Sunday, July 19, 2009


How do you motivate yourself or others? Is it with direct rewards - bonuses, prizes, gifts? Did your parents pay you for every grade A you got at O Level or GCSE? Did you get a new bike for passing your 11 plus?

Motivation needs to come from within. A job well done, being the best you can be, not having that uncomfortable guilt when you have cheated or got by through luck alone - those are the true motivators that will carry you through adversity and self-employment.

The child who studies hard to earn a £50 payment for an A grade will not understand that. They are not interested in doing the best they can, they are interested in the cash at the end. When they are put in a situation where there is no external carrot urging them on, what will they do? They may well gain the grade A, but in the long term the skills of self-motivation are worth far more.

If you rely on external rewards - either material or through recognition - you will struggle to motivate yourself through the challenges of self employment. The days when every phone call leads to a knock back...the days when you absolutely have to catch up on your book keeping...the days when everyone else is at a barbecue but you have a client proposal to finish...

Nobody else is going to give you a prize or a bonus for going the extra mile. The prize is your flourishing business, your returning clients and your pride in a job done well.

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