Answering the “Why?” in Business Motivation

Starting a business is not that difficult; however, maintaining the vision for a business in your mind and heart is needed to keep you motivated towards your goal.  A vision is a mental picture of how you want things to be.  For instance, you would carry a mental picture of what being a success means to you. 

  • You can see people coming to you saying “Yes” I want what you have to offer.   
  • You see your products or services being purchased and your cash register full of cash.  

But keeping a vision alive is not the first step to building a successful venture.  The first step is to ask the most important question you will have to answer prior to being a success. That question is, Why? 

  • Why are you doing what you do (or want to do) in business?  
  • Why have you chosen (or will choose) to focus on a particular field, discipline, idea, etc.? 

It’s important to know why you intend to do something as intense as operating a business.  Starting or operating a business based on the wishes and dreams of others or based on the traditions within a person’s family. Perhaps you grew up in a family business and felt obligated to carry it on. But now, you might feel discouraged and unmotivated.  The business could have great potential but your lack of enthusiasm makes the marketing lackluster or almost non-existent.  When, you think about why you are in this particular business, its not because of your personal passion but because of the dreams of others. 

Working in a business because of the expectations of others is not always enough to motivate you to go through the ups and downs of business. You must have a passion for what you do.  It’s when you love the work, and want to do the business, that you are in the right field. 

This brings you back to why answering the question “Why” is an important first step to create a vision for your business. 

  • Why do you even want to serve a certain target community, locally or online, in this manner?  
  • Is this something you would choose to do on your own, or do you feel forced to go into this business or service?  
  • Do you know that this business is the best use of your talents and skills?  
  • Are you honoring your personal and business values through this business?

Answer the why and you’re on your way to understanding what you need to be doing in your life through business. 

Take time to find your true heart’s desire in business and pursue your true dreams. Then you will be a business professional who is ready to continue building your business in a way that enhances your quality of life and motivates you to continue on to success, no matter what obstacles you will inevitably face along the way.

Unconscious Goals Could Be Ruining Your Success

If you’re serious about making positive changes in your life, learn about the concept of unconscious goal setting.  The idea is not complex. It is simply that if you don’t set and work towards conscious goals you’re working towards meeting your unconscious goals.   

Unconscious goals are undefined with no specific direction.  Here are reasons why goals must move from unconscious to conscious to bring success to your life.

1. Unconscious goals are not specific. Everything you do in life is a forward motion. That is it takes you from where you are currently to another place.  If you don’t set specific goals for that movement you won’t have control over the outcome of that forward movement.  You’ll go somewhere but without consciously setting where you want to go; however, you’ll still get somewhere. 

2. Unconscious thoughts blame outside forces. Many people go through life just taking things as they come along.  If the day goes well, it’s one for joy.  If the day goes bad, it’s normally attributed to an external source such as  “bad luck” or to the activities of others people such as those that “don’t like you.” When you leave yourself open to whatever comes it’s a conscious unconscious decision.  No one is to blame except you as the opportunity to take control of your thoughts is your own.

3. Unconscious thoughts control the day. The brain doesn’t turn off simply because you haven’t consciously used it during your day.  Thoughts continue to take place. In fact, you’re thinking at all times about something.  Like other muscles of the body, a brain that doesn’t get exercised gets flabby.  Flabby brain, flabby thoughts.  Flabby thoughts don’t have the muscle tone for a firm foundation. That means your thoughts and ideas can be shifted and turned at the whim of outside forces or the attitudes of those that surround you.

4. Unconscious goals have no pattern.  Because you haven’t stopped to think specifically about what you want to do and how you intend to achieve, your life tends to go up and down with no pattern.  Because you don’t’ know what you want to achieve each day, anything you do is good enough.  Sometimes, you might have to stop to think if you got anything of importance done for the day since you didn’t plan to achieve anything.

5. Unconscious goals are vague. Goals you’re not conscious of are vague.  When you think in vague terms about what you want such as that you’d prefer to live a better life or have more money for instance, but without setting a specific goal your mind can’t create the ideas needed to guide you toward your goals.  Instead, “more money” can be a few pennies more than what you had yesterday.  A better life might mean getting through one more green light driving home than you got driving to work in the morning. Vague has no substance on which to build success.  

6. Unconscious goals waste time.  Having no pattern to your achievements or not knowing where you want to go or why creates the consistent frustration of having a starting and stopping motion in life. First you want where you’re going then you change your mind.  It’s like trying something on then deciding to change your clothes three times before being able to walk out of the house.  You don’t know exactly why you take specific actions so nothing seems to work.  This starting and stopping wastes time and lets you feel you’re taking two steps forward and five steps back with every action.

7. Unconscious goals are costly.  What are your income goals.  Unconscious goals will say “I want to be wealthy” or “ we really need to bring in some money today.”  These type of goals cost you the possibilities of actually reaching income goals. What is wealthy in your definition?  Unless you are specific about this, wealthy might be having an extra $20.00 bill in your pocket.  Now you are wealthy because you have that much more money.  Bringing in more money today could result in getting one sale but if it is the first and only sale for the month, you’ve reached your unconscious goals but could still face bankruptcy in another two months or less.  There is no reason for the mind to create ways to bring in more funds since you haven’t determined what you really need.

Hopefully these examples illustrate the power of unconscious goals for the detriment of your success.  It also gives you reasons to take the time to think through your goals and create goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable, and time oriented.  

Confidence Through Mastermind Groups

Confidence in business is a necessary characteristic for success.  But staying focused and ready for success is not always easy.  Working with a mastermind group can be one of the most important business decisions a professional can make in a business career. These ideas give ways working a mastermind group can build confidence for business success.

1. Mastermind groups consist of a group of people with the same goals that come together to support each other to reach their individual goals. Finding a mastermind that works for you provides an effective ways for you to stay focused on your goals. If you have a problem setting goals the mastermind group can help.  

2. Mastermind groups help you to maintain the self-discipline to get moving towards your purpose each day. Being in business often means feeling tired and burned out. If you feel like stopping in your business pursuits, your mastermind members are there to keep you on track and help you develop business routines for success.  

3. Mastermind groups provide a place where you can be accountable to reach your goals. Because you check in on a regular basis with your group, you will soon begin to feel accountable to report on your goals to the group. You will enjoy having the other members recognize the efforts you made to reach your stated goals. This helps to build your self-esteem because you will be sharing your successes on a regular basis. They can also help you through the tough spots without being judgmental.    

4. Mastermind groups hold you to the expectation of doing what you set out to do in business. They are supportive when you want to implement new ideas or try creative concepts. You have a sounding board of people who can let you know whether or not they feel your idea needs some tweaking or is fine as is. This lets you have more confidence to try something innovative before introducing it the world without this type of feedback.  

5. Mastermind groups often share insider information that you wouldn’t be able to find in other settings. That is because the focus is usually very tight and the members are professionals in the same area. You can expect a level of confidentiality that is respected by each group member so you can speak freely bout your issues. Of course, be sure this idea of being confidential is a stated policy in your mastermind group before sharing too much.  

6. Mastermind groups provide a mentoring atmosphere which means you are supported to understand the nuances of your profession that only come through a close mentoring relationship. Everything can’t be taught or passed along through books or even public training sessions. Some have to come through a mentoring situation and the mastermind can provide that setting in your industry.  

 7. Mastermind groups could help you to establish life long friendships and business partners that you wouldn’t find in other situations. Mastermind mind members get to know each other in a way the general population doesn’t. Members want to see each other succeed and often provide support and resources only with other mastermind members that could make the difference in building a business quickly an defectively.  

Mastermind groups are one of the most important concepts for helping a professional grow a business and build personal self-esteem and confidence to succeed. When you know you are working with a select group of people who care about your success, hold you accountable and support you no matter what, you naturally grow in the confidence to reach you stated business goals.

Change Your Marketing with Changing Times

Marketing your business can still influence consumers in any economy.  In fact, you can change how you market your business and maintain a customer base when others are hitting hard times. What you need are new and innovative ways to bring attention to your business instead of depending on the old ways to get people to learn about you. Use these ideas to  increase your market share and see your business take a turnaround. 

1. Go personal by increasing your personal networking opportunities. Shake hands, meet people, and follow up with new acquaintances. Networking is the best way to let people know more about you. Look for opportunities you might have missed before and find new ones to make personal appearances and to meet people. Get those business cards and brochures with special offers updated and ready to distribute. Remember you have to let people see you multiple times before many make a buying decision so find new ways to get in front of people more often.  

2. Repurpose what you do instead of approaching people in the same way. The brochures you’ve always had look like the same ones everyone else is handing out. Just because you’ve presented your business in one format before doesn’t mean you have to do the same thing now. Instead of sending print newsletters, try audio and video. Instead of just handing out business cards and brochures, offer to do a demonstration of your products or services to give instant information. Be the first to be different by taking what you have and using it in a new way to attract attention.

3. Go live by providing informational seminars and workshops on topics related to your product or services. Hold workshops for free or low cost to introduce what you do to groups then shoot for individual clients. Give actual training events or spend one to two hours providing new insights into topics related t your business. Have your special offers ready to go at the end of the event and offer discounts for immediate sign-ups.  

4. Get your name in front of potential clients by donating products or services to groups and associations even if you’re the only one giving for that particular event. Tell the group organizers you are offering a door prize for their members that will help to increase the value of their meetings to members. Who could resist a free way to increase their member benefits? Make this a regular offer and continue to increase your exposure. If others follow suit, you’ll still be the first to make the offer.  

5. Look for ways to partner with other professionals and develop new package offerings of products and services. For example, maybe you have a skin care line and she has a stress reduction program. Together you offer a “look better and live longer” package at special pricing.    

6. Create the opportunities you need by organizing an event that lets you highlight what you have to offer. Reserve a room at a popular café or restaurant and invite several businesses that compliment but don’t compete with yours to join you in an evening of live demonstrations and information sharing. Make it a regular happening in your community that people come to expect and enjoy the increase in visibility for your business.    

7. Develop your reputation as the professional in your field. Write articles for the local newspaper get on public television and public radio and do a regular show for the community. Then get involved with Internet media shows. Of course you have to promote these offline shows on the web and the Internet marketing shows through offline means. This helps you to expand your reach and increase your frequency of exposure which are the two major keys to successful advertising.   

Marketing your business in new ways is more important than ever if you want to succeed in challenging economic times. Competitors are closing their doors which means more potential customers for the businesses that survive. Take steps to revamp your marketing efforts to respond to the needs of your target market. 

Be flexible and creative in how you present what you have to offer and be willing to put in the time and effort needed to make personal contacts. Be willing to think outside of the box and your business will be able to survive and thrive during times of economic challenge.

Top Motivation Busters to Avoid

Motivation busters can sap the energy out of you as soon as you foot crosses your business threshold.  Being successul in business means finding ways to stay motivated to reach goals with or without outside support. You might have to work alone in this effort as you pursue professional opportunities.

Become more aware of ways you might be losing your motivation by understanding these top motivation busters that all business professionals need to avoid. 

1. Waiting for others to motivate you. If you need others to motivate you in order to reach your goals you will soon find that you won’t be getting much support. People are busy and few people take time to consistently provide others with the motivational words they need. Reach into your leadership background and find ways to set short and long-term goals that keep you going to reach goals all by yourself.  

2. Keep doing what you don’t like. Few things are more de-motivating the continuing to do activities that you really don’t like to do. When you have a lot of skills and talents, don’t waste precious time in life pursuing activities you don’t like. Wrap up your obligations if necessary and move on to activities and adventures that keep you excited and happy instead of struggling with activities you are not excited about doing.

3. Take criticism from others to heart. It is common for others to share more negative words than positive. If you let yourself be discouraged when others criticize you or what you do, you will find yourself down and out most of the time. Put everything you hear in perspective. You are not what others say; you are what you say to yourself. Learn positive self talk and speak truth to your mind on a consistent basis to drown out the negative criticism that might come your way.  

4. Procrastinate and increase your stress. When you fail to complete tasks you increase your stress. Procrastinating until the last minute or to the point when things really get out of hand is a way to only cause more problems in your life. Set a schedule and face difficult tasks one step at a time. Get things done ahead of schedule and give yourself relief and time to do your task correctly.  

5. Fail to have confidence in your decisions. If you consistently worry about decisions you make learn to look at all of the available alternatives and review the pros and cons of each prior to making a decision. If you have time, don’t make a hasty decision but give yourself time to really think about what you’ll decide. If you have to decide quickly go with the decision that will cause the least harm. Then take a course on decision making so you can feel better about the necessary decisions you will inevitably have to make.

6. Give up easily. One of the best ways to lose motivation is to be in the habit of giving up when things get tough. Instead of being a quitter learn the self-discipline necessary to stick things out to completion. No doubt about it, you will face some very tedious tasks as a leader. But you can’t lead if you can’t finish. Decide to reach the goal and analyze the steps you have to take to complete a difficult task. Be ready to reach the goal line or don’t take on the leadership task.  

7. Maintain bad habits.  A habit is an action you do without thinking. In order to change a habit you have to be conscious of your activities and then deliberately do something that changes that behavior. If you have a habit of telling yourself negative things you have to consciously know how to change that self talk into something positive. If you have a habit of quitting you have to change that to create a habit of completing activities. It is possible to change habits but like anything else worthwhile it can also be hard to do; but as a leader you are up to the task.

Learning to stay motivated is an important skill in business. Sometimes you can be doing things that you are not aware of that take your motivation away.  By recognizing these motivation busters you can learn to be conscious of when they strike, avoid them and  increase your self-motivation. In this way, you take control of becoming a more successful professional.