Motivation: The Secret to Success

Lady smiling as she sits at a table working on her laptop

How the power of motivation will propel you toward success

What motivates you will be the fuel that rockets you toward your goals and dreams. Estée Lauder was quoted as saying, “I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” When we face challenges in our businesses and our lives, it can be tough to keep moving forward. The key is knowing what truly is your motivation for overcoming the challenge and coming out on the other side. Your motivation drives you, it drives your business, shapes who you are and it ignites those around you.

Correct motivation drives your life and the life of your business

All this talk of motivation begs the question why is it such a big deal? For entrepreneurs  and leaders knowing what motivates you provides a strong framework from which to make your decisions and direct the life of your business or team. When you encounter instances where you are uncertain as to which direction to take, stepping back and running the scenario through the grid of what motivates you will provide you clarity on how to move forward. For me, I am a follower of Jesus and as such I am motivated to share His teaching and love with those around me. If I am uncertain what to do, I ask myself, does the path before me, express Jesus’ teachings or extend His love? If yes, then proceed, if not, then find the path that does fit those motivations.

The correct motivation will give you strength when difficulties and stressful situations abound. You can always circle back to why you are doing what you’re doing. This will serve to refocus you and remind you that what you are doing is important and needed. Use your motivation as a source of hope and encouragement to persevere when it is darkest before the dawn.

Not only is motivation key to your personal success and wellbeing, it is also a critical part of rallying your employees and team members. When your group’s motivation is clearly defined and articulated, this will galvanize your folks because they will know that they are part of something more, a mission and a purpose. This empowers them to come together and achieve great things.

What business leader and entrepreneur doesn’t care about the bottom line? I know it’s important to me, because it determines how I am able to provide for my family and give back to my community. Motivation is essential for driving productivity and revenue. We are in the age of burnout, because people are functioning beyond their healthy limits for extended periods of time. Having healthy motivations, helps to combat burnout and stress. These enable you to retreat back to safety when the world is crushing in by evaluating if what you are doing is necessary, and if so gives you strength to forge ahead and power through it because you know it is for a purpose that is larger than the situation itself.

What is your primary motivator?

Hopefully I have made a compelling case as to why proper motivation is so beneficial and necessary, so let’s discuss how to determine what your primary motivator is. The best place to start is by blocking a few uninterrupted hours where you can sit down and thoughtfully take inventory of your personality, passions and skills. This is the foundation for uncovering your primary motivator. As you journey through this process you will most likely identify several motivators; however, I want to challenge you to press deeper and find the one motivator that drives all the rest.

As you are taking your inventory, don’t forget to invite God into the process. He designed and called you to be who you are and live in the place and time that is here and now for a purpose. Meditate and pray over what God is revealing to you about how He built you, and how your personality, passions, skills and calling come together to sync with your motivation.

Honesty with yourself and before God is the most important part of this process. If you aren’t open and honest about who you are, where you are at and where you are going, it is impossible to discover your true primary motivator. And anything less will only get you so far and won’t hold up over time.

Igniting motivation in others

Once you have identified and embraced your personal primary motivator, then it’s time to take it out for a spin and ignite motivation in those you lead. Build unity around the primary motivator for your organization, make sure everyone knows it, even in the hiring process, because everyone who is onboard and bought in will have a natural synergy with each other that will empower your organization to excel.

We’ve all heard the saying reward what you want repeated. This is applicable when it comes to motivation as well. If you want your people to get on the motivation bandwagon, be sure to applaud them when they complete their self inventory and when they demonstrate their personal motivation as well as the primary motivator for your business. Your people love it when you recognize them for doing great things.

Also, don’t forget to lead by example. If you aren’t invested in living a life reflective of your primary motivator, then don’t expect your employees to do it either. Whether they admit it or not, your team looks up to you and evaluates if you practice what you preach and then they behave accordingly. If they can see a leader who is genuinely interested in living in the power and clarity of motivation, then it will naturally spill over to them and they will adopt this attitude as well.

In conclusion

Motivation is a crucial part of our personal growth and the growth of the businesses and teams we lead. Take time to identify your primary motivation and that of your organization and then use these to live the abundant life.

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