How to stay motivated in business development

November 11, 2018
Career growth
How to stay motivated in business development

When it comes to business development one of the most challenging things is to stay motivated. These are my tips to stay motivated in business development.

Achieving results, keeping up with the expectations of our managers, finding leads, and working with lazy colleagues can very easily drag us down.

And the worst is that you can get trapped in a vicious circle: you need to stay motivated and at the same time circumstances keep on demotivating you.

The first important thing to accept when it comes to motivation is that it doesn’t just happen.

You can’t find it on the shelves of a supermarket, neither is it something you receive as a gift.

You create your motivation.

Easier said than done, right?

The point is that you can't expect others to motivate you, however you can learn how to better react to your surroundings and put things in perspective.

The key to staying motivated starts with a behavioral change that will allow you to have a long-term source of motivation.

1. Look at setbacks as opportunities, not problems

One main issue with motivation is that - whenever things don't really go the way you expected - you end up losing it.

In such cases, you might experience this: you get angry, then lose interest, then procrastinate and eventually you let go of your project.

The whole path suddenly becomes too long and difficult. But let me share a universal truth:

Setbacks are absolutely normal.

In fact, you should simply see them as side effects of being on the right path to achieving your goals.

It happened to me many times that I felt like quitting just because I wasn't having results right away or things just didn't seem to go in the right direction.

But I learned that these issues are just part of the game. And I'll tell you more, I started seeing them as a positive thing.

In my mind setbacks are just indicators of what works and what does not. I realized I can learn from them to better plan my next steps.

This mental process ultimately allows us to stop worrying about problems immediately. This helps a great deal with motivation!

Start thinking of problems as mere distractions from your end goal and opportunities for improvement.

You will also like:  How to increase productivity in 3 fun ways.

2. Find your core reasons: why do you want to do it?

Something that really helps to stay motivated in business development is finding the real reasons why you're doing what you do.

This is not as easy as you might think, especially when you work in a big, impersonal corporate and you feel like just a number.

However, aligning your core values with what you're doing is fundamental to staying motivated.

So how does one do that? First, really ask yourself the question:

Is this what I really want to do?

If the answer is yes, then start analyzing why you want to do precisely this. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the company itself.

In my case, for example, I didn't always agree with the vision of the companies I worked for.

But all the time my core reasons were more related to my personal development.

By accepting that my real reason is related to myself, I am always motivated to become better every day, regardless of how jerks my managers are or how bad the company values are.

This process allows you to find your real priorities and you will be able to align your expectations, with your actions and you'll feel happier and fulfilled.

Now that we set the focus on what matters, we have our mind clear to value some simple but really effective tricks.

3. You are the only one you can rely on

If you really want to stay motivated then you also need to accept that you're the only one that can motivate you.

No one else is going to do it for you.

It's normal when you're demotivated to expect someone to rescue you.

You hope your manager, your colleagues or your friend to tell you everything is gonna be fine.

But how realistic is this? Could maybe someone else make your calls, and convince that specific prospect to buy from you?

Not really. And you don't have other choices than executing things yourself.

Of course, a pep talk helps in finding energy again. But you can't make the mistake of expecting others to be your motivation power bank.

Whenever you feel down, take some rest, even a day off to focus again on what really drives you.

In the end, your motivation depends 100% on yourself.

4. There is never only one approach.

If you are committed to finding a way to stay motivated longer you also have to make sure you don't give up at your first try.

In fact, for any challenge, you face there isn't only one way that works. Use your creativity to try different approaches.

It's actually a pretty common mistake to believe that there is only one way to achieve our goals.

But the truth is that the approach we generally adopt is simply the one that fits us better.

We simply do what our experience or knowledge tell us to do.

Silly but solid: if we’re sure it’s correct to eat with a knife and fork since we’ve always done this way, how is it that more than 1 billion people use chopsticks daily?

5. Focus on what's under your control

A big enemy of motivation is to pretend to be able to manage every single facet of a process.

This is never a good thing because there are many things that are simply out of our control.

When you think you're a superhero because you're able to manage ten things at the same time, you're actually wasting your energies and jeopardizing your actions.

By doing this you also set yourself up for demotivation. When things don't go as expected because of external circumstances you just end up losing your motivation.

The right approach you should have is instead to understand what is actually under your control.

If you're able to understand this, then you can act accordingly. You can make a plan of action that can realize what you're trying to achieve.

When we start to care only about what we can actually control and let go of the rest, that is the moment we know we can win it.

Take away the noise, and focus on what's under your control.

6. Feel confidence: you know you can do it

A very effective way to stay motivated is to actually believe in yourself. Self-confidence is, in fact, a really powerful motivator.

When you truly believe you can achieve something, you put doubts aside and you everything you do seems easier.

We all have this one occasion in which we felt invincible. On the phone with a client or during a meeting.

That one time in which you felt you owned it and nothing would prevent you to be successful.

Confidence makes you more productive, not only because you feel better about what you're about to do, but because it creates a more positive mindset.

And this positivity makes you more willing to do everything in your power to get a positive outcome.

Your motivation will skyrocket

Whenever a new challenge, occurs remember the feeling you had in these moments of confidence and try to think along those lines.

7. Some practical tips to stay motivated

Now, after learning to set your mindset to increase your motivation, you can try these methods to be sure you practice every day.


It basically means splitting something into smaller pieces. This is a good way to approach complex issues.

Too many tasks, too many deliverables, and too high targets can very easily destroy your motivation.

This happens because we just see the process as a whole.

But if you divide the project into different small tasks, each one of them with its own deliverables and target, suddenly the workload starts to become way lighter.

When we do 8 tasks, one at a time, every single chunk appears less frightening.

Moreover, you will feel rewarded more often as you will complete a higher number of small tasks.

Avoid procrastination

One of the pieces of advice that I find the most useful to stay motivated is to resist procrastinating tasks.

Nothing kills motivation more than postponing what we told ourselves we would do at the moment we need to do it.

We want to go for a morning run, but outside is cold and dark. Another time maybe.

We need to provide all the material to draft the Business Plan we discussed together with our friend, but he/she is not calling or mentioning it.  It can wait.

No. It can’t. We need to be true and honest with ourselves. Always.

If we procrastinate, we also need to be aware that this will move us one step back from our goal instead of one step forward. No excuses.

On the other hand, taking initiative is one of the strongest demonstrations of power.

To tell ourselves “I now go running” or “I’m starting this Business Plan” is what makes all the difference.

Watch motivational videos

The Internet is full of videos that can inspire you and motivate you to do your job. If you feel like you need a boost just watch one of them.

Some of my favorite videos include the ones of Evan Carmichael, and Simon Sinek (btw check his book too).

But what inspires me the most is reading biographies of people that left a mark in history or were particularly successful.

Manage your time better

Another bummer for motivation is not being able to finish your tasks on time.

First, make sure what you take on is feasible with your agenda.

Second, make sure you become more efficient in terms of time management.

Timebox your agenda, or write down a to-do list so you know precisely what to do and when.

Being in control of your time will avoid delays, and stress and will keep you motivated longer.

Address the issue early on with your manager

Many times the reason why we struggle to stay motivated is that we struggle in our job.

When you start feeling things are not right, talk to your manager. Their job is also to understand where the problem lies and help you solve it.

If you don't have enough leads, or they somehow always reject you, probably you just didn't have enough training.

By letting your manager know he will be able to give you tailored advice on how you can improve.

And once you know what you have to work on, you will be more motivated to actually act upon it.

Staying motivated in business development is definitely not an easy task. And it doesn't matter how many tips you can find around.

It all comes down to changing your mindset and start having a more positive attitude toward your job.

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