Have you ever been in a position where you feel like you've just come up with the biggest idea ever?
It feels like you've cracked the secret to life and there's no way other than up from here.
It feels like you've found your purpose - your calling.
You feel motivated to get to work, you can't wait to see what the future holds.
I've been there multiple times! Each time, however, this burst of motivation and readiness slowly diminishes into nothingness.
The first, most prevalent time I can recall was at the very start of my entrepreneurial journey.
My school life had come to a violent halt as the pandemic swooped in to save me from the final year exams.
Although it felt like a blessing at first, my options were quickly running out and I started to feel like I don't know what to do about it.
When all seemed lost, I discovered a silver lining - dropshipping.
For months, I worked hard on building my store and was ecstatic to launch, after all, I had found exactly what I needed this whole time.
A simple, stress-free way of making my dreams come to fruition.
I still remember the heartbreaking moment where I had to make the decision to end it all.
All the motivation and willingness to keep going and succeed had run out, and I was back to my aimless self.
Why does this happen?
There are a bunch of reasons why we lose motivation.
The reason I slipped into this state was that I lacked a clear purpose for why I wanted to make the business succeed.
I didn't know anything about running a business and this was going to show eventually.
My lack of knowledge was most certainly going to lead to failure once we really hit the road - that is launching the product.
I had no clear vision, no real purpose for why I wanted to succeed. All I knew is that I felt lost and needed to fill the void with something comforting and satisfying.
A massive mistake that I made, and many other entrepreneurs make too, is making my purpose about money.
Once I associated my purpose with money, I started setting unrealistic financial goals which will quickly lead to disappointment.
The night I launched, I had a dream where I woke up to see over £300K in sales on my Shopify dashboard.
The dream felt good, it felt so real that as soon as I woke up, I rushed to my phone to see that figure for real.
To no one's surprise, there was nothing there other than disenchanting zeros staring back at me.
How can we fix this?
When we lose motivation, what do we do about it?
When we run out of discipline and willpower, how do we keep going?
Let's discuss the 4 main ways to gain your motivation back.
One of the biggest reasons, as we've already touched on, why entrepreneurs lose motivation to keep going is because they lack a strong reason, a powerful WHY.
Entrepreneurship is a long and scary journey many of us venture out into in the hopes of building something great and being better people at the end of it.
The problem lies not in the challenge, but in our reasons for pursuing such feats.
Most entrepreneurs, including me, jump headfirst into building a business for the sole purpose of making a monetary return.
We're so easily influenced by all the 'get rich quick' schemes and 'overnight success' stories we see on social media, we can't resist the urge of wanting a piece.
That is where the first reason for demotivation comes from.
We start our journey on the wrong foundations.
We all know what happens to something that's built on shaky foundations - it comes tumbling down eventually.
That's exactly what happens to us when we start losing our motivation.
The truth is, you'll never not lose motivation, it's just being able to rebound at full force that we struggle with.
It's okay to lose consistency once in a while.
It's okay to feel down, like everything's closing in on you sometimes.
We all have these days where we feel like this.
What we don't all have is a strong 'WHY' that helps us come back stronger from those days.
If you feel that this is your problem, you should check out this article on getting crystal clear on your WHY.
If this is not enough, you could read Simon Sinek's best-selling book 'Start with Why.'
Building a strong WHY should be at the forefront of your mind.
Without it, you'll crumble and fall before you even see it coming.
Your WHY will be there in place to remind you why you should endure this hardship.
It will remind you why you're pursuing this challenge.
When you feel demotivated, reminding yourself of your WHY will put you back on your feet.
With your WHY you'll find a way.
Have you ever won a race and received a reward?
Have you ever achieved something incredible on a video game?
Has your team ever won in a sports game?
Maybe you made a great meal for your family one time and everyone loved it?
Do you remember the feeling you had after any of these events?
The rush you felt go through you? The excitement building up within you?
Humans love feeling accomplished, we love being praised, we love being rewarded.
When we get any of these things, we get an increase in our dopamine levels.
It's what makes us feel good, what gives us a sense of happiness and fulfillment.
The problem we all face as entrepreneurs is delayed gratification.
Things take time in business, nothing happens or comes to us overnight.
We'll never start a business one week and see millions the next.
We'll never create a digital piece of artwork today and sell it for almost $70m like Beeple tomorrow.
This lack of gratification, this delayed gratification is what makes us lose our motivation.
Naturally, we want to feel good about ourselves as quickly as possible.
It's the reason we become demotivated and quit - we don't get that feeling, the dopamine immediately and so we just give up.
Luckily for us, there's a simple trick around this that we all can do.
Think of something you like doing.
Personally, I like playing some games (although they have been very boring recently), I like to play basketball, I like to watch stuff.
Now, you can simply tell yourself that when you complete X, Y, and Z, you'll reward yourself with 30 minutes of whatever it is you like doing.
This way, you slowly start to associate the hard, painful work you need to do, with a more enjoyable hobby of yours.
This association tells our brains to keep going. It tells us that when we do X successfully, we're rewarded with Y.
That's a super simple way to counter a loss in motivation and keep going.
Set the right goals
Your goals are simply your stepping stones to your vision.
The mistake we all tend to make is by making our goals equal to our vision.
For example, if you want to build a £100m per year business, you need to set goals to get there.
What most of us do is make this our goal.
Can you see why this is wrong? When we're at ground zero, when we've got a business that makes £0 per year, reaching £100m is daunting.
In fact, it's impossible.
This should not be your goal, it should be your long-term vision.
If you're a regular reader (join the thousands by dropping your email above), you'll have heard me mention this before.
James Clear, author of 'Atomic Habits,' taught me one big lesson about our goals and challenges.
The reason we become demotivated and lose all willpower to carry on is that our goals are simply out of our reach.
We set goals that are far beyond our current levels of comprehension.
Our minds, no matter how powerful, can only take so much.
Therefore, the optimal goals are those that are approximately 4% beyond our comfort zones.
When we set goals that are only 4% harder than what we're able to achieve, we give ourselves just enough of a challenge to keep us motivated and on the hook.
This is the sweet spot because it won't be too easy, yet it won't leave us demotivated in a state of self-pity when we miserably fail to achieve it.
Goals that are 4% out of our grasp can help us build up momentum when we're knocking out challenge after challenge.
Going back to our previous point on rewards, each goal we break is a point in our favor.
Each goal we break is more and more dopamine that drives us further forward.
Can you see how setting clearer, more achievable goals makes more sense?
I recommend you read the article on setting smart goals to better comprehend this concept.
Another lesson I picked up from 'Atomic Habits' was the idea of the habit stack.
Staying motivated to do something that doesn't feel good is very difficult.
This is why it's important you build positive associations between your habits to make them more attractive.
You'll want to take a habit you like doing, something you enjoy, and associate it with a habit you're still trying to form.
Warren Buffett once said, "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it."
This is the same with our habits.
It takes a long time to build good habits, it takes time to build up the motivation to do something you might not necessarily like to do.
However, all this effort can quickly go down the drain if you don't work on maintaining them.
Doing something every single day, consistently may not be the most fun thing to do.
Doing outreach every single day for Hawk Prospecting is not very fun.
However, when you associate this with something you enjoy doing, all of a sudden it becomes much easier to build that habit.
The simple way of building these positive associations is by following this formula:
When I do [good habit], I will then do [new habit].
See how we're connecting something fun and enjoyable with something a little less so?
You can do this with any habit you already like doing and associate them with a habit you're looking to build.
This way, the habits you're looking to build no longer become as demotivating.
It becomes harder to lose motivation to do them because you're slowly building a positive correlation between the two.
That was why entrepreneurs lose motivation and what to do about it.
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Till next time,