What gets you out of bed in the morning? Entrepreneurs are a motivated lot! We have big dreams, aspirations and plans and every single one of us has been motivated enough to harness inner strength, take a leap of faith and embark on the tenuous and scary journey of the entrepreneur to realize them. Motivation is a powerful catalyst.
Over time, as with most initiatives of substance, the challenge becomes keeping that motivation alive. If it is at risk, things can get off course, sabotaging your success.
It is critical to understand that there are essentially only 2 sources of motivation, External and Internal. External motivators are anything from fear of failure or a sense of obligation to a need to prove something. They are always founded in survival and virtually always serve the ego. Conversely, Internal motivators are based on a hunger to contribute, give back, and leave the world better than when you started. They come alive through a legacy-based Vision, one that gives you a sense of meaning and fulfillment, and defines your life’s purpose.
Most entrepreneurs start out with Internal motivators that pull them out of bed in the morning, eager to get started. Every day is filled with excitement, adventure, and belief in something better; however, after a time, the honeymoon ends. Dreams are replaced by to-do lists, reality kicks in, and the journey becomes task and process-driven, and overwhelming. It is at this point when your motivation is at risk. You are no longer being pulled out of bed by a magnetic vision, but rather pushed to do the work, kicked out of bed by forces you no longer control, and external motivators take over.
Lasting success, without exception, is achieved by staying connected to your internal motivators. These are the ones that will keep you going when times get tough. To help keep your motivation present, I encourage you to journal your simple and brief answers to the following questions, review them first thing every morning, post them in a highly visible location, and openly share them with your support team.
Why do you do what you do? What impact do you want to have? Who will this affect? Why does it matter?
The next time you feel that external kick, acknowledge the shift, and ground yourself in the real reasons you do what you do. Your success depends on it.
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