If you’re a solopreneur—or an aspiring one—you’re probably getting your share of advice on how to create your business, grow your business, hire for your business, market your business, finance your business, tax your business, and on and on. But do you receive any advice on motivation? Knowing how is important; being motivated to do it is vital.
Most solopreneurs value the “how-tos” and the “five tips for” so much they actually subscribe to blogs and podcasts that are willed with such helps. And that is great. But what we all really need is to stay motivated, curious, and constantly growing. We need messages that will inspire us to keep working hard and keep dreaming big.
After talking with other solopreneurs who share my need for motivation, I’ve compiled a list of speakers from different backgrounds that will inspire you to approach life, work, and community with a whole new perspective. Settle in, carve out time over the next several days, and listen to the motivation and wisdom that each of these speakers provide.

Dan Pink – The Puzzle of Motivation

Career analyst Dan Pink delves into the traditional reward system, especially when put into play at a professional workspace, and why it often fails us. In his talk, Pink presents a number of scientific studies in order to affirm what we already know: We need to do things that matter to us. When we’re performing actions we don’t care about, or toward which we have no emotional attachment, it’s incredibly difficult to stay motivated.
Traditional schemes, like if-then fallacies and narrow reward strategies, can occasionally work. But in return, they stifle creativity and cause us to miss innovative solutions. Thus, we must motivate ourselves by finding passion in the things we do. This is especially important for the solopreneur.

Tony Robbins – Why We Do What We Do

Life coach and business leader Tony Robbins demystifies the “invisible forces” that cause us to do the things we do, from impactful life-changing decisions to the many small, mundane habits we do every day. Robbins touches on how our models of the world and our basic human needs shape the decisions we make.
In his interactive discussion, Robbins gently prods the audience to realize how much they value six basic human needs: certainty, variety, significance, connection and love, growth, and giving back. Despite where each of us may stand in relation to each of these values, it is clear that exploring our own basic emotional needs is crucial to understanding the reasons behind our actions, especially as a solopreneur.

Scott Geller – The Psychology of Self-Motivation

Virginia Tech professor of psychology Scott Geller discusses the logic behind boundaries and how to break them. By breaking down the reasons and thought processes behind our ability to self-motivate, Geller allows us to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
He implores the audience to keep in mind aspects of choice, consequences, and community when making decisions. Knowing that we’re all in this together is sometimes enough to get us going, and Geller, through his comprehensive talk, reassures us of that fact.

Gary Vaynerchuk – Do What You Love (No Excuses!)

If you ever need a kick in the pants to leave the job you don’t love, follow the dream career you’ve always wanted but have been too afraid to pursue, or take a risk to make your life more fulfilling, Gary Vaynerchuk provides just what you need. He explains that in order to care about your users, clients, or community, you need to care about everything—and that starts with yourself.
This is a pivotal motivation for solopreneurs. Consider this teaser as you get ready for more. Gary says: “Look yourself in the mirror, and ask yourself: What do I want to do every day for the rest of my life? Do that.” As a solopreneur, is that what you are truly doing?

Simon Sinek – How Great Leaders Inspire Action

As Simon Sinek explains in his talk, “All the great and inspiring leaders and organizations of the world think, act, and communicate the exact same way, and it’s the complete opposite to everyone else.”
So, what do those inspiring leaders and organizations do differently? They start with why. Sinek’s talk is geared toward the way we approach leadership, and his stance has hugely influenced how many think about messaging and marketing, as well. This is a great talk for solopreneurs.

Elizabeth Gilbert – Success, Failure and the Drive to Keep Creating

Elizabeth Gilbert, famous for her book Eat, Pray, Love, says that she spent six years facing nothing but rejection letters for her writing. And every time she considered giving up, she realized “I loved writing more than I hated failing at writing, which is to say that I loved writing more than I loved my own ego.”
Our egos have a whole lot to say when we face rejection. Gilbert’s talk is a great reminder to keep a hold on what you’re doing and why you’re doing it—especially in the midst of all the negative chatter. If you struggle with self-esteem as a solopreneur, this talk is for you.
What other TED talks do you listen to that provide valuable motivation to you as a solopreneur? Share your suggestions with our readers in the comments below.

About the Author: Donna Amos

I believe you can achieve anything you truly want to achieve. “It might sound trite, but time and time again, I’ve seen it happen with my clients. They overcome the fear of exposing themselves to the possibility of failure to creating profitable exciting businesses. My clients do great work, and sometimes it only takes someone else believing in them to give them the confidence to step out and take the chance.”