Last Updated Apr 22, 2011 1:32 PM EDT
By Mike Michalowicz
Every entrepreneur enters the game rip-roaring and ready to go. Once the idea settles in that there is a lot of work involved -- probably more than had been anticipated -- some become burned out or feel they have lost that drive or spirit that once pushed them to succeed. It may be common, but it doesn't mean that it's time to hang up your hat and choose a new field. It means it is time to take action and get that drive back. Here are 44 ways that you can reinvigorate your entrepreneurial drive:
1. Read "Atlas Shrugged."
2. Watch videos from TED.
3. Get a mentor.
4. Think about all the people your business helps -- your family, your employees, your vendors, their families, etc.
5. Speak at an industry conference.
6. Go to another industry's conference.
7. Tour a fellow entrepreneur's business.
8. Share your dreams with a friend and let the conversation flow.
9. Take a vacation -- the break will recharge the old batteries.
10. Be grateful for what you have already accomplished.
11. Take a marketing course.
12. Get a tattoo with your own company's name or logo.
13. Teach an entrepreneurial class.
15. Recognize you are a rare breed. Really. Many people dream of being an entrepreneur, but only a select few actually pull it off.
16. Become a mentor.
17. Exercise regularly.
18. Regularly reward yourself for any and all progress.
19. Ask friends what good they think your business is doing for others.
20. Ask customers what you can do better, and what you already do great.
21. Have a party for all your customers. The "entrance fee" is simple: They must fill out a card on why your business is making a difference.
22. Think about having a "real job," that will get your entrepreneurial drive going into overdrive.
23. Hire an intern to shadow you, and at the end of a few months report on their observations.
24. Repaint your office.
25. Introduce fun at the office -- arm everyone with a Nerf gun!
26. Start a company-wide profit share. That will give everyone the entrepreneurial drive.
27. Volunteer your time and your staff's time to help a needy cause.
28. Become your own "undercover boss."
29. Keep a journal and record something you like about entrepreneurship every day.
30. Listen to "Eye of The Tiger" and exercise in a 1970s workout suit...doing windmills.
31. Read Fast Company magazine.
32. Take an accounting class.
33. Listen to an audio version of "Think and Grow Rich."
34. Watch a video of Henry Ford's biography.
35. Just know that you are the reason our economy will recover. It is not government, it is not even big business, it is you, the entrepreneur, who makes the economy grow.
36. List all the things you love about your work, and do it at the beginning and end of the day.
37. Have a daily company huddle -- a five minute, standing, get charged up meeting.
38. Take a tour of Zappos.
39. Go to Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting and listen to Warren Buffett.
40. Read "The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur" (I know... that is self serving... but I promise it will reinvigorate your entrepreneurial drive!).
41. Surf the Harvard Business Review website.
42. Read the story of Gary Erikson's Clif Bar company (called "Raising The Bar").
43. Create a mastermind group.
44. Go work for someone else for a day.
This is just a partial list. I could go on and on listing things to reinvigorate your entrepreneurial drive. Do a different one every week or month if you need to, but keep doing them. It took a lot of courage, dedication, and dreaming to get where you are today. Oh, and don't do #44, that one really stinks!
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Flickr photo courtesy of uzi978, cc 2.0