The Entrepreneur Insiders 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 Kat Nouri, f ounder and CEO of Modern-Twist.
Sleepless nights, financial sacrifice, risk, fear, failure, doubt: I know them all well. I’m a serial entrepreneur.
If I’ve learned anything, it’s that starting a new business is easy—keeping it running is the tricky part. To stay inspired while bootstrapping and surviving the market is no small feat. There have been times when I’ve wanted to run out the door or curl up in a ball and sleep for a week. But I haven’t. To survive the punishing hours, the impossible deadlines, the financial risk, the inevitable obstacles, and all of the nightmares that come with running two companies, I’ve learned to focus on what inspired me in the first place: my family.
I didn’t set out to design and develop sustainable products for the home and for kids and babies—it just happened. Modern-Twist and my new company, Stasher, are a natural extension of my upbringing and life experiences. I’ve always been passionate about health and nutrition, and once I had children, it became my mission to create products that were good for people and the planet.
I was inspired by the possibility of making a real difference in the world—for my kids and for their kids. With Modern-Twist and Stasher, we have a mission-driven, plastic-free product line—it’s much bigger than me or my company.
See also: Why It's Okay to Brag About Your Success
It’s easy to stay inspired when you believe in your products. With Modern-Twist, we pioneered the use of pure silicone for the home and for kids back when nobody was doing it. We heard “no” all the time, but our sense of purpose kept us going. With Stasher, developing our airtight pinch-press-seal technology took hundreds of trials to get it right. We failed a lot.
When you’re passionate about what you’re doing, everything brings you insight and inspiration. You learn from experience and from failure. I wasn’t afraid to fail—I always embraced failure as part of the process of finding myself, and fulfilling my destiny. The journey itself is as important as reaching the destination.
Now, 10 years after launching my first business, I’m still inspired by what started me off on this amazing journey: my family.
Here’s how to stay inspired when the going gets tough:
Follow your passion
Choose a direction that you’re really excited about. You’re going to suffer for your success, so make sure it’s for something you care about.
Focus on your goals, not your obstacles
Get out of your own way and remind yourself why you started your business. Focusing on where you are headed, and why, gives you great perspective.
We learn from our mistakes. The only failure is to not try.
Hit the refresh button
Swap your spreadsheets for real sheets and get some decent sleep. Exercise. Eat properly. See the sunshine once in a while. You need energy to innovate and inspire your team.
Surround yourself with people who inspire you
Spend quality time with people who lift you up—they can be mentors, advisors, friends, teachers, colleagues, or kids. It takes a village!
Take time for gratitude
Thank your team. Appreciate everyone’s contributions. Share your success. Giving is really receiving.
Find your mantra
St. Francis of Assisi said, “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you’re doing the impossible.” Find words that inspire you and repeat them. Often.