Staying Motivated When You Want to Quit Your Startup
You’ve done the brave part – you’ve started your own company! Now comes the hard part – not giving up. Because like any brave adventure, there comes a point when you start to question everything. When your enthusiasm diminishes, you can’t see the finish line, and your sense of determination is wavering. But like any marathon runner will tell you, this is when you dig in and push on. Founding a successful startup is not a sprint, it is absolutely a marathon. It is a grueling 26.3 miles that require physical and mental strength, focus, and motivation. And you have what it takes! You have the great ideas, the passion required to start a new venture, and the courage to move forward, even when it gets tough. But to cross the finish line, you have to embody three characteristics marathon runners practice every day: patience, endurance, and consistency.
Long-distance runners understand the value of pacing themselves. The great burst of energy that comes with pre-race adrenaline is not sustainable. The same is true for you. The burst of energy you felt when you saw your logo, launched your website, or sold your first product cannot sustain you. Eventually, you’ll hit a mental and physical roadblock. And that’s okay. In fact, it’s normal. So instead of letting it catch you off guard, anticipate that it’s coming and pace yourself. Remind yourself that there is no such thing as an overnight success. It takes time to build your brand, gain clients, and reach your goals. When you start to feel overwhelmed or burnt-out, take a beat. Give yourself permission to grow slow and work up to new levels whether that’s a larger staff, more inventory, a higher salary, or more clients. You will reach the finish line, but only if you are patient along the way.
Endurance has more to do with mental strength than it does physical strength. Runners certainly have to push their limits physically, but their ability to keep running even when they’ve reached their physical capacity is an inability to give up. Their mind is stronger than their aching lungs, and worn-out muscles. Taking your startup from a great idea to a full-fledged company takes mental endurance. It takes strength to tell yourself that you can keep going, that you are capable of succeeding, and that you will reach your goals even when you’re worn out and tempted to give up. Having people run alongside you is key to maintaining endurance. First-time marathon runners often find a seasoned runner who matches their pace in the second half of the race. This person is an encourager, an advice-giver, and a cheerleader, spurring on the new runner so that they can achieve their goal. So, we are huge advocates of sharing your dreams and goals with supportive people in your life. Let them run alongside you, encouraging you when you feel weary, offering advice and support when you need it, and cheering you on as you take your next steps. There’s nothing like having positive people in your life to keep the flame of motivation alive.
To successfully run a marathon, you have to train consistently. You have to run a certain number of miles every day, eat the right kind of food, stay hydrated, and rest well. Many athletes will tell you the power of staying consistent is to write down their goals. So, write down clear, measurable goals, and keep them in front of you so that you see them often. This helps you stay committed to mundane or unenjoyable tasks. Because let’s be honest, in the beginning, you’ll be doing the majority of the work singlehandedly. Until your staff grows, you’ll have to perform tasks that are uninspiring. With your goals set clearly in front of you, you’ll desire to be consistent and follow-through, doing whatever it takes to uphold your commitments. Your ability to be consistent also hinges on having something to look forward to, so, at least once a week, set aside a task you enjoy completing.
Leadership and communication skills are vital to the success of all organizations, no matter how big or small. If you want to grow in the areas of conflict resolution, learn how to better manage others, or explore your own strengths and abilities, contact Trinity Training and Development today.