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  • Writer's pictureAvy-Loren Cohen

Fuelling Inspiration: Motivation Guide for Startup Founders


Motivation acts as the propelling energy behind every decision we make, particularly for startup founders grappling with the trials and tribulations of establishing a new company. Similar to pilots navigating rough skies or scholars preparing for exams, startup founders must draw upon their inner drive to overcome obstacles.

As someone deeply involved in business strategy, startup advising, and mentoring, I understand the critical role that motivation plays in the journey of entrepreneurship. Successfully navigating the obstacles of starting a new venture requires a strong sense of determination and motivation. In this guide, I will discuss the importance of motivation and offer different strategies to help you stay inspired on your entrepreneurial journey, while also highlighting the potential pitfalls of neglecting or falling into a demotivated state.

I have always said two things about being a startup founder:

1- “The startup journey is not a race, it is a long arduous marathon of brutal emotional and psychological pain an entrepreneur can experience”2- “if it were east (to be a startup entrepreneur), everyone would be doing it — it is hard, but with it can come a big reward of success or serious lessions of failure to apply to the next project”

Not only have I been through this being involved in many startups, but I have consulted, advised, mentored, and coached hundreds of founders over the years and lived it with them as well. Oh, and there is one more point to make in terms of my quotes for founders:

Maybe you’re wondering if you’re the only startup founder facing this challenging situation. The truth is, almost everyone goes through it. However, the key factor that sets apart those who succeed from those who don’t is their ability to handle obstacles with a flexible and adaptable mindset.

combined with,

This too shall pass

Let's dive into the article and hopefully, my experiences and knowledge can help you stay motivated during your startup journey.

As someone who specializes in business strategy, advising startups, and mentoring, I am aware of the crucial role that motivation plays in the journey of entrepreneurship. Successfully navigating the obstacles of starting a new venture requires a strong sense of determination and motivation. In this guide, we will discuss the importance of motivation and offer different strategies to help you stay inspired on your entrepreneurial journey.

The Significance of Motivation

The inner motivation of startup founders is what drives their actions. Similar to pilots navigating through the sky without navigation technology or students studying for important exams, we must use our motivation to overcome challenges and propel our ventures forward.

Understanding the psychological underpinnings of motivation is crucial for business executives. Motivation is not solely about willpower; it is influenced by a complex interplay of intrinsic and extrinsic factors, as well as cognitive and emotional processes. It’s essential to recognize that executives can fall into demotivated states, and neglecting these issues can lead to decreased productivity, lack of innovation, and potential mental health challenges.

Evaluating Your Motivation Levels

Assessing our motivation levels is crucial and requires a deep level of introspection. Feeling unmotivated can have profound effects on both our personal and professional lives. It’s essential to reflect on our drive and passion, asking ourselves thought-provoking questions to identify areas where we might need a motivational boost. Neglecting to address any signs of demotivation can lead to a downward spiral, impacting not only your well-being but also the overall health of your startup. Failing to acknowledge any indications of lack of motivation can result in a negative cycle, affecting not just one’s well-being but also the overall success of your startup.

Motivational Components

To successfully navigate the journey of entrepreneurship, it is important to have a thorough understanding of motivation and its psychological complexities. As a startup founder, it is crucial to recognize the multifaceted nature of motivation and be aware of its potential challenges. This guide provides advanced strategies and psychological insights specifically designed to help you maintain a strong sense of inspiration throughout your journey. These techniques include evaluating your motivation levels and addressing any potential pitfalls, empowering you to navigate the intricacies of entrepreneurship with confidence.


The “want” element of motivation, activation signifies the impulse to initiate change. Low activation levels can stem from fear of failure, lack of self-confidence, or a preference for a comfortable, unchallenging existence. As startup founders, we can work on raising our activation levels by incorporating suitable incentives and aligning with intrinsic or extrinsic motivations.

Self-Motivation Techniques

Equipping startup founders with self-motivation techniques is essential for long-term success. Recognizing comfort zones, changing outlooks, setting rules, and finding inspiration are key self-motivation strategies that can break routine, foster positivity, and instill self-discipline, enhancing the ability to stay motivated independently.

Motivational Speaking

Motivational speaking is a valuable skill for startup founders, contributing to positive workplace dynamics and increased productivity. As mentors, we can help founders develop this skill, enabling them to inspire and motivate their teams, and fostering a more energized and productive work environment.

Psychological Solutions and Techniques

Teaching leaders how to motivate themselves using advanced techniques involves a thorough exploration of cognitive restructuring, emotional control, and internal drive. Identifying comfort zones and altering perspectives are not superficial tactics, but instead involve changing one’s cognitive perspective and emotional intelligence. Establishing guidelines and seeking inspiration requires a comprehensive understanding of behavioral psychology and the principles of self-determination theory.

Addressing Potential Pitfalls: A Psychological Approach

Recognizing the signs of demotivation or depression requires an understanding of cognitive distortions, learned helplessness, and the impact of stress on executive function. Addressing these pitfalls involves advanced techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy, resilience training, and creating a supportive and empathetic work environment.


Staying motivated as a startup founder is essential for overcoming challenges and achieving long-term success. Embracing the power of motivation, whether through self-motivation techniques or motivational speaking, is instrumental in guiding and empowering founders on their entrepreneurial journey. As a business strategist and mentor, I encourage startup founders to harness their motivation to turn their dreams into a thriving reality. By integrating advanced psychological concepts and solutions into your approach to motivation, you can effectively navigate the complexities of entrepreneurship. I encourage you to proactively address your motivation levels, leveraging sophisticated techniques and seeking support if needed. Harnessing motivation, addressing potential pitfalls, and incorporating advanced psychological concepts are instrumental in guiding and empowering executives on their entrepreneurial journey.

Final personal note:

As a founder or co-founder of a startup, the journey can have a significant impact on your personal finances, family relations, and mental well-being. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or down, it’s crucial to seek support. Whether it’s through a therapist, a business coach, or the resources provided by an incubator or accelerator, reaching out for help can make a meaningful difference. Prioritizing your mental health and seeking assistance when needed can be pivotal in navigating the challenges of entrepreneurship.


Hello, I am Avy-Loren, specializing in strategic business consulting and Executive Advisory services catering to companies worldwide across diverse industries. My expertise lies in collaborating with startups, founders, and public company CEOs, guiding them toward achieving their personal and professional aspirations with a sense of respect and pride. Throughout the past decade, I have actively co-founded three companies and currently serve as a co-founder and COO/CSO of a tech venture. Additionally, I have made investments in early-stage startups as an Angel investor, acted as a consultant and advisor for a prominent US-based VC firm, and mentored countless individuals and startups. I also encourage you to follow me on Medium and share this article with anyone you believe would benefit from its valuable insights. Together, we can overcome obstacles and drive success in the ever-evolving business landscape.

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