Being an entrepreneur, aka a “trailblazer,” can be exhausting. Yes, you are super excited to start a business or grow an idea, but everything is on you! There is no real map or path that you can follow and very few people can point you in just the right direction or tell you the best “next step.”

That is why networking with other business owners and fellow entrepreneurs is so important. To help you keep your entrepreneurial spirit high and effective in 2019, we offer the following 8 tips. The first being one of the smartest ways to remain energized and clear-headed – join a Chamber of Commerce.

  1. Why a Chamber of Commerce?

Whether or not you have any past business experience or skill, when you are part of a Chamber, you have untapped resources all around you. People who know how to make it work in their specific areas of business are always great sounding boards and advice givers, and that is at the heart of any Chamber. These organizations are networking centers, promotional treasures, and amazing resources. So, give yourself and your goals a boost by surrounding yourself with other entrepreneurs on a regular basis at Chamber gatherings.

  1. Create arbitrary deadlines and stick to them

This is a great trick that has you create a “fake” deadline for a major goal. Even though there may be no actual consequences for failing to meet it, you will find that your productivity soars if you have that “deadline” on the calendar, in your mind, and driving you towards a goal or project’s completion.

  1. Vision

What is the vision you have for your goals? If you haven’t mapped that out, and we mean actually writing it all down and even making a map showing what it will take to get where you hope to go, you can get lost.

Benjamin Franklin was a man of many talents, and while it seemed like he was “all over the place,” every single thing he did aligned with his overall vision. His writing was part of his goal to be a printer. His printing made him a postmaster and this made him wealthy. His wealth gave him influence, and this made him busier than ever, which turned him into an inventor.

The point is, it is okay to do a lot of things, but ONLY if it leads to your vision.

  1. Lean into tech

Are you using apps to help you remain organized? If not, you are missing a big opportunity. Explore the array of “to do” apps out there, like the popular “Todoist” app, and get clear and organized thanks to tech.

  1. Think “flow”

Don’t let anything disrupt flow if it is, well, flowing. That project you are working on is going great but you have a meeting that will stop you for hours. Reschedule it. Why? Here is one expert’s explanation in the form of a formula:

Time = productivity

Time * flow = 10x productivity

In other words, when you’re deep into your flow – so focused on your project or work that you forget yourself – you are hyper-productive and shouldn’t let anything interrupt you.

  1. Get on a routine

Create a framework for the day and stick to it as much as you can. Following a routine can help you create windows for that “flow” above and is healthier all around.

  1. Explain your projects to one person per week

This sounds odd but speaking about your work out loud is a great way to reassess if you’re using time in the best way or losing focus. Think of it as revising your “elevator pitch” on a regular basis. If you cannot explain to people what you’re up to, something is wrong!

  1. Make a single web page about your entrepreneurial goal

Many entrepreneurs are about to launch a project or striving towards it. Make a simple page about it with just a few sentences explaining it, and even allowing visitors to sign up for email updates. This is sure to motivate you to keep up with those potential clients and force you towards a real launch!

Motivation and energy can often be tricks of the mind. You have to fool yourself to keep going when you are a bit burnt out or feeling defeated. Ask any successful entrepreneurs about their low points and all of them will tell you that they had to knock themselves out of their funk using a lot of tricks similar to those you have just read above.

Good luck and keep working!