This piece was originally published on Entrepreneur.
In my years as an entrepreneur, author and business advisor, I have seen others fail and had countless failures of my own. I have stayed up endless late nights working on a new project, only to rip it apart and start all over again. I’ve heard “no” more times than I can count. But through all of the trials and tribulations of being my own boss, I have learned one important lesson: staying motivated is a daily choice.
Though difficult, your success depends on training your mind to see the excitement and good in your daily work. Focusing on the negative causes stress, anger and worry that wear you down mentally and physically with dire consequences: heart disease, chronic anxiety and heated outbursts with your friends and family.
When you see the excitement and the positivity in the mundane you recognize you have a life that you can be proud of. Then you are excited to attack! Here are seven daily motivational practices I’ve found that are sure to bring you success.
1. Stay clear about your path.
Honestly, if you aren’t on point with what your overarching goals are, you will end up lost and floundering. The best way to stay motivated is to know exactly where you are going, and how you’re going to get there. Reaffirm your endgame every day by posting your goals where you can see them. Break your goals down into smaller steps that can be accomplished and celebrated. What you want to accomplish should be clear, prominent and give you the energy to keep going every day.
2. Keep affirmations where you can see them.
It’s so easy as an entrepreneur to get sucked into feeling exhausted or frustrated, and often the blame is yours alone. But a negative mindset sucks up mental bandwidth and energy that you need to stay focused and successful. It is crucial to maintain an optimistic attitude in the face of setbacks. Whenever you see a quote or a picture that helps you stay positive, place it front and center so you can remember what this journey is all about.
3. Remember the grind you left behind.
When you are tempted to drop the weight of self-employment, when reporting to a boss sounds so much easier than doing what you’ve chosen, remember the reason why you are in business for yourself. Remember why you chose entrepreneurship: when you were beholden to someone else it kept you from expanding and reaching the heights of your talents and creativity. If you have to, make time to visit your friends in their 9-to-5 offices so you can remember just what you’re “missing.”
4. Think about others first.
The best way to find motivation in any situation is to stop thinking about how you can better yourself, and start thinking about how you can better the world around you. Set a goal to motivate one person (or more) each day. Expand your goals to include improving your community, your family — anyone except yourself — and you will start seeing the world in macro, rather than micro, which gives everything you do new meaning.
5. Start each day anew.
When you open your eyes in the morning, meet the day without the baggage from the previous day. Mistakes have been made, things have gone wrong. That’s life. The difference between a successful business owner and one who fails is that successful entrepreneurs train their minds through repetition to keep a progressive, inquisitive mindset. Setbacks can be opportunities, and failures can be lessons. It’s all up to how you look at it.
6. Set up effortless feedback channels.
Customer feedback is crucial. It can help eliminate the negatives in a growing business, which makes your product and company stronger. But in addition, feedback channels can also provide welcome and surprising confirmation from customers who are very happy with what you have been doing. Everyone needs that extra boost from time to time, so make it easy to receive.
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7. Surround yourself with motivating people.
If you find yourself weighed down by the people around you, or you’re constantly the smartest person in the room, you’re probably in the wrong place. My greatest sources of motivation are the passionate, hard working people around me who have grand dreams and brilliant minds. Build your team and your community with people who push you to grow and think outside the box. When you know you have to be on your toes to keep up, you will work harder and think bigger. That same passion will ignite in you.