I took the week off from my day job to relax, reflect, and finish my upcoming book. During this week I’ve been thinking a lot about what really motivates me and what my values are. This is something people don’t really think about, or they aren’t honest with themselves. I’ll use myself as an example and then you can think about what drives you at a fundamental level.
I have a chip on my shoulder, something everyone can relate to in a way. College Failed Me and did not prepare me for a marketing career that I spent so much time and money on. The job market demands skills and experience that I didn’t have for their entry-level jobs, jobs that barely pay more than what I’m already making. I spent a considerable amount of time learning more skills, but it didn’t seem to make a difference. I couldn’t even get a call back for 90% of the positions I applied to.
I’m working a low-skilled position with a mediocre wage. After two promotions I’m barely making more than I was when I started almost three years ago. I work in a loud, distracting call center environment even though I do internal auditing and compliance. And the worst part is that I don’t see any exit in sight.
I’ve always been a quiet, relaxed guy. I’m hard to understand and people often talk over me or flat out ignore me, whether intentional or not. My social skills are pretty bad, which is why I don’t put a lot of effort into them anymore. People try to take advantage of my quietness and think I’m a push-over or lack confidence. (This happens a lot less than when I was a teenager, exercise and MMA built confidence in me that will never go away).
See what I mean about knowing what motivates you? Those are all my negative motivators wrapped up into three paragraphs. You must really dig deep and be honest with yourself if you want answers. You need to find the ugly truths and acknowledge them.
Alex Becker, one of my favorite YouTubers, talks about a similar experience. He didn’t go to college like I did but joined the Air Force instead. He describes his time in the Air Force as ‘two years of hell’ because of mistakes he made along with terrible co-workers and superiors. He used that motivation to quit his job and start his own SEO consulting business. For him, there was no other option. He hated his job so much that the appeal of risking all of his money to start a business was much more attractive than staying there and taking the safe but miserable route.
Now let’s talk about my positive motivators. For me, starting my own business and being my own boss has been a goal of mine for a few years now. I want to have freedom over what I do without someone breathing down my neck. I would rather work 60 hours a week doing what I like rather than 40 hours a week doing something I can barely tolerate. It’s no contest in my mind.
I love being fit and healthy. Exercise is very important to me; I briefly talk about that in my upcoming book. I also love video games, travel, doing fun stuff outside, hanging out with friends, and eating at restaurants. Comedy is also important to me, which I hardly do on this blog, but I have other outlets where I do that (like with my friends and co-workers so we all stay sane). Someday I want the freedom to choose when and where I do the things I love, without having to worry about getting approval from anyone.
I enjoy helping people, that’s my purest motivator. Knowing that I potentially improved someone’s life and made a positive impact makes everything seem more important. Making money while providing massive value is the best business model I can think of. Even small things like giving someone advice or listening to them vent makes me happy. A lot of that I can attribute to my parents who raised me right, even though there was a lot of negativity and poverty around me growing up.
I have a vision for myself: being a successful businessman/marketer. Networking with people, selling great products and services, building a great company that will bring me immense pride. Hustle Planet is my second attempt at that and I won’t give up until I succeed. Period. The hustle and drive I have is probably the main thing that keeps me motivated. I’ve always had high self-esteem and I want to prove that I’m better than other people. I want their respect naturally by them seeing my accomplishments. It’s kind of dark, but it drives me to succeed.
See how the positives outweighs the negatives? That’s the point I’m trying to make. I’ve had far from a tough life, and I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had. It’s all about perspective. Like I said earlier, you need to really reflect about who you are, what motivates you, and what your values are. We’ve all been in dark places before, but there is always light on the other side. Know what motivates you and use it to your advantage.