We all love a good motivational speech.
You know, those aha moments à la Oprah or Ted Talks and such, when a very successful individual gets up on stage, shares a near-death experience or a hitting-bottom season of life, which triggered a big kick in their pants and forced them to change their ways and become who they are at the time of the speech.
Those are great. They often cause us to cry a little — or even a lot — and sometimes to make drastic decisions on the spot to change our own lives.
Are those motivational videos we see shared on Facebook enough to keep us going when things are high, but particularly when things are low?
I am going to go ahead and answer: No.
The decisions we make after listening to a motivational speaker are in the same category as the resolutions we make on January 1st. We keep some, we drop some, and we forget about others.
And the ones we keep aren’t because we made them for the New Year. They have to do with a deeper need or desire or motivation that we discovered as we went.
The definition of ‘motivation’ is “the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.” Or “the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.” I personally like to sum it all up as motivation is a “motive for action.”
We have a great load of it all over the internet. But I do think we need more searching and defining of our own why(s). Our own motive to take action. Our reasons to set goals, to go after them, and to keep pressing on.
We all know by now that entrepreneurship is tough and goes up and down constantly. Without a clear ‘why,’ you just won’t be able to keep up. Not because you’re not cut out for it or gifted enough, but because you lack motivation — a daily, long-lasting motive for action.
For me, my ‘why’ has always been to walk into my purpose as a woman, as a mom, as the creation of God.
And all those can be divided into smaller motives to action. If I want to be as generous as I want, helping people at any point in time when I see the need, I need to make money and create a generosity bank account. That’s a huge motivator.
If I want my kids to learn that a woman can have a family and pursue what she loves and what she knows she’s called to do in the world at the same time, I need to model that reality myself and keep building my little empire.
It’s great motivation to use your life as an example when you just don’t feel like it.
Someone else’s story might make me want to be a go-getter on the spot, but I’ll only actually go and get ‘it’ if it’s connected to my personal ‘why’.
Of course, this branding girl can’t talk about finding and defining your ‘why’ without mentioning brand development. Building your brand is all about that personal motivation. It’s for you to know it and express it, and for them to understand it and get behind it.
The ‘why’ question is perhaps the most important one when starting any project. Motivation isn’t only a way for you to start and get going; it’s also an appeal for people to join in the journey along with you.
Clearly defining my ‘why’ helped my husband support my business decisions and even now get on the team for certain projects.
Clearly defining my ‘why’ and explaining it to my kids often has brought so much grace and support from them.
Defining ‘why’ my keeps me going when I truly don’t feel like it – and those days are more common than you might think.
And finally defining my ‘why’ has allowed me to book ideal clients and keep them as clients but also as cheerleaders.
True motivation is a motive for action for you and for others, all of you investing time, money, energy into your business, into your dreams.
Find your motivation, your own personal ‘motive for action,’ and not only you but others too will keep on believing in your ‘why’ for the long run.
MotherHustle Panelist Katell Schmitz is the creative director + brand designer at Reverie Lane Designs and The Creative Session, where she works with passionate dreamers on a mission to create beautiful, memorable and impactful brands. She’s a French expat who’s living her American dream but also gets homesick from time to time. She’s a happy wife and mama of two and presently lives with her multicultural family in Boston. Find her on Facebook and Instagram.
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