My dad was a Marine. Growing up in a structured environment led me to believe that success is just on the other side of fear and failure. Every successful entrepreneur fails, but not everyone who fails recovers and pushes through to their goal.
To build a successful company, you’ll nearly go broke and be tested at every corner, but you have to get out there and swing that hammer anyway. You have to understand why you’re doing it — what’s motivating you to keep going.
For me, the motivation is a steady diet of affirmations that keep my mind positive when I encounter the inevitable hurdles of entrepreneurship.
Here are four essential affirmations of a well-balanced entrepreneurial diet.
1. Never let your family down.
My wife and children are everything to me, and providing a comfortable life for them is why I put my mind, body, and soul through the ringer every day to keep my company going. I nearly went broke when I started my company, but I was determined to not let my family down.
Staying up until the early morning hours for weeks to drill through a pile of paperwork to keep your company on track will be difficult. Use your family (what’s important to you) for motivation to keep you on the straight and narrow path.
2. Never forget where you started.
You didn’t get into business for the money or glory. Sure, those things can be nice, but entrepreneurs driven by money eventually fizzle out. Passion for contributing a necessary product or service that you love is what inspires confidence in the face of defeat.
Passion motivates athletes to push past 100 percent to win or set a record. It’s also what drives entrepreneurs to succeed.
Respecting your roots is an integral part of success in business. It helps you learn from your struggles and accomplishments and respect everyone else’s background. Whenever I’m stuck, I think about what 12-year-old me would want to see an adult do in this situation and work from there.
3. Never accept mediocrity.
Stand in front of the mirror every day, and ask yourself out loud: “Is being mediocre okay?” Look yourself in the eyes, and be honest about what you’ll accept out of life. There’s no shame in going back to a day job if you don’t have the heart to change the world.
As I never accept mediocrity in myself, I also never accept mediocrity in others. I once even fired my mom for not performing. It made our relationship rocky (and even caused me to question my business), but I couldn’t treat her any differently from my other employees. At the end of the day, we mended fences instead of growing in different directions.
4. Find a way to feel alive.
Put your hand over your heart, and draw in a long, deep breath. Feel your heart thump and the wave of fresh air filling your lungs with life. Every cell of your body feeds off this air as oxygen molecules flow through your veins. This is what life is all about.
What you’ve just done is a microdosed form of meditation. When reading articles about the numerous benefits of meditation, understand it’s not some unobtainable magic. Inner peace is achievable by anyone who focuses inward on his or her own breath and comes to the realization that’s all there is to life.
The hump that keeps us from succeeding is an internal story we tell ourselves. My body type or place in life isn’t stopping me from fulfilling my dreams. The only thing stopping me is my choices, so I choose to surround myself with people who reinforce my daily affirmations.
Every successful entrepreneur — from Benjamin Franklin to Elon Musk — fed themselves positive thoughts to grow their confidence. If you’re having trouble succeeding as an entrepreneur, then perhaps you need to check your diet.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Rick Martinez runs Biz Academy Online, a course dedicated to helping cultivate passion, purpose and entrepreneurial business hacks. Biz Academy is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. Find out how to channel your passion into business and make more by subscribing to Rick’s life hacks. Connect with @purposehack on Twitter.
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