failure is recognizing that it exists, and then learning how to push past it so that you can reach your goals as an entrepreneur. Here are some examples:

  • Oprah Winfrey overcame her childhood poverty by becoming one of the world's most successful media moguls and philanthropists, despite having been told she would never amount to anything because she was poor and Black (not exactly great odds).
  • Michelle Obama overcame her own personal struggles with depression after giving birth while working at Harvard Law School by going on to become First Lady of the United States (and probably saving America along the way).

Set a goal, but don't focus on the outcome. Focusing on the outcome is too daunting and keeps you from moving forward.

As a small business owner, you're going to have some tough days. You may be discouraged by the fact that you aren't making as much money as your friends or colleagues. You might think that other people are doing better than you and feel like a failure. But here's the thing: it's not about how much money they make or how many people they employ; it's about them being happy with who they are and what they do every day. If their goal is to sell 500 cars this month, then great, they'll do everything in their power to achieve that goal (and if it doesn't happen, then maybe next month).

But when we look at our own lives, we tend not only compare ourselves against others but also focus on outcomes rather than processes, and this can lead us down an unhealthy path where we feel like failures because we don't measure up financially or professionally compared with someone else who has chosen different goals than ours (for example). Instead of worrying about these things too much though, which will only bring negative energy into our lives, it's important for us as entrepreneurs and small business owners instead focus on working hard toward achieving our own personal goals while enjoying what we do each day along the way!

Take care of yourself first so you can take care of others.

You can't help others if you're not healthy and happy yourself. If you don't take care of yourself first, it will be difficult to maintain the energy and motivation necessary to help others in your life.

This is why it's important to make sure that you are taking care of yourself by setting aside time for exercise, eating well and getting enough sleep at night. Once these things are set up as part of your daily routine, then start looking at ways that will allow more people into your life who need support from someone like them!

Keep things in perspective by remembering why you started this journey in the first place.

The best way to stay motivated is by keeping things in perspective. You might be working hard and putting all your effort into your business, but remember that it's not just about being successful, it's about achieving something. It's important to stay focused on the bigger picture and remind yourself why you started this journey in the first place.

It can be difficult for small business owners who work long hours with little sleep to keep their motivation high all of the time, especially when times get tough or when there are obstacles blocking their path forward. But if we take a step back from our businesses and view them as part of a bigger picture (like how my business helps other people achieve their goals), then everything becomes much easier!

If something goes wrong, remember what's important

Sometimes things don't go as planned. Maybe you've had a bad day or experienced some sort of setback, and now it's hard to see the light at the end of your tunnel.

If this happens, take a minute to reflect on what's important in life and why you started this journey in the first place. Was it because of money? Or maybe there was another reason? Whatever it may be, try not to get discouraged by these setbacks because they will all pass eventually!

FAQs on staying motivated

In this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section, we address common questions and concerns related to building and maintaining motivation as a small business owner. Our aim is to provide you with further insights, tips, and practical advice on how to stay inspired, focused, and resilient in the face of challenges and setbacks while pursuing your entrepreneurial goals.

How can establishing a routine help me stay motivated?

Establishing a routine can help you stay on track with your goals, even when it feels like the world is conspiring against them. Routines are important for productivity and efficiency because they help you avoid procrastination and make time-consuming tasks seem less daunting. If you're not sure what kind of routine would be best for your business, consider experimenting with different approaches until one sticks, and then stick with it!

Routines help us become more effective by helping us get into "the zone" where we lose track of time while working efficiently, this is an essential part of being productive as an entrepreneur. A good way to start establishing a routine is by identifying any recurring tasks (such as answering emails) that occupy large chunks of our day but don't necessarily need our full attention every time they occur; once those are out of the way each morning or afternoon (or whatever works best), we can focus on other things without feeling bogged down by them later on in our workday."

Is reading motivation books effective?

Reading is good for your brain.

It can help you with motivation, business, career and personal development. Reading also helps with education if you are a student or someone who wants to learn more about something they are interested in.

What are good books that could help me stay motivated in business?

For starters, I recommend reading books on business, entrepreneurship and psychology. There are many great books out there that can help you get motivated in your business. Some books will focus more on motivation while others will focus on specific topics like self-help or business development.

How can I handle failure better?

Failure is a part of life. It's a fact that we all have to accept, whether we like it or not. But while failure can be depressing and disheartening, it doesn't mean that you should give up on what you're trying to achieve. Instead, use your failures as opportunities to learn and grow as an individual, and keep going!

Failure isn't always something bad; sometimes it can even help us achieve our goals faster than we would have if everything went smoothly every step of the way (which rarely happens). Think about how much time and effort would've been wasted if Thomas Edison had given up after his first few attempts at creating a light bulb failed miserably? Or how much less successful Steve Jobs would have been at Apple if he hadn't stuck with them through their early years when they were struggling financially? In both cases, those failures led directly into some major successes later on down the line because those people didn't give up when things got tough, they kept trying until they succeeded!


It's easy to get discouraged and lose motivation in business, but it's also important not to give up. The most successful people are those who can keep going even when things go wrong. If you want success in business, then keep these tips in mind and stay motivated!

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