My family laughs at me because I go to the gym to watch HGTV. We don’t have cable, and the gym membership is only $10 per month - far less than the cost of a cable subscription package. I don’t enjoy going to the gym, I admit, but I do enjoy watching houses being transformed and designs coming to life. I can spend an hour on an elliptical machine as long as I’m being entertained. So even though my motivation may be a little displaced, it gets the job done.
My husband and I are raising three teenagers, and figuring out what motivates them can be difficult. Are they motivated by money? Freedom? Relationships? At any given moment they may be motivated by any or all of these - or something that I don’t even know about! We want to raise our kids to be productive within our family and within our community. As they go out on their own, it’s important to find what motivates them to succeed.
As a business owner and employer, my husband also needs to understand what motivates him and realize that his employees’ motivations may not be exactly the same. Although monetary success is probably my husband’s ultimate motivation in his business, I also know that he finds inspiration in simply learning as much as he can, and applying what he’s learned to businesses dealings. His challenge is to not assume his employees have all the same motivations; instead, he must hone in on what motivates them individually.
Nonprofit organizations must also consider what motivates people. Whether you’re managing a team, recruiting volunteers, or raising money, it’s easier to meet your goals when you focus on those personal motivations. This means you may need to adjust your strategy depending on who you’re trying to reach. Conduct regular check-ins with your employees and ask for feedback from volunteers and donors to figure out what motivates them.
In both our personal life and in our careers, motivation is key. The right kind of motivation can do more than simply get you out of bed in the morning - it can keep you going from sunrise to sunset, and help you accomplish everything you set out to do. Figuring out where that motivation comes from, for yourself and for others, is the one of the best ways to drive success.