By Kevin Hogan
There are a host of books, speakers, advisers that will encourage people to do the most ridiculous things to be motivated, succeed in business and build wealth. If you followed their advice you’d spend most of your time doing things that “felt good,” fed addictions and you’d have your eyes closed with visions of yachts and mansions dancing in your head.
I’ll spare you the trouble.
It’s not real.
Today let’s take a look at real motivation that works for you.
Forcing a Wedge Where It Isn’t Helpful
Factor 1: The most important factor people do well or do poorly, financially – is whether the individual attempts to place an artificial and psychological wedge between “personal” and “business” activity in life. They somehow convince themselves that great pleasure and work just can’t go hand in hand.
If your income production activity (your job if you work for someone else) is not typically a form of pleasure and pleasure is not typically generated as you work. If that is true you can turn the pages of this article or simply call the mortgage company or psychiatrist now. The house will eventually be foreclosed on or you’ll need the therapy.
Factor 2: Americans tend to call anything that is unpleasant “work.”
Factor 3:Anything that feeds an addiction or causes pleasure is “fun” or “play.”
Factor 4: When there is as much addiction as their is work in someone’s life they call it “balance.”
And do know this is not everyone. It begins with a job that does not bring pleasure in this first scenario.
Those notions are 20th Century American thinking and don’t have any link to reality. The beliefs become habitual forms of thinking. If they do in your life, then you’ve already experienced the major stresses of being out of control in your life and it’s getting worse each year.
Don’t get me wrong. Not all actions requiring effort are desirable or enjoyable in optimal income producing activies, nor would we ever expect that to be the case.
Not all effort that is difficult is going to cause you to be happier or experience more love or money.
Last night I had to fix the projector in the theater. OK I didn’t *have* to. I could have called a service guy and saved that major pain in the butt, but my son wanted to fix it with me and while this didn’t make it a “pleasure” this experience is one of those things that creates a bond between Dad and Son. So we spent an hour and a half and fixed the thing. It was definitely PAINFUL but there was also something experienced as PLEASURE.
And painful pleasure is a GOOD thing.
Escape Every Day
If you typically feel the need to “escape from work or your job” then you are obviously doing the wrong work.
I generally consider (and for the sake of the Motivation Equation) work something that generates revenue. I generally consider something that doesn’t generate revenue as –not work.–
Marketing, sales, customer service are what wealthy people consider “work.”
Creating a product, writing a book, doing taxes, cutting the lawn, fixing the damn gutter and the movie projector, are not work. They are non-income producing activities.
Wait a minute…a book is a NON-income producing activity?
That is correct.
It’s income producing when someone buys the book from a bookstore.
This distinction is part of The Motivation Equation of The Millionaire Mind.
The First Continuum is this: Work…Not Work.
There is nothing necessarily good or bad, pleasurable or painful about work. It simply is marketing, sales, or customer service.
Work in The Millionaire Mindset is an experience that markets, sells or services your clients and customers.
This is the reason every government eventually fails. They don’t work.
They don’t market.
They don’t sell.
They don’t serve their customers.
The government is functionally Work Free and, therefore, the “business” of government cannot sustain itself.
Are there exceptions?
Not many. The Attorney Generals Office in Minnesota is in customer service. They go after the bad guys who rip off old people and steal their money. They are serving the public. Police generally are in customer service. Their job is serve the public. Teachers serve the parents of a community at the parents request. That’s customer service. But for the most part government doesn’t sell a product or service and they typically aren’t involved in marketing that product or service and they rarely consider themselves in the business of customer service. i.e. They generally –not work.– (see above)
Exceptions noted what is the next continuum for developing your The Motivation Equation? If it isn’t understood…bad stuff happens…
A Tragic Way of Thinking That Leads to Failure …
Work / Not Work
So there is Work here…………..and Not Work here.
Some sales and marketing actions are productive. Some are marginally successful. Some are barely positive. It is work because it generates revenue.
It’s one axis of experience you can place on a graph.
Pleasure / No Pleasure / Pain
Then there is Pleasure / No Pleasure / Pain.
If I were to get technical I’d tell you that Pleaure/Pain is not a real continuum because it presumes that they are opposites. They aren’t. BUT I’m not going to share that with you until a future article so as to make this quick and easy today.
The vast majority of life’s moment to moment experience are neither pleasure or pain inducing. They are mostly about keeping the lizard inside comfortable. This is continuum another axis on the graph of life.
Pleasure is something you enjoy.
Pain is something you would prefer not to experience.
Some things are both painful and pleasurable at the same time. I’ll discuss this more in the next article.
Fixing the movie projector,for example, was both painful and pleasurable at the same time…and we’ll talk about how important mixing pain and pleasure can be…but for now…
At a basic level of understanding, Pleasure / No Pleasure / Pain is another axis of life. Pleasure and pain have very little to do with work, income production, happiness or well being.
The addict gets her fix and she feels pleasure. She’s not making more money, she’s not building a happier lifestyle, she’s not improving her well being.
Pleasure does not equal Happy. (Happy / Not Happy is another continuum on the life graph we’ll talk about another day.)
“Business” and “Personal” elements of life are not a continuum unless you equate personal life as non-business related and business is non-personal. This can only mean one’s life is tragic. For the moment we’ll say that Business and Personal are “circles” and that they SHOULD overlap a great deal for a person to have an excellent life.
People can obviously choose to think in any way they wish, but you can’t be financially free and have a stable home life without these two circles significantly overlapping.
That said, if you have to escape from “work” at 5 PM, then you must have SOMETHING to balance that devastation with. I definitely understand this and it is tragic. In this case the notion of balance in the moment is the only sensible gut reaction. It is the reaction of someone who is out of control of their life.
50% of Americans “Hate” Their Job
My international research shows that roughly half of all people would leave their current job for any UNKNOWN job that pays the same amount of money.
In other words, half the people don’t like how they are spending their “day-time,” in contrast to any other possible activity.
Think of it like this: If you have a spouse, partner, girlfriend….whatever. Would you take all the same perks of that relationship with a RANDOM GIRL behind Door #3 in a trade for what you currently have before you could see the girl? Talk to the girl?
The current girl in your life would have to be horrifying and psychotic for you to make that trade. But that’s what half the people in the world experience in their job!
When you hear someone communicate the Business vs. Pleasure Framework, know that it is not real. But don’t hate the person. They simply are telling you that their life is horrible.
For people who believe that “Business” and “Pleasure” are on opposite sides of a scale, it would be almost impossible to “motivate” that person to accomplish anything.
Imagine you are a writer for the travel section of your newspaper. That job could be something that gives the person pleasure and pain. Simple enough. There are upsides and downsides of travel. There are upsides and downsides of writing. It’s a pretty good fit for the person who enjoys getting paid to travel and write.
If the person enjoys a large portion of their business/work and they get paid, what would they balance that off with? Would they intentionally go do something they don’t like that is nonproductive that doesn’t pay them to balance off their work?
The notion of being WILLING to live with “balance” in life, is risky. Life is very, very short. If you are looking to balance 1/2 of your life with something else on the other half you want to analyze if that is costing you 1/2 of your life. It’s probably a good time RIGHT NOW to DO SOMETHING that produces income for 9 hours each day that doesn’t require balancing.
Putting the Equation Together …
Effort / No Effort
Let’s return to the Work – Not Work Scale just for a moment.
Don’t confuse “Work” with “Effort.” Sometimes it’s a lot “easier” to Work than it is to do something that requires Effort.
Imagine you are climbing Mount Everest. That’s a lot of effort, but it probably isn’t involved in sales, marketing or customer service. Climbing Mt. Everest is not an Income Producing Activity. It is a leisure choice but I bet it requires a lot of effort.
There is nothing wrong and everything right about expending effort that doesn’t develop security for your family and your Self. It’s simply important to really understand what is paying the bills and what isn’t.
If I am presenting a training, I will be wiped out at the end of the day. After a keynote presentation, I’ll need a shower and a nap. But neither generates revenue in the moment. It’s not marketing, sales or customer service. It’s the pleasure of fulfilling an agreement.
It’s important to make the distinction that this is not work.
Your future is only secure to the degree you successfully market, sell and serve your customers when they need you. It might FEEL like work but it wasn’t. Why the distinction?
It’s important for the 21st Century individual to know whether they are securing their lives, their family, their future or if they are simply being busy and taking lots of “actions” that get them nowhere. If you aren’t marketing and selling, you will meet with reality soon enough.
Because these notions are foreign to a lot of people, simply consider them for a few months and see how they play out. You might disagree, but you will not fail in life with this very simple, thoughtful approach to living a vital and vibrant life.
I believe I was fired from more jobs than I quit. If not, it was a close race. The reason was very simple. I disliked the structure and limitations of a job. You could do X and only X. You’d do X for this year, next year and for the rest of your life and then “retire.”
There’s something about that, that just doesn’t sound worth living for…to die. The greatest skills one can acquire are the skills of selling and marketing. When 20,000 people lose their jobs, none of them are productive marketers and salespeople. The productive salesperson can get fired today and work anywhere for any company tomorrow morning. The person who has developed and uses marketing and selling skills is recession-proof.
Marketing and Selling = Productive
Everyone should be taught and given internships in sales and marketing in high school and college regardless of major or field of study.
The research psychologist is dead in the water when the government no longer can send the grant money. But the research psychologist who can sell and market is set for life. The same is true for the clinical psychologist or ANYONE in any profession that sells a product or service.
Income producing activities that regularly generate pleasure are where you want to have your life at, whether you are working for someone else, or your Self. …and you’ll earn 2 – 3 – 4 times the money working for yourself. There’s a lot to be said for the small Coffee Table business.
- I never had an ongoing job where, when I woke up in the morning I immediately wanted to get in the car and go to work. Generally… I experienced all kinds of other emotions but I don’t recall a job that was fun or fascinating, exciting or interesting. It was my choice to stay in those jobs where I didn’t meet my employment demise. “Downsized” is a very cute term. I remember being fired. Big deal. Would you rather have the cute girl break up with you or be fired. Being fired is nothing. If “losing a job” is truly that big of a deal then the world has been very, very soft for someone.
- I can, however, think of an almost endless number of days when I woke up and couldn’t wait to get to it. Consulting, gigs, events, keynotes, writing for the newspaper, going to a TV studio.
Seems obvious, but you should …
Seems Obvious, but It’s Best to Enjoy Your Work!
Today if I’m not going to enjoy an event, or if I’m not going to feel challenged by the event… I’m not going to sign up in the first place. If I’m going on stage I get up in the morning and it was probably a restless night sleep. I never sleep well before a gig. I have a million things on my mind. Sound. Lighting. Sight lines. Flip charts on the board? Power Point loaded on their computer? There’s an array of about 40 or 50 things that I’ve already been in the room or auditorium the night before…that I’m usually not convinced are going to be working. There’s a backup plan for everything. I’ve given 2000 presentations and I still think about stuff as I toss and turn. When I finally get up I look in the mirror. I rarely have breakfast before I work. Coffee yes. A piece of dark chocolate. Water. Maybe a bite of trail mix. That’s it.
Is the tie perfect? Is the hair as good as it can be? Do I want to switch out ties? Do I want to have a different feel to the event and switch at the last minute suit vs. something I put together. Once dressed, I walk a hole in the carpet in the suite. I’ll turn on my iPad and listen to the intro of a McCartney concert Hello Goodye, Jet, Let Me Roll It. Or if I’m in a different mood and it’s an audience I’ve never seen, I put on an Elvis concert. 2001, See See Rider, I Got a Woman and on. Anything to burn off some energy. I am pumped. I am nervous. I am ecstatic. I am worried. I am edgy.
I don’t call anyone. I don’t want to answer the phone. I don’t want to check my email. I want to MOVE and make an audience light up. Until the clock strikes 8:40 and it’s time to walk out the door, I’m doing everything I can to hold myself from transporting down to the room.
Once out the door, I feel free. I walk fast. I don’t want anyone to talk to me. I smile all the way to the room and arrive 10 minutes before introduction. The promoter is usually scared to death I’ve overslept. If only he knew that isn’t possible. I’ve been up for 3 hours…at least.
There’s the introduction.
Now the world, my world and theirs, is about to change. If the audience is dead they won’t be for long. If the audience is on fire it’s going to get hotter. And then I begin.
“It was a cold January morning when the phone rang and it was the newspaper in New York.”
It has begun and within 10 minutes everyone knows they won’t leave their seats for the next 80 minutes.
They won’t see a better movie this decade…
That’s what it’s like to wake up in the morning when you love your work.
That experience might also scare the living daylights out of you.
There’s guys who wash windows of skyscrapers. The rush must be intense. The adrenaline burst has to be insane. But I don’t want that work. I’d do it if I had to, but I don’t. That guy would never do what I do. The feelings are similar. The preparation has some similarities.
Just Because You Enjoy Your Work….
But this doesn’t mean the day will be perfect. A lot can go wrong. Just because you love your work doesn’t mean it’s always fun. Few people have any idea how easy it is to change your “energy,” those hours before you “go to work.”
You can get a call, “I’ve got cancer honey…” And you now have to go out and be amazing for the group.
Your kid could have a nightmare life scenario that you can’t solve and you find out about it before you go on.
The sound doesn’t work when the 1200 people finish applauding.
The lights don’t come up when they are supposed to.
The sound system cracks and nearly explodes.
The power point doesn’t work.
The connection from the computer to the screen breaks.
There is a deaf guy in the back row who stands up and says he can’t hear.
Someone in the audience is offended at something I say.
Something like one of these things happens 20% of the time.
When the bad stuff happens…
BUT…when I woke up in the morning I was pumped and because 400 times a disaster or something similar has occurred, you ride the tsunami and recover from whatever. And you love the work.
You wouldn’t do anything else.
Do you wake up each day and feel compelled to get right to it? Do you spend time thinking about your business even when you’re not at work? For many, motivation is difficult to sustain. Some days are better than other. However, when you’re truly up about your business or your projects, and it becomes an active and positive part of your life, everything changes.
When you wake up each day and you feel “motivated,” it opens the door for the other aspects of an entrepreneurial mindset. You look for opportunities, you seize challenges, find creative solutions for problems and you effectively share your vision with others.
When you’re not motivated, it becomes difficult to do anything other than manage your business. And you’re not a manager – you’re an entrepreneur!
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