I love being a business owner. My motivations for achieving career status and business status aren't different. They're very much the same. So what motivates you to build a business?
The answers lie in the things you said about your employment (past or present).
- “I can’t wait to get away from this awful job.”
- “I just want to be home with my kids.”
- “This dead-end job is going nowhere.”
- “I’m tired of working crazy hours and holidays.”
- “I know I’m worth more than they’re paying me.”
These and many, many other yet similar thoughts go through the heads of every would-be business owner, and are often the driving force behind that final, “Enough! I'm starting up on my own.”
Whilst these thoughts are great for lighting a fire and encouraging you to make a scary jump to business ownership, they’re not so fabulous at motivating you to grow and improve. They won’t inspire you to increase your skills and raise your rates and be brave and authentic in your marketing. They won’t help you find the courage to hire a new coach or launch a brand new program.
To find the motivation to make your business thrive, you have to identify the real reasons behind what you do. This has been popularised by Simon Sinek's Book “Start with Why”.
Sinek's “Start With Why” suggests that when an organisation understand the reason why it exists then its leaders inspire their teams more effectively. With this in mind let's look at the types of Why and how they motivate.
“Passion based” is a phrase that’s found a massive following in the past few years, and seems to be the holy grail of entrepreneurial adventures. And for business owners with a true passion for their field, it can be a strong motivator. Some business owners are passionate about a subject, spending all their waking hours learning about the topic. Some are passionate about a market, and would do anything to help their ideal client achieve his or her goals.
Whichever type of passion-based business owner you are, learning to harness that passion will help take your business to the next level.
Maybe you want to retire at 40 to travel the world, or send your kids to an elite private school. Maybe you love fast cars, and dream of driving a brand new Ferrari. Whatever your big dream, you knew you’d never make it while putting in time at the day job. While everyone seems to go on and on about those passion-based dreams, the truth is there’s nothing wrong with wanting financial fulfillment. Money is a necessary tool. We need it, and the more we have, the easier life is. And wanting more of it is nothing to be ashamed of, as long as you maintain your integrity and authenticity in pursuit of it.
Plenty of online business owners go into business so they can have more to give. You’ve no doubt heard of—or maybe even know—marketers who use their earnings to fund mission trips, build schools in war-torn, third world countries, and support a variety of charities at home and abroad. Others use the time freedom they’ve built into their business to volunteer with local hospitals, animal shelters and children’s organizations.
If you have a heart for a cause, a philanthropic why might be the driving force that takes your business to the next level.
What most people don't realise is that any one of these three main “whys” can activate at any time. You may be financially motivated and that leads to philanthropic motivation. This, in turn, can ignite a passion motivation. As you're a smart, ethical entrepreneur and business builder the question is how can use these “whys” to reach the top of your game?
To find your own motivation, consider your biggest dreams.
- If money were no object, what would you be doing?
- If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
- If you didn't have to train what would you do?
- If you want to change the world, how would you do it?
Answering the above 4 questions in your journal will give you some of the answers you're looking for. Start with the “Money is no object” question and see where it takes you.
Please note, sometimes this can be a difficult question to journal because all you can see are obstacles. Visualise a day in the life of your dream.
- Describe what it looks like
- What does it feel like?
- How are the people around you?
- How do you feel achieving your dreams?
If you journal through your hopes and dreams you'll start to see a pattern. You'll start to see your true motivations emerge and you'll be happier for it.
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