How to Keep Yourself Motivated Every Day
All advice is autobiographical, right? If I'm going to suggest something to you, it's going to come from my personal experience.
I've been working with a tech startup company for about 13 months as I'm writing this. When you're working in a bootstrapping startup, it can be incredibly difficult to stay motivated (as my friend and co-worker Foster is able to so well articulate).
Along with the good, setbacks are a weekly occurrence. It's an emotional roller coaster. The body's natural response to too much emotion is apathy. You can see how it's easy to lose motivation while working with a startup.
Aside from that, I've had projects and goals of my own over the last 15 months or so. These I work on outside of Text Request, and they often take a similar toll as if I were in the office. They're much more personal, though, so any setback or energy expenditure doesn't feel quite as rough somehow.
That said, I've been working on a particular set of goals for just over 2 months now. What I'm realizing is that I need to be doing more than what I've been doing in order to reach my goals. This last month has felt like three, and now I get to look forward to doubling it. Staying motivated day-in and day-out is something I'm desperately trying to maintain at this point. I can only imagine there's others in this same boat.
I believe I've figured out where I'm scraping motivation from, what it is that's compelling me to keep going and to keep trying. It's not that this necessarily helps me do anything well, but it keeps me burning the midnight oil. I think it will help anyone readying this, too.
I feel a very strong sense of conviction. I'm using "conviction" in lieu of a better word. What really motivates me is how awful I would feel to quit. What keeps me going is how terrible it would be to let people down, even if it's only in my head. Some might translate this into a fear of mediocrity and failure. I don't think they'd be wrong!
If I bowed out at Text Request, it would be to the detriment of others. Not to say I'm irreplaceable by any means, but it would negatively effect those involved with the company. It would also mean that I'd no longer be able to keep learning so much so quickly.
Plus, I actually do like my job, whatever ups and downs may come. Currently it's like being paid to get a masters degree. I can't stop learning. I've got to keep going. That keeps me motivated.
I've told so many people about my goals and side projects, what I ultimately want to be and do, etc. That provides an impeccable amount of accountability. All of these people expect me to do what I said I was going to do. And why shouldn't they expect that of me? I told them I'd do it!
This is how to get and keep yourself motivated every day. Tell people what you're going to do, and provide expectations for you to do exactly what you say.
Be motivated by your expectations. Be motivated by the accountability you have with others. Be motivated by where you want to see yourself. Be motivated by the expectations set for you by others and by yourself.
If you put the right expectations in place, you'll be motivated day-in and day-out whether you want to be or not.