There’s an old quote from Thomas Edison you’ve probably heard a thousand times before: “Genius is 1 percent inspiration, and 99 percent perspiration.” It rings true for a lot of folks, but spending 99 percent of one’s genius sweating it out can leave some entrepreneurs feeling discouraged. And being an entrepreneur can mean a lot of sweating.
Achieving anything means knowing why you’re working so hard and wanting to keep it up; it means staying motivated. And if you ask the owner, manager, or CEO of any big company what’s the key to their success, somewhere in their answer you’ll find the word motivation. It’s almost a cliché at this point, but it works. Visions for the future, concrete goals and achievements – they all work to keep everyone in the company working towards bigger and better things, improvement for themselves and their company.
This is why motivation is especially important for entrepreneurs. When following a passion, it might even be the most important thing. Starting out on one’s own isn’t easy, not by a long shot. Having motivation to drive your perseverance and hard work are the only way dreams are going to be achieved.
Therein is the key: hard work and perseverance are two things no one can take from you but yourself. And it’s motivation that got those two things started. So how do you keep on perspiring to turn your goals into something bigger?
As someone said, maybe Abraham Lincoln, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” As an entrepreneur, you have so much power to create your future. So see your work for what it really is – passion in action – and surround yourself with people and tools that will remind you of this passion and what you’re working towards. Having a dream isn’t the only way to actually feel motivated; it’s about living in such a way that, even in hard times, you don’t forget that dream. While it may look easy for others, not one person achieved their success easily. The motivation to power through tough times is crucial to making dreams reality.
Because when things get tough, especially when you’re an entrepreneur, it’s easy to want to quit and go back to work for someone else. It can feel like the only way to succeed is to put your dreams on hold while you take an easy route, or worse yet, to dismiss your own dreams as silly. But according to Albert Einstein, “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” Mistakes are a part of the success story, and anyone who’s ever made it doing what they love has a list as long as their arm of trials and errors.
But it’s also important to know what to work for, and what’s realistic. Motivation isn’t just visions of big, bold things; often times, it’s just something achievable. Knowing that you can accomplish your goals is as important as having them. Besides, the more things you can check off your list, the more motivated you become to see your work actually work.
So remember: the need for motivation isn’t strictly for the big-timers. It’s what made them so big in the first place!