Last Updated 30 March 2017 | By:

How to Stay Happy & Inspired

While Starting a Business

How to Stay Happy & Inspired While Starting a Business

To be honest, one of the most challenging parts of starting a new business is maintaining a sense of sanity, general happiness, and inspiration once the realities begin setting in. Once the grind sets in, and the day-to-day challenges become the new norm. That being said, let’s walk through a few helpful insights.

By the time you’re through with this quick read, you’ll be better-armed with small but effective little tricks of the trade. Entrepreneurship has been around a LONG time, so as you’ll see these are tried and tested. Enjoy!

Step 1: Start for the Right Reasons

It’s an inevitable question asked of every entrepreneur – “So, what motivates you?” Answers run the gamut from the self-serving, “I want success and the riches it brings!” to the benevolent, “I want to help my fellow human being.”

What motivates an entrepreneur is a window into their foundational commitment to the journey they’re undertaking. If the motivation is cashing in on the end rewards and void of a commitment to what leads to the riches, then the foundation upon which the venture is built will be structurally unsound. Shifting markets and tough economic times will stress the foundation and the business will crumble under the weight of challenges.

But the entrepreneur motivated by a core, principled commitment who understands there’s no ultimate reward without a demanding journey, builds theirs on solid ground.

A strong foundation can withstand all manner hardship and the turbulence of today’s brutal marketplace. Accepting the cost of success and embracing risk drives principled leaders beyond failure and rejection. That’s the essence of entrepreneurial motivation – risk is always connected to opportunity.


Harnessing the Right Enthusiasm

Closely aligned with motivation is commitment and enthusiasm. In fact, when motivated by principle rather than some superficial gratification, commitment and enthusiasm work together to create success. Commitment manifests itself as the perpetual drive which allows an entrepreneur to endure the tribulations and maintain humility in success. It pushes us to get better even if it appears we’ve reached a competency.

Enthusiasm is a state of mind that says,

“I welcome the struggle so that I may become stronger and more capable to endure those difficult times that certainly lay ahead. I also share the joy of accomplishment with all those who sacrificed and contributed to our cause by actively lifting up my team emotionally, spiritually, and personally. It produces a wave of forward motion, the kind necessary to propel a new business toward success.”

When entrepreneurs seek only a potential end-reward and are void of principle, the journey is a superfluous distraction. The best examples can be seen in the collapse of the DotCom boom of the early 2000’s. The goal was getting to the IPO so founders, early employees and initial investors could cash out. Billions were wasted on frivolous spending, mismanagement of resources, and poorly developed business models because the foundational principles were weak.

Digital businesses aren’t the only examples of motivational defeats:

  • 70% of 2nd generation businesses are doomed to fail and, if by miracle they survive and pass to the 3rd generation, only 10% survive.
  • These successors lack the core motivation of original founders and therefore also lack the same commitment and enthusiasm.

Without these 3 qualities (Motivation, Enthusiasm, Commitment), a changing marketplace, turbulent economic times, and a capacity to endure difficult situations erode the foundation and the business collapses.

Focus on the main benefit of entrepreneurship – the personal satisfaction of doing something you love. The source of joy and success comes from a motivation that recognizes the entire experience as the reward, not just a payoff. That’s the paradox of entrepreneurial success.

Step 2: Find Sources of Inspiration

Sometimes inspiration can be a difficult thing to find when starting your business, but not if you know where to look. There are two different types of inspiration in the business world,

  1. The inspiration that gives you new ideas for products and creations.
  2. The inspiration that empowers you to look at things from a different point of view.

It changes your belief of things being impossible to actually being possible; doable, achievable, attainable. That being said, if you’re struggling at the moment to believe in what you’re doing, or to let your creative side out – here’s some great sources of inspiration.


The Success Stories of Others

The stories of other people’s success are powerful because they give you something you imagine. They provide brain-fodder. How would you imagine a bird if you’d never seen one? By looking at what others have done, you can begin imagining yourself doing these things but in your own way and through your own approach. You’ll also find that these stories give rise to unique ideas and help you take it WAY easier on yourself.



The best entrepreneurs in the world are driven by passion, in one way or another.

It’s normally the case either their passion is to build a business that makes great profit as well as having a positive effect on the world – or it’s in a particular area that they decide to turn into a business for themselves.

In terms of passion, if you’re an entrepreneur looking for inspiration then it’s definitely a good idea to consider all your current passions in life that exclude business, and see if you could take any of them to the next level. Who knows what it may be; art, sports, fashion, writing, design – you name it.

Any passion you have in life can easily be turned into a business opportunity. The only question that remains, is what’s your passion?


YouTube Videos

When was the last time you watched inspirational videos on YouTube? There’s a ton of them out there. All you have to do is take your pick and start watching. Whether it’s business inspiration, sports inspiration, life inspiration, etc., it doesn’t matter. There are videos for just about everything that’ll get you absolutely fired up.

And it may not be just compilations of various clips and powerful speeches. It may just be videos that other famous entrepreneurs have posted, that give you amazing advice. Or it could be documentaries on their business stories and success. Videos are powerful tools to any entrepreneur. Take advantage!


Previous Experiences

Previous experiences are a great source of inspiration in themselves, as you may be able to use these to your advantage when brainstorming potential new business ventures.

Maybe you noticed something that wasn’t being done quite right, something that could be improved upon? Or there was a better way to do something – which nobody else has thought of yet? Have you had any experiences like this?


Motivational Speakers

Well, the sub-heading says motivational, but these people aren’t just motivational, they’re inspirational as well. The difference in the two is that motivation pushes you to achieve what you want to achieve, and inspiration gives you new ideas and a new outlook on certain aspects of life.

Motivational speakers can help you have a different outlook on something, and that’s crucial if you’re going to be inspired as an entrepreneur because it gives you a fresh perspective – potentially unlocking new ideas and creativity you never knew existed.



Traveling offers the potential for great inspiration, because you’ll meet many new people. Sometimes when you consistently talk to the same people and visit the same places everyday – you lose the inspiration for anything new.

Travel may just give you the chance to spot something or hear something that you normally wouldn’t in your everyday lifestyle, which grants you the inspiration you’ve been looking for. It doesn’t matter where you go, just go somewhere new.



Sometimes it’s difficult coming up with a new idea all by yourself. Sometimes just a talk or two with your colleagues at work, could provide you with some great inspiration. Maybe don’t even limit it to your colleagues. Even your friends and acquaintances can say something random that may inspire you.

Step 3: Take Small Opportunities

What do you classify as an opportunity?

Is it something huge that you think can only come around several times in a single lifetime? Or is it simpler than that? Some people get confused with the word ‘opportunity’. You have thousands of opportunities every day, but you can’t see them because you’re too busy looking for the game changers.

Truth is opportunities normally start off small, and when you take them they slowly snowball into larger ones. There’s no single opportunity that’ll change your life. These only appear after you spend time taking small opportunities and preparing yourself for something bigger. It doesn’t require a master plan.


Adding Strangers on Social Media

Initially, this sounds like something pretty stalker-ish and that most people wouldn’t want to do. Although, when you add specific like-minded individuals on your favorite social networks, whether you know them or not, you can get some great reactions.

It’s impossible to know what could happen, or what kinds of connections could be made, or what types of opportunities arise, or what kinds of amazing content you’ll come into contact with you wouldn’t have otherwise.


New Places

Traveling might seem like it’s a pretty big action… but it doesn’t have to be. It can be as small as you want it to be. As long as it’s a new place, traveling can lead to big opportunities you don’t often realize. Obviously there’s a fairly strong correlation between how far you travel and how many opportunities present themselves. But, wandering into the unknown can make you see things that you didn’t know were even there.


Initiating Conversations

How many people do you have on your Facebook friends list?

The average number of Facebook friends according to Pew Research is 338. Out of those 338, I’m pretty sure most people haven’t spoken to more than 50 of them within the past 3 months.

And by speaking to them, I’m talking about a proper conversation rather than just commenting on one of their updates.

Do you know what every one of your Facebook friends does for a living? Maybe you’d be able to help each other out with some of your ventures if your overall goals synced up slightly. Just initiating conversations with people can present big opportunities, because waiting for them to contact you isn’t going to get you anywhere. Initiate the conversation.

If there’s someone who you may be able to collaborate with, reach out to them. If you want to get to know a person, just initiate a conversation. Some may not take it in the way you want, but that’s okay. Initiating conversations with people, social media or no social media, dramatically improves the chances of generating opportunities.


Reading Articles Everyday

Reading is the easiest and quickest way to improve your knowledge. Articles aren’t books. They also aren’t magazines. Blog posts like this one that are between 500 – 5000 words long, maybe longer, provide quick and easily digestible knowledge on specific subjects. That’s why blogs are so popular after all, because they present such a simple way of us all being able to learn new things with several minutes of our day.

For newly established entrepreneurs, everything you can learn without actually having to try it for yourself, can be picked up from blog articles spread across the internet. The issue you have is that they can sometimes be hard to find. Point is, it’s the smaller opportunities that people often miss out on because their eyes are only focused on searching for the big ones.

Every entrepreneur should take small opportunities in order to have the best chance of being presented larger opportunities later down the line.

Meet The Authors

Meet The Authors: This 3-step guide for staying happy and inspired while starting a business was a collaboration between Dan Western (founder of Wealthy Gorilla) and Tom Panaggio (author of The Risk Advantage: Embracing the Entrepreneur’s Unexpected Edge).