How Can You Stay Motivated?

What Motivates YOU?

For most people working 9 to 5, a paycheck and the consequences of not showing up on time every morning–is the main motivation for working. When you don’t like your job, every morning can be a mini-torture.

Remember the ad with the guy dragging himself out of bed at 4 am, still half-asleep, and reminding himself: “Time to make the donuts.” ?

Well, I’m not sure what his motivation was. Maybe just making a great product or the joy of a job well done. For most of us, we have to work at looking forward to work. And maybe it’s not the work, but the paycheck that keeps the rent paid and groceries on the table. Or maybe, living for Friday afternoons and the start of the weekend.

When you are self-employed, you can be more flexible with work hours (after all, your office is there 24/7!), but you must still “show up” and keep yourself going–stay motivated–in order to build an income. What keeps someone else motivated might not work for you. Only YOU really know what makes you get up, stand up and take action.

If you already know what makes you excited and want to jump out of bed each morning–you are so far ahead of the game! Even if you know what motivates you, write it down somewhere. There may be a time when a problem comes up, or those doubts creep in–we all have our bad days–and you might want to remind yourself of your goals, your reason for starting this in the first place–just so you can keep going TODAY.

So what are some ways you can keep yourself motivated when you work for yourself?

  • Talk about your goals, your hopes, your plans. This makes them more real, and more urgent. Tell your family, a close friend, your diary.
  • Keep charts and a step-by-step list of daily activities. Break your goal down into bite-sized chunks or steps and check each off as you accomplish it.
  • Make a vision board. Imagine your goal completed, and what your life will look like when it’s done. Then, add pictures and embellish your board. Put it in a very visible location where you can see it every day.

One idea I use myself is to start a binder, or folder, when I start a new project. On my current project, I have a printout of a favorite motivational quote: “The best hours of my day were spent doing something I didn’t want to do.” –Caitlin Pyle.

This quote was to remind me that I never want to go back to working in a closed-in office.  Inside the binder I have pages to separate the sections as I work toward my goal.

But my first section is entitled: “Remember WHY I’m doing this!” with a mini vision board. I only have my top 3 reasons listed–because they’re easy to keep in my head: This is why I’m doing this: freedom, travel, to pioneer. Freedom, travel, to pioneer.


Now it’s your turn. Are you self employed? What do you like most about it? What effective ways have you found for keeping yourself motivated?