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Motivate yourself as a solo entrepreneur

In all the years that I have worked with business owners I have learned a hugely important thing that separates different people - namely, the ability to keep yourself motivated.

You know yourself how difficult and hard it can be to work alone. Sometimes it can even be difficult when things go well: You get a great job and the only one you can celebrate with when you hang up is yourself.

Not only that - it's tough to be accountable for the money, dealing with troubled clients, being liable for the change and to do all this during a recession.

And besides, life is not always fair. Some days it's simply easy to become discouraged, to let that inner fear take over and kill the inspiration and the power you had from the beginning.

Here you'll get some advice on how to keep your spirit up during tougher times:

1. First of all - watch your thoughts. Our thoughts have a tremendous power over us. Never stop reading books, listening to inspiring people and reflecting on what you have heard and read.

2. Look for other people in the same situation as you, so you can support each other. When one is down and out, the other one can step in and inspire his/her colleague to get back on his/her feet again.

3. Think about what made you start your business in the first place. It was probably more than the desire to get a monthly salary. You're good at what you do and you enjoy doing it, but maybe it's time to change direction or to even get better at making fun work fun again.

4. Surround yourself with positive people. Call a superficial American cheerful if you want, but I refuse to apologize for that. To be honest - there are people around you that affect you negatively. What's the point in keeping them close to you? Life is too short to spend time on whiners. Who are the people that you always get uneasy around when you meet? Can you get rid of them?

5. Stop thinking or speaking ill of yourself. It's just stupid and leads nowhere. Yes, I hear you - it's easier said than done, but practice makes perfect.

6. Try to see setbacks as valuable lessons. OK, that mailing campaign didn't work so well - find out why instead of beating yourself up over the failure. There is nothing better for gaining new confidence than acting out of difficult situations.

7. Re-do your work environment. You don't actually have to play “The Office game”. It's quite OK to have a good time at work. Personally, I have pictures of all my favorite actors in my den. They make me happy. I also have toys, balls and I still regret that I sold the pinball machine when I moved offices and therefore I'm looking for a new one. What would make you happy to look at in your office?

8. And last, but not least - there are people who admire your courage. These are people among the employees in your circle of acquaintances. Some may not say it out loud (not until after a few glasses of wine), but they are there and just the fact that you have dared to start a business of your own and run it entirely by yourself, is really something that you can be really proud of.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.