In Motion
An excerpt from Tara Gentile’s digital coaching program, The Art of Action.

Why do you do what you do?

It’s a fundamental question. All of our reasons are slightly different. Our motivations come from many sources.

What motivates you to work?

My initial motivation was 6lbs, 8 ounces.

I created my business because I desperately wanted to stay home with my daughter after she was born. I couldn’t bare the idea of going back to work. For me, it was almost a question of survival.

But when my business grew to the point where it was no longer a part-time venture, I needed to make a decision whether I would continue to grow or back off. That decision was fueled by a different kind of desperation. I made that choice based on a fiery internal motivation that would not be smothered.

It wasn’t enough to sell a few products here or have a nice blog over there. I needed to create something that would fully serve my tribe and deeply challenge their perspective.

That need still burns in my belly.

It keeps me waking up before the rest of my family, it keeps me working late, it keeps me making hard decisions, it keeps me on the phone & at the computer – it even helps me make dollars & cents decisions.

My motivation to serve my people has created a business that brought in over $100,000 in the last 12 months.

Understanding your motivation helps you understand your business and its needs.

Motivation is not a singular feeling, though. It has many sides and many forms.

According to Daniel Pink, motivation has historically taken 3 main forms, evolving through history.

First is the motivation to survive. Most of history is actually guided by this motivation. Humans worked hard, fought wars, and crossed vast distances just to keep themselves and their families alive. So too were their businesses based on survival. Markets were filled with merchants needing to sell a certain amount of goods just to put food on the table that evening.

What decisions would you make differently if your very survival was dependent on the business you are growing? Certainly, you might take some risks. You might choose to invest in a slew of supplies if it meant that you could double your earnings at the next craft show. You might send out that next email update if it meant you’d bring in $1,000 in one day.

But when you’re motivated by survival, you’re also more likely to protect yourself and make decisions based on “sure things.” Survival motivation isn’t predictable – and it’s also highly unenjoyable.

If you’ve created your art or craft business out of the joy of your heart, survival motivation isn’t going to be what helps it to succeed.

Second is external motivation. External motivation is the kind the industrial revolution is built on. It’s the kind of motivation you have at your day job.

External motivation is a system of rewards & punishments. “Do this, because if you don’t, you won’t receive that.”

While you might be most familiar with a parent or boss shouting over your shoulder, you can fall subject to external motivation in your own business. You believe that if you don’t do a particular craft show, or if you don’t Tweet a certain number of times per day, or if you don’t copy a new trend, you won’t succeed. You’ll be punished by the market.

External motivation stifles creativity. But it is the number one reason I see creative business owners not making creative decisions for their businesses.

Finally, there is internal motivation. Internal motivation is a kin to passion in its truest sense. It is that fire-in-the-belly sense you have about your work.

With internal motivation, there is the desire to find new experiences. There is the desire to learn new things. That’s simply not present with other types of motivation. As internally motivated beings, we are not only want to exist and subsist in this world, but we are beings that want to experience and learn and grow.

What kind of decisions do you make when you’re internally motivated?

  • You try that craft show because of the possibility of meeting a whole new market of customers.
  • You try email marketing because you want to experience a new way of connecting with your customers.
  • You create a new product line because you want to challenge yourself to try a new technique.
  • You hire an assistant because you want the possibility of faster growth.

Internal motivation isn’t about following trends, learning best practices, or reading the instruction manual. It’s about pushing yourself further because you need to. It’s about ruthlessly rethinking your assumptions. It’s about figuring out what’s best for yourself. It’s about creating supportive community.

Starting your own business is about a desire to find internal motivation. Succeeding with your own business is about allowing your internal motivation to take control.

What will you do today to tap your internal motivation & put it in control of your business?

Tara Gentile empowers passion-driven entrepreneurs to find the profit in producing the work of their true spirit. She is the creator of The Art of Action – a digital coaching program for transforming your hard work into big results.

{{Update!}}  Tomorrow, May 11, Tara will be hosting a FREE live preview of The Art of Action. She’ll be sharing a worksheet, most of the teaching from module one on a free call, with a chance to snag one of 5 free consulting sessions with her.  I’ve worked with Tara and can tell you she delivers in a big way.  Do yourself a favor and sign up for the free class now.

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3 comments on “Tap That: Finding Your Business Groove with the Best Kind of Motivation”

  1. Tara, I am really REALLY enjoying and benefiting from your influence and writing.

    I watched you on the DARING DIY’ers on Livestream and then signed up for your email.

    Thank you so much for doing what you do!

    I truly want to also provide inspiration to others stepping out on their journey as well!


  2. Thanks, Kelly Ann! I am truly lucky to get to do what I do AND receive such wonderful comments 🙂

    Please let me know what I can do to help you realize your dreams!

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