Small Business Advice

Stoking the Fires ~ Sustaining Your Intrinsic Motivation

Walking the entrepreneurial path is very similar to undertaking the hero’s journey.  It is fraught with risks, confronts you with the unknown, and on many levels, it is a path you must walk alone.

During our most challenging times we must dig deep within to find the strength and courage to persevere.  Feeding and sustaining your intrinsic motivation can help you maintain your focus and energy on achieving your goals.

Spring comes at an odd time here in Florida.  Now is the time we begin to feel cooler weather, lower humidity, and flowers burst into colour all around us.  Our streets and shops are filled with tourists and snow birds, relaxing and enjoying this glorious time of year here in Florida.

When you combine this with the fact that my office looks out over the water, and through an open window at that, it is easy for me to find myself in that same mental state we all found ourselves slipping listlessly into each spring during our school years.

I find my eyes closing as the breeze wafts over the bay, the migratory birds nesting and swooping amongst the Ospreys circling as they fish the waters below.  Our local Bobcat wanders along the shoreline on occasion, the sight of which drops my shoulders as I exhale a calming breath at the wondrous, natural world, just outside my window.

It has been a vital year for us. One filled with workshops spanning from Florida, to Colorado, to Montana, and Hawaii. A year that saw the publication of my first book, the launch of two blog sites, and the production of numerous videos, not to mention the substantial growth in the number and quality of our entrepreneurial coaching clients.

The temptation at this time of year is to simply head to the beach, roll out the towel, and settle in for a long, winter’s nap in the warm sun. Unfortunately, the rest of the world moves to a different rhythm. This is the planning time of year. The time of the year when our firm must be firing on all cylinders in order to position ourselves for our work in 2012.

Inevitably, we all experience this at some point. When we just want to relax a bit, taking our foot off the accelerator, and coast for a while. Unfortunately, the vast majority of us entrepreneurs cannot afford to do so, especially at crucial times during the year.  So how do we rekindle the fires that burn within?  No flame burns eternally without a source of fuel.  For entrepreneurs, that fuel is our intrinsic motivation.

When my embers begin to burn low, I remind myself why I took this path in the first place. First and foremost, I want to make a positive difference in the lives of entrepreneurs. I want to help accelerate their success and hopefully make a small, but substantial change in the way we do business. Through my work, I try to illuminate a better path towards success.

One that benefits the greater good while providing opportunities for sustainable, business success. There’s a movement afoot, quietly gaining momentum for this perspective in the world.  In fact, Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, LTD®, just published his own book, “To Hell With Business As Usual”, calling for the same perspective to emerge.  Not simply because it is the right approach to take, but because it is good business!

Second, I want to be able to have the flexibility, on occasion, to sit and stare out my window at this time of year. So even when I find my mind wandering a bit and I struggle to stay the course, I remind myself as to the reasons I chose this path in the first place. We can get so busy, so immersed in our drive to move forward, that we can lose sight of the good and positive impact we’ve had during the course of the year.

Take a minute to reflect on this, and remind yourself why you decided to become a transformational entrepreneur in the first place. It will help stoke the inner fires that sustain your efforts towards the realisation of your goals.

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