What is it? What’s the key that turns on the engine of self-determination?
I think it’s just craziness. Period. Out-of-the-box nuttiness – this self-motivation thing compared to simple urgings from a Rocky movie or one-time kiss. The get-up and go, every moment of every day pulsing in one’s veins to accomplish, perhaps, the impossible regardless of the odds, obstacles, or objections of others.
Self-drive in the business environment? Internal forces pushing tired legs out of bed at 3 a.m. – after three hours sleep – to work another day full of 18 hour’s worth of problems to solve and goals to reach. Shoving aside the already rocky societal and economic barriers, self-determiners barrel ahead over the Niagra-type falls hoping to survive another wave of unsure times as they cascade down into a foggy financial mist of loans, credit lines, and liabilities over assets. In short, we hope to survive.
Some make it, most don’t. Self-motivation, alone, isn’t enough. Luck has to be a part. So does discipline, respect, courtesy, fairness, life-work balance, health, etc …
I spent a decade in direct, full-commission sales. Loved it. One of the main connections to enjoying it was my time spent listening to motivational tapes in the car between sales calls. Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, Earl Nightingale, and my favorite, Jim Rohn, always found their way into my cassette player in the car. Never were there silent moments as I traveled down a highway … five minutes or five hours. Wind up a few sentences even now, twenty-two years later, and I could probably finish them from any cassette – any side, any speaker.
What those guys did for me was help me develop a self-confidence I didn’t have prior. The sales techniques, presentation knowledge, book-stuff was easy … however, knocking on a door, or sitting down with a corporate CEO was another novel idea all to it’s own. They helped me internalize my own self-worth. I started to get up every morning being self-motivated, believing I could. Zig Ziglar said, “Whether you believe you can or you can’t, you’re right”. Now, whether he came up with that himself or was repeating it, I don’t know. From his mouth was the first time I heard it …
Seemed nutty to me at the time. And still does. When you grow up believing – and being told – a wildly weird idea that you’re not good enough, and then all of a sudden have these folks on the other side of a cassette player – who don’t know you – tell you that you are … that’s just messed up. That’s just messed up.
It was a wonderful career and had to end. The industry changed locally and I didn’t want to change with it. A great company with great, awesome people. Cassettes are passe as are packing arenas full with motivational speakers. Anthony Robbins isn’t my kind of guy and I don’t lean into any kind of religious urgings much as they relate to business. Cherishing my delicious decade with my guys is plenty nourishing to last a lifetime.
I’m a bit crazy. I outspend to indulge my business ideas … sometimes it works, sometimes not. I’m not a Gates, Jobs, or Iacoca. Who among us really are, right? Thank heavens I never decided to run for public office, be an astronaut (hate closed in spaces), or explore the poles (don’t like being alone). I’m just a self-motivated guy figuring my way through life.
… not to say I don’t buy a lottery ticket, uhm … every once in a while🤔. Well, maybe more frequent than that, because luck is a part of life, too.
Funny, though. Zig Ziglar never mentioned lottery tickets. Oh, well. Never said he was perfect.
Stay motivated wherever you can find the source. We have to keep going. All of us.