A great deal is made of motivation in the business world. It’s the headline on inspirational posters, it’s the subject of team meetings and it’s the subject of intensive courses. Yet, for all the business world’s attempts to formalize and quantify motivation it is, at its core an extremely personal thing. It’s what propels us up the career ladder, it’s what keeps us going when the pressure starts to get to us, and ultimately it’s what ensures that we finish each day happy and satisfied with a job well done.
1. Motivation for Entrepreneurs
As important as motivation is for diligent employees, it’s even more important for entrepreneurs. If you own your own business, motivation is everything since your duties and obligations far exceed those of employees who are on the clock. Your business is not only your livelihood but an expression of who you are. In the hectic life of running and maintaining a business, however, one can get so wrapped up in the quotidian (and demanding) aspects of basic operations management that occupy so much of the day-to-day for busy entrepreneurs it can be difficult to engage with the core concept that forms your personal motivation. But engage with it you must as your motivation should be a talisman that you clutch when the logistical and psychological demands of entrepreneurship conspire to get the better of you.
2. Personal goals: Owning your motivation
So, what is your personal motivation? If you’ve chosen to go into business with yourself, you’re likely motivated by a desire to shake off the 9 to 5 and carve out a niche for yourself in the business world, but what are your personal goals beyond that? Studies show that personal goals are important for success as they will not only provide you with the drive to succeed but a personal criteria for success. Rather than set your sights on one key goal you may want to mark of a ‘to achieve’ list so that you can give yourself an ongoing sense of accomplishment. Try to keep things as specific as possible. Don’t just aim for something nebulous like fame or success but focus on specific goals, such as paying for your kids’ college education, upgrading your car or buying a fabulous log cabin with Chinquapin. Having specific yardsticks for achievement will be of far more value than striving towards anything as indefinable as ‘being wealthy’ or ‘being successful’.
3. Keeping yourself motivated
Armed with a clear focus on what motivates you in your business activities, it’s a matter of ensuring that you keep yourself motivated even on the worst of days. This is the reason why so many people in positions of power keep photos of their families in plain sight on their desks. It’s not just sentiment, it’s providing them with a visual reference for what motivates them; providing for their partners and children.
Many entrepreneurs find it helpful to create a mantra and place it in a place where they’ll see it regularly such as the bathroom mirror. However you choose to keep your eyes on the prize don’t let unclear or ephemeral goals and motivation impede your success in business.