Eat the elephant one bite at a time.
The Entrepreneur Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in America’s startup scene contribute answers to timely questions about entrepreneurship and careers. Today’s answer to the question “How do you stay inspired to run a business?” is written by Mitali Rakhit, founder and CEO of Globelist.
Running a business is difficult. Starting a business from scratch is even harder. The entrepreneurial journey is a rollercoaster, and in the beginning you’ll probably face more downs than ups. In these moments, it can be tough to power through, but there are a few things you can do to make the struggle a bit easier:
1. Focus on the bigger picture
Always remember to take a step back and think about why you started on this road in the first place. What is your ultimate goal? Whether it is about building something that lasts, gaining fame and success, or giving back to society, keeping your long-term goals in mind will help you to reframe your daily challenges against a larger backdrop of achievement. The entrepreneurial path is about the journey—not the destination. Building resilience and stepping outside of your comfort zone are pillars of the temple of personal growth that you are about to erect.
2. Eat the elephant one bite at a time
Not hitting your targets as fast as you want to is frustrating, especially after hearing about so many unicorns and 20-year-old tech billionaires. It’s important to keep in mind that every overnight success takes 10 years. There is a lot of hard work and failure behind every triumph, and the key to reaching that point in your own story is absolute perseverance through anything negative that comes your way. You will only realize how much progress you’ve made by looking back every once in a while at where you started.
3. Look to other entrepreneurs for support
The best source of support and encouragement for me has come from other founders. They understand your pain because they’re going through the same challenges at their own companies. Any advice they give will feel genuine because you know they’re speaking from firsthand experience—not just telling you what you want to hear, as is often the case with close friends and family.
4. Understand macroeconomic trends
Entrepreneurship is not just about the tech industry. There are lots of SMEs created every year in a wide variety of sectors. Most of them are not high-growth businesses, and actually take decades to grow into what their founders envision them to be. This is also an acceptable model of entrepreneurship. You shouldn’t be pressured into fitting into one mold of what an entrepreneur is just because the media is portraying that version to be sexy in the moment. Studying global trends will help to put your own choices into perspective.
5. Make gratitude lists
Instead of focusing on what you don’t have or what is not going well, create a list of the things that you are thankful for. We all have things that others don’t, and keeping inventory of our strengths will help us focus on how we can leverage them to create something bigger. At the end of the day, entrepreneurship is a mind game. A positive mindset is one of the most powerful weapons an entrepreneur can have in the face of adversity. Gratitude creates happiness.
With these tools, your inspiration and desire to build your empire will never fade in tough times. Cheers to your impending success!
Mitali Rakhit is the founder and CEO of Globelist, providing distribution and marketing in fashion and beauty. She is also the founder of The Brown Girl Boss, a resource for current and aspiring South Asian Female Entrepreneurs. She is currently based in New York but will be opening offices in Dubai and Singapore to build out her businesses in the GCC and Southeast Asia.