What motivates us to get started on an activity? What drives you to go to the gym or to start a family? And what’s that special something that determines you to quit your comfortable day job and jump off the entrepreneurial plane with little regard whether your parachute is working or not?

While revenue is what we’re all after, our inner motives are ultimately what determine whether an opportunity is worth pursuing or not. It’s one thing to start a business. You need that surge of energy in which you get all your ideas and people in place. Staying motivated, however, is much harder. Here are my top tips for the aspiring entrepreneur that wants to be at the top of his game.

For Mr. Michael Schoeff, it’s always been dogs. He’s also into product design, and he’s adventurous by nature. Knowing these are his defining features lead him through struggles and failures while maintaining a positive outlook on life because he did what he loved, after all. He’s provided us with a list of seven actionable tips of advice for the aspiring entrepreneur.

  1. Set SMART objectives.

Discipline is key when starting a new business. The thing that you want to accomplish might seem out of reach at first, but you will find that by managing your time wisely, you will take small, but constant steps towards your goal. It’s human nature to be fearful of uncertainty and procrastinate. Really, procrastination must be your number 1 enemy. You’re your own boss now. Time to act like it and “be bossy” with yourself.

  1. Find out what’s important to you

Every person has something that makes him push his limits. That can be family, profit or social status. A famous quote said something about success being defined by the moment when you no longer need to introduce yourself. No matter what your reason is, what’s important is that you’re honest with yourself and identify it.

  1. Learn to accept failure

Many self-made millionaires experienced success only after they have repeatedly failed in their career. Successful people know that succeeding in life isn’t about winning every battle. It’s about winning the war. You must accept the fact that there are things that you can change if you’re smart enough and that there also factors which you cannot control.

  1. Try different approaches

They say that the definition of madness is doing the same thing and expecting different results. Sometimes the best solution is to do things differently in your own way. You will then leave your own personal mark on your work and the satisfaction will be greater when you succeed.

  1. Just do it!

Sometimes, even though it seems like you have to study and gather as much input as you can, the best way to go is to simply learn by doing. Taking action will lead to results and that will keep you motivated. Positive results will confirm that you are on the right track and negative ones will signal that you must find solutions and get back on track.

  1. Assume responsibility

Great athletes train without a safety net for a good reason: they take full responsibility for not rising up to the challenge, and that’s what motivates them to become better and better. When there’s no one you can blame but yourself, you have few choices left: deal with your problems or let them define you.

  1. Take a break and be kind to yourself

All work and no play will eventually lead to burnout (in addition to making you a dull boy). If, however, your work is your play and you’re passionate about what you’re doing, then congratulations, you’ve hit two birds with one stone. However, your friends, family, and spouse are also important. Take some time off and spend quality time with them. Sometimes, you might feel tired because you’ve interacted so little with people. That can happen when you’re driven to succeed and the fact that there are only 24 hours in the day is your biggest problem.

The motivation that you manage to harness is inversely proportional to the ease with which you accomplish objectives that you’ve set for yourself and your business. Lack of motivation will interfere with your ability to get things done fast. If you don’t see any reason to get something done, it will be easy to abandon it, regardless if you will feel bad afterward.

And you will if you know that you could have done something more about it.

That’s not to say that abandoning is always the wrong choice. You might be competing with big players, or your idea might not be profitable, in which case continuing will only bring more failure.

About the Author: 

Michael Schoeff is a pet product designer and entrepreneur. He’s failed a couple of times in his entrepreneurial endeavors before launching a revolutionary potty training system and a service that provides puppy owners with expert advice when in need.