Thursday 4 February 2016

What Drives You - 10 Tips for Staying Motivated in Demotivating Times

What drives you to achieve?

Written by Robyn T. Braley

There are three types of people who will read this post; 

1. Those who are down on themselves and need to be motivated

2. Those who must inspire others to be motivated

3. Those who are self-motivated and every day look for new ways to keep it that way. 

Before you hurriedly click out of this post, relax! This is not a droning academic study of the psychology of selling. 

While anyone at any point in their life may find this ... shall we say ... motivating, it originated as part of my series about Bootstrapping With Broken Laces. Bootrappers are unique people who start businesses with few resources and need to succeed NOW in order to feed their families and keep shoes on their feet! 

They need to generate revenue as quickly as possible. They are typically multi-taskers who only have time to learn sales basics in the early days of their startup. 

But, if you are facing tough times and need encouragement, this is also for you. I have written this post to encourage you to try one more time.

In business, you quickly learn that motivation drives everything you do. It’s what causes you to get up every morning to engage with another day regardless of what lies ahead.

Motivation drives you to achieve the unachievable. Taking the first step towards doing the undo-able stimulates innovation, creativity and imagination. Setting high expectations will allow you to see beyond the personal or business limitations that others may see.

What Motivates You

Some observers think highly successful sales and business people are motivated purely by making more money or gaining more power. 

That is not necessarily the case. While that drives some, for others achieving their life goals includes helping others along the way. They are driven to help others achieve their goals. 

Don't get me wrong! Successful people like to win, but many like to help others while doing it. It is called servant leadership. 

Speaker Denis Waitley
Years ago Denis Waitley wrote the book, 'Double Win.' To put it simply, he said, 

“A double win philosophy means
if I focus on helping you to win, I will win too.”

The core belief of his psychology of winning stated that you can win in life as well as in business when you help others. You still hear business people talk about 'a win-win,’ a term that came out of Waitley’s thinking. 

Sometimes Fear is Good

Money and success may not be the sole motivators that get you out of bed in the morning. Sometimes it is the fear of failure which can be very motivating and drive us to go the extra mile to avoid it.

If I am not successful today, I won't meet payroll.
If I can't meet my payroll, I will negatively impact 
the lives of my employees and their families.

My first sales job was selling radio advertising. Our sales manager would encourage us to buy big houses, cars, boats - anything that would keep us "hungry" to make more money. He believed that if you bought more and you'd be motivated to sell more to pay for it. 

I'm not sure that was responsible thinking. Buying shiny things just to have them may lead you to a whole lot of debt and trouble with your accountant. 

With my next job as the Sponsorship Manager for a public radio and television network, I learned that a 'win-win' approach got me further than greed. By helping big and small companies achieve their public relations goals, I met my career goals. 

What’s Your PMA Index Rating

Motivation starts with a positive mental attitude (PMA). You can read all the books you can find, listen to hundreds of inspirational podcasts or watch a gazillion motivational webinars. In the end, you will discover that motivation boils down to how you think.

If you think you can you will. If you think you can’t, it probably just ain’t gonna' happen! A positive mental attitude helps you think differently by asking “Why not!” rather than “Why?”

A Positive Mental Attitude …

  • Drives you to make the next call after a nasty rejection
  • Causes you to see opportunity where others see none
  • Reveals a vision of the finished picture when looking at the scattered pieces of a seemingly unsolvable puzzle.
  • Helps you to understand that a series of failures are really stepping stones leading to success.
  • Motivates you to keep calling the prospect who every year says, “Call me next year!”
  • Gives you the courage to call on the really big prospect when the attempts of others have been rejected.
  • Causes you to lift your head high enough to see sunlight when it seems you are trapped forever in the deepest, darkest mental chasm.  

World renowned Alberta Beef 

Selling 'Scat' in Scatville, Alberta

I love telling this story. To be crass, it is about selling ‘s..t’ to people who live their lives surrounded by ‘s..t.’

Please let me explain. I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Our city is known around the world as the capital of Canada’s oil & gas industry. 

But our secondary industry is farming and ranching. If you have tasted our Alberta beef, your mouth will water at the mere mention of the name. The annual Calgary Stampede is a celebration of our western heritage.
Somebody started a business by shoveling
 cow scat into a bag and selling it!

Albertans are also known for their entrepreneurial spirit. Our wealth has been created by people of vision who were willing to take great risks. Entrepreneur-ism is part of our DNA.

That is why every time I tell this story I am mystified. Somehow Alberta entrepreneurs missed an obvious business opportunity.

During my university days, I worked part time in a Sears warehouse. It was a large complex and the inventory stored there could furnish a city.

Every spring a large flatbed trailer loaded with bags of garden fertilizer would arrive from Spokane, Washington. As a part-timer, I was always assigned to the crew tasked with unloading the fertilizer one bag at a time. 

"What kind of fertilizer was it," you ask? 

It was cow manure! Mind you, it was mature, cultured cow manure, but, it was still cow manure in its' natural form! 

The content in each bag seemed to have a life of its own. It found ways to ooze out of the seams. Invariably a bag or two would break open. By the time we had finished unloading the flatbed trailer we smelled like … well … the cow "s...t" word!

Sales Hutzpah

Here’s the rub. The Sears warehouse was located less than a mile from one of the largest cattle stockyards in western Canada. 

In those days it corralled hundreds of cattle waiting their turn to be made into hamburger and steak. You definitely knew it was there when the wind blew from the south. 

Talk about American ingenuity! Selling ‘s..t’ to people surrounded by ‘s..t.’ Not only did we buy it, but we imported it.

Imagine the conversation that took place in Spokane when a commissioned salesperson told his sales manager he was going to Calgary to sell bags of ‘s..t.' 

Really? Ranch country? Are you sure? Is this a joke? Right!

The lesson here? It is possible to sell anything to anybody if you think you can. 

If you are motivated to take the first step to engage a prospect and start a conversation, who knows what direction the it will take. I’d like to know what motivated that Spokane sales professional to come to Calgary. 

What Moves You

No-one, not even the highest-paid inspirational speaker, has the power to motivate you unless you are ready to be inspired. The decision to take action and try when others say trying is futile can only be made inside your head. It's an inside job.

How can you pattern your thinking to positive thoughts? Try these ideas. 

Repeat each action item below. Find what works for you. You will soon find you are thinking differently and forming new habits.
  1. Create a list of 10 things that you will do when you achieve your career goals. Put copies where you will see them every day.
  2. Divide tasks into achievable segments. Celebrate the completion of each one even when they seem trivial. 
  3. Stop thinking negative thoughts or allowing self-limiting ideas to dominate your thought process.
  4. Program power thoughts into your electronic devices so the messages will come up as an alert at key points during each day.
  5. Choose to be happy. Happy people are easily self-motivated. They inspire others by being a positive influence. Start with a smile!
  6. Read professional or personal growth books or blogs. Or, listen to inspiring podcasts. Schedule 30-40 minutes per day. Find the time.
  7. Control what goes into your mind. Govern what you listen to and the kinds of entertainment you expose yourself to. Garbage in, garbage out. Negative in, negative out. It's that simple.
  8. Keep organized. Scattered thinking produces stress and fractured results. 
  9. Learn to live fully in the present moment. When you live in the past or constantly daydream about the future you may miss subtle clues to opportunities in the present.
  10. Schedule quality time for yourself, your spouse, your family and your friends. What good will success be if you have no one to share it with?
  11. Hang out with positive people. People who give off positivity will positively help you stay positive. That's a positive!

Be a Dreamer

Dare to dream great big dreams. Then, take the first step towards making it real. Believe in yourself and your ability to do great things.

Robyn T. Braley is a writer, speaker and occasional media guest. He is the President of UniMark Creative which does website design, video production, media services (editorial and advertising), and graphic design. He speaks at business conferences and also blogs about branding. 

     Twitter: @robyntbraley

1 comment:

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