It’s normal, as entrepreneurs, to feel motivated one day and discouraged the next. The hurricane of emotions that comes with starting and growing a business, whether stress, frustration, or doubt, can be overwhelming—plus, opening up with someone close to us isn’t always easy, making these situations uncomfortable to navigate. In the moments when you need motivation, keep these videos from former monk and motivational speaker Jay Shetty, at your fingertips—in five minutes, Shetty shows us how to ground ourselves and regain confidence in our path:
If You’re Feeling Burned Out
While the value of work sprints in entrepreneurism is well understood, the mental and physical effects can often endure months after a project is complete. Burnout - feeling overwhelmed and exhausted - has an ability to creep up while we’re working hard. Taking care of ourselves and creating moments of proper rest, even if we’re passionate about our work, is essential to mental wellness. If we don’t prioritize rest, then we’ll be in a constant state of fatigue and the quality of output and team work will suffer.
In this video, Shetty takes us back to the basics of mental wellness. He says we need mental relaxation and physical energy to do anything - whether getting out of bed, walking down the street, or having a meeting - but unfortunately it’s easy to reach for vices like high-sugar foods and alcohol to relax. We benefit most from natural exercise to relax, like going for a walk in nature, heading to the gym, or sitting still and noticing the sounds around us. Try the one-minute breathing technique at the four-minute mark in the video.
If You’re Feeling Lost
There are inevitable questions that cloud our minds when we’re working through a project and not seeing results: are we still on the right path? What if this doesn’t work? Is the product ready to release? These doubts are normal and can be constructive in our roles as leaders, but only if we know how to acknowledge and manage the little voice in our heads.
If, as a founder, you’re doubting your company’s path, Shetty says to look at other startups in similar roles: is that where I want our company to be? If the answer is no, then you need to find another path. So, how do you figure out where to go next? Open yourself to new experiences and role models. Surround yourself with people who aren’t like you so you break out of similar thinking. You want to challenge yourself to interact with people of different backgrounds and influences, interests, and perspectives.
Too often our paths are formed by the perception of others: what our parents wanted for us (even when we’re in our 40s and 50s), what school told us to do, and the unhealthy hustle mentality of entrepreneurism. Shetty leave us with this powerful quote from Philosopher Charles Cooley, “I’m not what I think I am, and I’m not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am.” Think about that quote for a minute: always prioritize what you need and what’s best for you.
If You’re Feeling Overwhelmed
It’s no surprise we’re drowning in information. What’s more concerning is that we’re starving for wisdom amongst a growing volume of data. Shetty calls this situation, “big data, little intuition.” He says we have more choices and less ability to make decisions.
In the moments when you feel overwhelmed - a growing list of tasks, volumes of data to distil into a new business deck, or financial forecasts to report - stop and ask yourself: what emotions am I feeling? What am I saying to myself right now?
You might hear yourself in some of these common situations, “I’m a CEO and I can’t even make sense of this document—I’m useless.” Or, “I’m exhausted and wasting so much time - why couldn’t I have figured this out earlier?” In these moments, we put pressure on ourselves and lose our ability to do our best work. Shetty says to distance yourself from defeating thoughts and emotions. When we can look down at our emotions and thoughts from a 100-foot view, then we see the big picture with clarity; we empower ourselves to focus and form the insights we need.
What’s the key to mastering these situations when you’re in them? Meditation and mindfulness - calming concepts Shetty learned as a monk, before he became an entrepreneur. He says meditation is more than sitting on the floor with your legs crossed; meditation is whatever helps your mind focus and feel calm. This practice can also involve movement through hobbies you enjoy, like swimming, running, playing the guitar, reading, taking a walk, or having dinner with family. The more you meditate, the more intuition you’ll have, and the easier decision making will come.