Being motivated and inspiring motivation are
the keys to success.

Motivation, according to Business 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:

  1. intensity of desire or need
  2. incentive or reward value of the goal
  3. 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
or product.

Whatever your reasons, the following are some tips
to maintain the drive to reach your goals.

  1. 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
    step over.”
  2. 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.
  3. Prepare yourself mentally for your day. When
    you awake, review what you plan to achieve that
    day. Outlining your goal motivates action and
    gets results.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. You cannot achieve everything by yourself.

  7. 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.
  8. 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
    own ability.
  9. 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
    great motivators.
  10. 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.
  11. “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.

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.


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