In this day and age, entrepreneurs are glorified like they’re kings and queens. So it’s no surprise why someone would want to be an entrepreneur.
To the untrained eye, it’s honestly like there’s something heroic about it: taking a leap of faith, being courageous, taking life into your own hands, and other idealistic things of that nature.
I mean, think about it: everywhere you look there’s another “Co-Founder” or “CEO” popping up, left and right, looking to sell you on something. First it starts with the person, then the brand, and then the product. It seems like a winning formula. “Seems like” being the key terms.
That’s all fun and games but it inevitably comes down to whether or not someone has the grit to keep pushing forward on a given side hustle. In other words, when the going gets tough, how does a person stay motivated?
How does a true entrepreneur stay focused and optimistic throughout the highs and lows? How does one stay on track to growing his or her business when they see others succeed? Or others fail? It comes down to two components.
1) Ignore all the noise
First and foremost, forget what everyone else is doing and do your best to try to avoid seeing their output as much as you can. Get off social media entirely if you have to. Just get away from the plethora of illusions that people are trying to cast on you.
What you need to do is literally engulf yourself with all the right things and right people to help you stay confident about your vision and keep you progressing. A good resource for that are professional development sites like The Balance Careers and Fuse Workforce.
Not an echo chamber — we’re not saying keep a bunch of yes-men around you — but a field of glory and success: an ecosystem of positive reinforcement.
You might wonder if you’re manipulating your mind into becoming a machine that gets things done and doesn’t get distracted by things that affect your emotional core. Well, you would be right. You may feel uncomfortable about that type of commitment, but the fact of the matter is, you have to do what you have to do to succeed.
Imagine the following scenario. Imagine if I told you that if you put a ten dollar bill in your drawer today and didn’t open that drawer for 18 months, after 18 months when you finally open the drawer, that dollar bill will have morphed into a million dollars; but if you open the drawer and look to see if it evolved prior to that 18 month threshold, then you’d end up with the original ten dollars you put in.
You would think I was insane. You would think I thought I was some type of genie.
But that’s what a side hustle is. It’s about putting in an investment in and having blind faith that it’ll grow beyond your wildest dreams. That doesn’t mean it’s a one-time investment, though, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t question things as time goes on. It simply means have blind faith.
But you have to test as you go, and that’s genuinely how you maintain your motivation throughout the process, because when you test you’ll see positive results, so it’ll work in your favor.
2) Remember that what you’re trying to do is hard for a specific reason
Here’s the deal: everyone who writes about creating a business never ceases to talk about why it’s so hard.
This is partly due to the nature of us, entrepreneurs, talking ourselves up. We love to say how late we stay at the office. We love talking about how much sleep we’re lacking.
It shows character. It conveys our commitment to the grind. It presents us as hard workers.
But beyond that, it really is hard — and it’s hard for a specific reason. It’s hard because it has to be.
Think about it this way:
It has to be hard because otherwise everyone would win, and there isn’t enough money to go around to pay everyone the highest amount of equity.
Business is about competition, so only the smartest and strongest survive. For instance, that’s how things will pan out with companies that provide comparable products, such as Uber and Lfyt (transportation), or Ahrefs and Majestic (linkbuilding software), Side Hustle Nation and Asian Efficiency (productivity hacks).
Eventually, companies will either cannibalize on each other’s positioning, or one will outgrow the other.
This is because capitalism is a zero sum game — this is why people always say that in capitalism there are winners and there are losers.
But if you stay motivated, you increase your probability of penetrating the winner category. That’s all you need to focus on. In order to have sufficient mental clarity, you’ll need to stay motivated. Motivation and focus go hand in hand together. Now go and make your move. We’re counting on you.