1) Reward Yourself
Don’t take yourself or your business and personal achievements for granted. Acknowledge when you have made progress, no matter how small.  Recognize the work of your team also, and reward them.  Treat the team to lunch when a significant milestone has been met. Give them gift cards for christmas or the holidays.  Encourage their efforts and they will work harder for you. Set rewards for yourself also. Positive reinforcement remains the best way to stay motivated for the long haul in business.

2) Manage Your Thoughts
How you feel about your business at any point is a direct result of how you think about your business.  Negative or scary thoughts about your business can breed anxiety and depression.  Succesful business people train themselves to think positive, optimistic thoughts which energize them to stay focused on their business, no matter the challenges. You are in control of your thoughts. Choose positive, optimistic ones.

3) Take Care Of Yourself
Running a business will probably be the most exhausting thing you’ll ever do.  Find what relaxes you and engage in this activity DAILY. Do you like to go bike riding, do yoga, take walks, read, watch TV, spend time with family, whatever it is. Allow yourself at least an hour daily to unwind and engage in this activity.  It will help rejuvenate you and build you up for the next day. As mentioned above, running a business is a marathon, not a sprint. One would not run an entire marathon without taking a drink of water or pacing yourself. Give yourself permission to unwind when you need to.

4) Set Realistic Goals
This one’s a big one. Entrepreneurs tend to be action and goal oriented. Did you set a goal to make $1 million in your startup in the first 6 months? Perhaps, this may not be a realistic goal and you may be setting yourself up for failure.  Instead, set realistic, measurable goals that are a stepping stone to move your business to the next level.  A startup business is like a baby.  You can’t expect a baby to start running on the first day of life. One must give it time to grow, mature through its life stages before reaching the point where it can run. Set realistic goals and give your business, and yourself, time to reach these goals.

5) Stay Positive
There is power in our words. And our thoughts. Keep a positive state of mind. Stay away from negative people.  Make it a habit to always look at the bright side of things. There are many opportunities in business to focus on the negative. Don’t fall into this trap.  Your positive energy will spread to those around you and your team which will motivate them to work harder for your business.

6) Seek Inspiration
Check out best podcasts for entrepreneurs to help you stay motivated. Join online book clubs for entrepreneurial inspiration.  Spend a weekend afternoon reviewing our business posts.  There are millions of entrepreneurs in the world, most of who are going through the same challenges you are. Look for ways to engage and connect with them to find inspiration.

7) Remember your goals…
…and let them drive you. Do you want to make billions doing what you love? Do you want to be the market leader in your area of interest? Remember why you started your business in the first place and allow these goals to invigorate you in down times. Create yearly, monthly, weekly and daily action plan items based on these goals. And remember to be kind to yourself. Give yourself permission to fail. Business rarely goes as planned the first time around. Prepare for a marathon instead of a sprint when planning for business.