If the personal development trap is bad, the motivational trap is its evil twin on steroids. Over-reliance on outside motivation is all too common in the sales industry. Everybody wants to be pat on the back and told how great they are. Then what do they do? Go right back to doing the same old things that never got results. “Maybe it’ll work this time because somebody said that I’m awesome!” Great! How’s that working out for you?
As with personal development, I believe that outside motivation can be a great thing. The problem occurs when entrepreneurs use it as a substitute for working and learning. That’s why speakers like Bryan Dodge refuse to be labelled motivational speakers. Jim Rohn said it best: if someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn’t need motivation to speed him up. What he needs is education to turn him around.
At one point, I could recite a 4 minute, 18 second video involving Rocky, Brad Pitt, and Muhammad Ali in its entirety, and thought I was doing something important. Yet I didn’t know how to give a business pitch in under 20 seconds. I thought lack of motivation was the problem, so I watched videos, listened to music, wrote my goals, etc. every day for almost an entire year.
It took me a very long time to realize that my problem was a lack of skills and lead generation. When I overcame my motivated idiot phase and focused on working smart, I finally started to see results. I haven’t touched motivational stuff in years, and I’m still alive. Though I die a little inside when I see motivation put so far above action. Especially when some leaders spend more time telling their team not to quit because of no results, than they do teaching them how get results. There’s an old saying that you get what you focus on.
Everybody knows that what makes Ali’s “I’ma Show You How Great I Am” speech so great is that he could back it up. Unlike most of us, he didn’t just say cool stuff and think his goals would just fall into his lap. If he got beaten in every single fight and read inspirational quotes instead of training, do you think we’d be talking about his speech today? Then why do so many of us do just that in our business?
If you’re not proud of your results, you don’t need to be sitting around watching motivational movies. Why do you need 90 minutes to be told to get off your ass? If you’re not working (smart), you can read all the inspirational quotes you want. You can watch all the movies you want. Other people can hype you up and piss you off all they want. You’ll never be fired up enough to break out of the insane asylum.
What if we simply switched our priorities? Got 111 minutes to watch Facing the Giants? Take 111 minutes to watch the countless free videos that show you how to talk to prospects. What if instead of using team calls and briefings for pep talks, we did roleplays? What if the inspirational quotes that dominate the business side of social media were replaced by scripts? Do you have any idea how much your team — and even your company — would explode if everyone made these simple changes?!
Ann Sieg brilliantly addressed the motivational trap in her book, The 7 Great Lies Of Network Marketing:
“The more inefficient your system is and the more ineffective your tools are, the harder you’re going to have to work to get results. And because of that, you have to make up for it big time with motivation.
When you’re using the right tools for the job, you’re seeing steady, consistent progress
and things are trucking along smoothly, motivation becomes almost an afterthought.
Let me ask you: If you had highly-qualified prospects to talk to every day that understood
what you do, expressed an interest in learning more and were eagerly awaiting your
response, do you think that motivation would be a problem for you?”
Make a nice day!