A few years ago, me and a couple of colleagues ran a free workshop designed to equip people with the necessary skills to start their own business. I started the workshop off with a talk on what behaviors and mentality an entrepreneur needed to be successful. My other colleagues talked about the tax implications and how to market using social media. It was a great morning but later that afternoon I began thinking about the characteristics I said were necessary for an entrepreneur to succeed. Here is the list:
- Comfort with risk
- Ability to multi-task
- Willingness to work beyond 40 hours a week
- A constant learner
- Persistent but not to a fault
- A strong networker
- Confidence in talking with others
It seems to me that this list is just as relevant for anyone, regardless of skill, career, or trade. For now, let’s look at motivation.
What motivates you? Money? Family? Fun? If you haven’t thought about it, you should. One of the challenges an entrepreneur faces is the constant amount of work that comes their way. Depending on whether you sell products or provide services, the core of your business requires you to spend countless hours just doing that. Of course it doesn’t end there. You have to invoice, balance the books, purchase materials, write ad copy, develop marketing campaigns, meet with customers, build new client lists, present at meetings, etc. It’s a lot of work.
If you run your own business, there’s nobody to push you but YOU. Self-motivated people find that it’s all they need to keep plugging along. Certainly there are other motivators (mine is the threat of having to work for somebody if I should happen to fail!) but it all comes down to you. Are you able to keep your SELF motivated? If not, then don’t start a business.
But ultimately self-motivation is what you need to flourish in a regular job. It’s what drives you to put more energy into a relationship. It’s what should drive you to participate in volunteer work. In other words, YOU need to find that ONE THING. That thing that drives and inspires you.
Without it, you have nothing.
So, if this week if you feel as though you’re just going through the motions, maybe it’s time to rethink why you do what you do. What is that subtle force that pushes you? Maybe it’s time to explore it, identify why it’s so important, and take some steps to focus your efforts on it. All of us go through down periods and depressing periods, but by figuring out what drives you, you’ll know which buttons you need to push to turn on the power.
I know what mine are. Do you?