Being motivated and inspiring motivation are
the keys to success.
Motivation, according to Business dictionary.com is the
“Internal and external factors that stimulate desire and
energy in people to be continuously interested and committed
to a job, role or subject or to make an effort to
achieve a goal. Motivation results from the interaction
of both conscious and unconscious factors such as the:
- intensity of desire or need
- incentive or reward value of the goal
- expectations of the individual and of his
or her peers.”
Keeping yourself motivated and keeping staff motivated
is difficult, especially for owner-managers constantly
sidetracked by issues that pull them away from
their course of action.
Know Yourself — Know Your Reasons to Be Motivated
One of the first steps to maintaining motivation
is to determine the reason to pursue a project.
Determine whether your motivation is perhaps sparked
by a deeply rooted need to emulate your parents, a
desire to reach a million dollars in sales, or to meet the
needs of others by providing a high-quality service
Whatever your reasons, the following are some tips
to maintain the drive to reach your goals.
- Treat your life as a project and yourself as the
project manager. Break the project into long-term,
medium-term and short-term projects. Over the
long-term, you may want to sell your business for
$20 million at age 60, but in the next five years
(medium term) you want to reach $10 million in
sales. In the short term (this year) you need to
improve your operating margin to X%. As usual,
Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire
Hathaway and one of the world’s most successful
investors, got it right: “I don’t look to jump over
seven-foot bars — I look for one-foot bars that I can
- Establish the steps needed to reach the goal. Break
each step into identifiable stages. Within each stage
outline and document the task needed to complete
that specific stage of operation. At the end of each
day, review the outline and determine the progress.
Such an approach allows you to determine the progress
of that stage and to “tweak” the task to move
forward quickly. Successful completion of the task
will provide you with the motivation to move onto
your next goal.
- Prepare yourself mentally for your day. When
you awake, review what you plan to achieve that
day. Outlining your goal motivates action and
- Maintain a list of tasks to be done. Thus, when a
major task hits a delay and you start to feel overwhelmed,
you can look to your list and work on
a simpler task that can be more easily completed.
Completing each task, even a small one, will provide
confidence that other tasks can be successfully completed.
Even small successes can sustain motivation
and prevent demoralization.
- Pace yourself on all projects. Time frames that are
too tight may lead to costly mistakes that will limit
your ability to move forward. A measured pace
ensures a better rate of success and the successes
keep the flame of motivation lit.
- Remember: No matter how much you learn or how
much you try, you cannot achieve everything by
yourself. Understand both your mental and physical
limitations and pick your projects and tasks
accordingly. Struggling to reach unattainable goals
demoralizes. Knowing your limitations frees you
to engage others more knowledgeable and allows
you to say “NO” to tasks above your competence
level. Staying within your capabilities within your
field of expertise allows you to concentrate on what
you are good at, which in turn maintains your confidence
level and allows you to keep motivated.
- Be positive. Never say “I can’t”. Much of success is
attributable to simple endurance. When you have
self-doubts, talk to your spouse, a peer or an outside
professional. Simply articulating your concerns often
provides insight and renews confidence in your
- Read how others overcame similar obstacles.
Meet with others inside or outside your organization
who inspire you to move forward. Positive
reinforcement or constructive ideas for change are
- Motivation comes not only from within but from
the enthusiasm and desires of others who share
your dreams and goals. When you decide to take
on a project, ensure your team is fully vested from
the start. The mutually reinforcing drive, ideas,
and solutions of a team will keep not only you motivated
but will also maintain team motivation until
the project is completed.
- “Success” is a word every entrepreneur likes to hear,
but “failure” is the word that often creeps into an
owner-manager’s thoughts when projects go off the
rails. Fear of failure and the accompanying financial
loss is a strong motive to keep going. Failure
motivates us to re-examine our process and make
changes to move forward until we succeed.
You cannot achieve everything by yourself.
Managing the Crests and Troughs
Motivation to succeed starts out as a tsunami when
an idea is first born but tends to diminish to a ripple
before it reaches the shore of success. Ensuring that
enthusiasm is maintained throughout the life of a project
or for your business means that as an entrepreneur,
you must manage the crests and troughs of the wave
to ensure that motivation keeps your staff moving
forward toward a future that fulfills the needs of your
employees, the needs of your business, and, of course,
your own personal needs.
The information provided on this page is intended to provide general information. The information does not take into account your personal situation and is not intended to be used without consultation from accounting and financial professionals. Allan Madan and Madan Chartered Accountant will not be held liable for any problems that arise from the usage of the information provided on this page.