When you’re leading others, you must find a way to move them. One of my favorite sayings is “People act in their self-centered interest and that’s ok. The art of impulse is making their recognized self-interest the same as yours”. Well, that’s all well and good, but what if you aren’t leading people? What if the only person you’re trying to motivate is yourself?
While all of us experience lack of potency from time to time, it is the small business owner who seems to sustain most often. The small business person (for this article, we will use the pronoun ‘he’ – no emails please about gender stereotypes – I’m just trying to save keystrokes). Now where was I? Oh yeah, the small business person is questioned to wear many hats. He is the marketing genius, the savvy salesman, the promoter, the bookkeeper, the secretary, the publicist, the administrator, the leader, the baker and the candlestick maker. And every day he must have his interest, nurture his spirit, sustain his initiative, work well without supervision AND stay motivated. Whew. It makes me tired just thinking about it.
Let’s put it this way: It’s excellent not to have to answer to anyone but yourself. On the other hand, with no one to hold you responsible, you could find yourself floating in the pool one too many days in a row when you should be doing something to grow your business (of course I wouldn’t know anything about that myself, ahem).
So how does one stay inspired when your neck aches from the tower of hats upon your head? Well we found a great solution. Last October (Pre-Covid Era haha) one of my very best friends and I started a Goals Group. We summoned two other companies to join and the four of us meet every Monday at 8:30 am for an hour to an hour and a half. The goal of the Goals Group is to brainstorm, yield ideas, and list our short term and long term business goals. We hold each other accountable in a secret and non-judgmental environment.
Just asserting your goals out loud or in writing is sufficient to make them authentic. Telling someone else about them and knowing they will ask whether or not you achieved them is a strong motivator for getting your butt in gear (and avoiding the pool raft). Furthermore, by sharing our goals, we seem to set in motion the demonstration of prosperity that only occurs when you put positive energy, thoughts and beliefs into the Universe.
Our Goals Group has been a remarkable success! Each company has delivered growth and results none of us thought were reasonable in such a short timeframe. We all have several companies, with different products or services and all are in varying stages – one just starting, one starting over, two in-between Phase III & Phase IV.
We are all bound to the Goals Group and almost nothing conflicts with it. We have it every week and with very few exemptions, everyone has frequented every meeting since its inception. And as a result of this Goals Group, the four of us have built a relationship usually only found in foxholes (our esteemed experienced friends will understand). When one of us is down, the other three lift us. When one of us is facing a specific challenge, the other three offer advice and opportunities for resolution. Together we are evolving.
Without a reservation, the Goals Group is the single best thing we’ve done for our companies and ourselves and I highly suggest it as a means toward self-motivation. It is so valuable, that none of us ever accept a contrary appointment. The Goals Group comes first because we know it kicks our week into high gear.