I thought I should actually put some thought into what motivates me. I have a feeling the success or failure of whatever business I end up starting is going to hinge on my ability to execute on certain key areas within the product. For me to spend the time needed to execute on these things, I actually need to be motivated to do it. So here is my checklist of things that motivate me personally.
- Believing in the things I am working on: If I don’t think what I am working on is important for some reason or another, I don’t do it. At work, I am very quick to say no to meetings or projects that I don’t personally feel will have an impact. I focus on things I care about and have real meaning. I tend to put in a much better effort when I realize the thing I am working on is for the better. If I feel it isn’t important, I have zero motivation to do it. Granted, I still do the things I don’t believe in if my boss says to do it. It just usually doesn’t turn out to be my best work.
- Building/doing fun stuff: It needs to be fun. If it’s not fun, I tend to get distracted. Also, when I say “fun”, don’t get the impression that the only things that I think are fun are ping pong, slow pitch softball, and funny movies. I think a lot of things are fun. I personally find studying personal finance techniques is really fun (I may be in the minority on that one). I also think team building and hiring a world class team is fun. I am a huge proponent of getting an awesome team in place to accomplish a goal. I haven’t been in the position to hire my own team before, but the concept is really intriguing to me and my past experience as an IT recruiter makes it very apparent to me that getting the right team in place is essential for success. That is a challenge I would find fun.
- Competing against others: I am naturally competitive. If I see someone else trying to prove that they are better than me, I can’t help but step my game up. I honestly don’t think there is better feeling than beating your competition. On the other side of that. I hate losing. I probably hate it more than I like winning. Also, I am pretty confident in myself. I find that I can achieve most things I set my mind to. When I run into something I can’t succeed at, it makes me want to try harder.
- Being stable: This one is a bit of a tough one for me. I am trying to get myself in position to launch a successful company sometime in the future but one of my big motivating factors is stability. I can’t help it. I am from Nebraska and we like a good, stable work life. This is pretty much the opposite of what entrepreneurship is. This is one of the hurdles I will need to get over to start my own business. I honestly feel that if the need to be stable is one of the reasons I never start my own business, I will end up hating myself for the rest of my life. I just need to try (research shows that I will probably have to try a couple times before I become successful).
- Making money: I can’t help it. I like money. If I can make a successful business, that I enjoy running, and it makes me money, I will be extremely happy. Also, I am pretty sure if you start a business but don’t put some focus into actually making money, you are doomed to fail anyway.
So that’s my list. I’d love to hear what items are on other people’s lists. Feel free to throw your thoughts into the comments section down below.