By Jessica Stillman (Editor, Women 2.0)
If you’re running a mile or checking a handful of items off your daily to-do list, keeping your motivation up is simple. The finish line is right there in sight to compel you to keep going. But many startups are more like a marathon. If you’re out to upend your industry or change the world, it can feel like even the most jam-packed days barely make a dent in the pile of work that stands between you and your ambition.
So how can you keep going? That’s the question Fast Company asked a long list of dreamers recently. Among those giving answers was Women 2.0 co-founder Shaherose Charania, as well as several over super successful female founders, including Leah Busque of TaskRabbit and Rebecca Woodcock of CakeHealth.
So what did they recommend? Here’s Shaherose on how helping others drives her forward:
From a young age, through my parents’ teaching and the lessons of my faith, I have felt responsible to give back–to share my time, my energy, my knowledge. In fact, my faith tells me that ‘to save one life is as if to save the entirety of humankind.’ Early on I gained perspective by traveling to developing places and seeing my own relatives, my own people, living in ways starkly different from my own. I learned that whatever I could offer, even if it seemed simple, could create change–and by changing one life, perhaps in some way I could contribute something helpful to all of humankind.
Meanwhile, Busque recommends breaking down your huge ambitions into manageable chunks:
I wake up every morning with a singular goal–to push my company as far as I can that day. My company is dedicated to solving a pretty huge problem, and it can be overwhelming to think of the magnitude of this vision. My approach is to choose specific and actionable items to complete each day to move us closer to these goals, and to encourage everyone on my team to do the same. This keeps us on track for accomplishing the big picture.
The whole article is well worth a read in full for anyone with big dreams.
Women 2.0 readers: How do you stay motivated?
Jessica Stillman is a freelance writer with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She writes a daily column for Inc.com and has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM, and Brazen Careerist, among others. Follow her on Twitter at @entrylevelrebel.
Photo credit: Ashley Dace.