The Startup Blues: How To Stay Motivated When Launching A New Business

October 24, 2014  |  

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Starting a business is not an easy task. The tiring process of getting a new venture up and ruling can be mentally draining. And it can also be frustrating. At times you’ll want to throw in the towel, give up, and go back to your 9-to-5. But there are ways to handling this frustration and to keep your motivation in tact.

Angela Benton, founder of NewME Accelerator, reveals to Inc. her ways of coping during the trying times of entrepreneurship. “Take joy in the small things… don’t always stay focused on big picture… Pay attention to what you are accomplishing,” she says. Benton also advises creating a support system with like-minded people. “Develop a network of entrepreneurs that you can surround yourself with who can understand what you’re going through.”
 There are many other things you can do to help keep yourself on track and excited about entering a new arena.
Have an outside distraction. “Pick up a new hobby as you start your business,” suggests Rhonda Best, owner/director of UK-based Alexander Bain, a niche management consultancy. “This is useful because you’re starting something else that’s new and you’d be able to see that with training and time you’d be great at anything you do. This helps too with maintaining a full life, one which includes family, hobbies, friends and social activity–not just work.”

It also helps to come to the realization that you will be frustrated — and most likely very often. “Accept that you will be frustrated sometimes. It’s a hard fact to swallow, especially because most entrepreneurs are very driven, expect the best, and do not want to settle for mistakes. However, it’s best to accept that frustration and mistakes will happen, learn from them, and move on,” licensed psychologist Nekeshia Hammond and owner of Hammond Psychology & Associates, tells MadameNoire.

Like Benton, Hammond also says to get yourself out of the shop–a lot. “Network, network, network. Not only can networking provide you with a plethora of opportunities to sell your product or service, but you also get a chance to connect with other business owners,” she adds. “Chances are there are other people out there who are feeling frustrated just like you–now you have a chance to exchange tips of what works and what does not work in your business model.”

Look at missteps and mistakes as a learning process, says corporate psychologist Patricia Thompson, president of Silver Lining Psychology and author of The Consummate Leader: a Holistic Guide to Inspiring Growth in Others… and in Yourself. “Strive to learn from your mistakes. Mistakes are an unavoidable fact of life. To best benefit from them, you shouldn’t spend a lot of time beating yourself up about them. Instead, use them as an opportunity to reflect and get better. Try to look at them unemotionally as feedback that suggests that you need to try a different approach. What lesson did you learn from the mistake? What different strategy can you employ next time? How can you grow as a result of the error?”

Don’t forget you still need “me” time, probably more now than ever. “Heading a business can be all consuming, and for many entrepreneurs, self-care can fall by the wayside,” Thompson tell MadameNoire. “However, you will be more effective if you carve out time every day to take care of yourself. Eat a nutritious diet, make time for exercise, and tend to your relationships. While you might have to be very intentional about scheduling these activities into your life, you will be rewarded with a greater sense of overall well-being. Further, if things are not going well in the business, you will still have bright spots during the day.”

Lastly, pat yourself on the back every now and then. “Give yourself credit. Often, when things aren’t going well, we can tend to focus on everything that is going wrong. To deal with the frustrations that may accompany starting a new business, make sure to take time out to focus on what went well,”  says Thompson. “Every day, make a list of three things that went well. It could be anything from accomplishing a goal you set for yourself, to taking a step in the right direction, to showing courage in going after a new prospect, to being resilient in the face of disappointment.”

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