There’s no such thing as a motivational speaker.
Not even Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn, Norman Vincent Peale or Napoleon Hill were motivational speakers.
Sure, those were five highly motivated dudes. And sure, those guys definitely spoke about the topic of motivation.
BUT REMEMBER THIS: the only person in the world who can motivate you is yourself.
As an author, speaker an entrepreneur myself, I’ve become skilled at self-motivation. See, I work alone. No boss. No coworkers. No clock-in box.
And in my experience, self-motivation works best under three conditions:
1. When it’s visual
2. When it’s daily
3. When it punches you in the face
I’ve found self-questioning to be an extremely effective technique. First of all, it makes you think critically and creatively. Secondly, it keeps you personally accountable. Lastly, questioning is THE most valuable tool in your communication arsenal to gain knowledge and clarity.
NOTE: before I share my list of questions, I need you to stop reading this article for a minute. Would you do something for me? Please go grab a pad of sticky notes and a Sharpie. When you read through the list, write each question on a sticky note and post it on your desk, computer, phone or bulletin board. This is key! It’s the best way to make these questions work to your advantage. You need to be able to see these self-motivators all day.
OK. Go get your supplies…NOW! (Don’t worry; I’ll wait. It’s not like I’m gonna go anywhere. Besides, I don’t even have a boss, remember?)
Cool. Welcome back! Let’s get crankin’ with those questions:
Nice Self-Motivating Questions to Kick Your Own Butt
1. Is what I’m doing today going to bring this customer back tomorrow? There’s no business like repeat business. And even when you say no, you’re still marketing. So be sure your words and actions are unforgettable. In the process, you will turn your customers into ‘fans.’ Cultivate and cherish these people who loyally love your stuff. Enable them to tell everyone about you, and they WILL come back tomorrow.
2. If everyone did exactly what I said, what would their world look like? This is my all-time favorite. Especially for managers and leaders, this question helps you clarify your philosophy, mission and orders. The key is, once you figure out the answer to this question, then ask yourself the following: ‘Is what I’m doing or saying giving my people the tools they need to build that world?’ If not, throw it out.
3. Is what I’m doing right now leading to a sale? Poor time management and lack of focus are dangerous adversaries to all business people. Asking yourself this question keeps the idea of sales at the top of your mind. I first posted this sticky note on my laptop about three years ago. Sales have doubled every year since.
4. Is what I’m doing right now consistent with my #1 goal? This question forces you think critically about your primary objective. Sadly, to few businesspeople actually know what that is! In fact, I bet if you asked ten random people what their #1 goal for 2007 was, only about half of them would have a definitive answer for you. So, what’s yours? Doubling annual revenue? Achieving membership into the 100% club? Securing five new accounts a week? Whatever your #1 goal is; use this sticky note as an accountability measure. If the answer is yes, keep doing what you’re doing. If the answer is no, stop playing online poker and go do something productive!
5. What did you write today? Every time a new friend or client comes to my office, this is the first thing they usually notice. You can’t miss it. I wrote it at the top of my dry erase board last year when I began writing my latest book, Make a Name for Yourself. And since then, it’s worked brilliantly. I have no choice but to stare at it all day! As a result, I haven’t missed a day of writing in years. I suggest this question to everyone. NOTE: you might be saying to yourself, ‘But Scott, I’m not a writer!’ My response to that is, ‘Everyone is a writer.’ Just because you don’t write books or publish a column doesn’t mean you’re not a writer. There’s blogging, publishing newsletters and writing emails. All writing. All valuable. All done daily. Remember, writing is the basis of all wealth.
6. Is everything you know written down somewhere? That which goes unrecorded goes unmemorable. You must write everything down. Everything! Goals, thoughts, lessons learned and especially ideas. For example, how many times have you exclaimed, ‘Damn! I wish I’d thought of that!’ Well, I have some bad news for you: you probably DID think of that. You just didn’t write it down. And that’s why someone else is making money off that idea, not you. Write everything down.
7. On a scale from 1-10, how did I do in my (x) today? Since the day I graduated from college, I’ve been practicing something called ‘Daily Appointments with Myself.’ This 30-60 minute period of morning reflection and relaxation is THE most important part of every day. It resets my attitude, clears my head and prepares me for challenges and opportunities ahead. One of the key components to this appointment is my Success Checklist. I suggest you make one for yourself. Simply write out this question for every major area of your life, both personal and professional. Relationships. Goals. Career. Faith. Health. Whatever you want.
HERE’S THE KEY: give yourself an honest assessment of how well you think you did in each area for the day before. Use these numbers to keep record of your improvements over time.
8. What HVA’s did I practice today? That stands for ‘Highly Valuable Activity.’ Your goal is to accomplish three per day. Now, what you consider to be a HVA is up to you. Examples might include meeting with a prospect, writing an article, going to the gym, reading a new book or attending an association meeting. After a while, those numbers start to add up. 3 per day. That’s 21 per week. 84 per month. 1,018 per year. Wow! With that many Highly Valuable Activities, you’ll be certain to achieve your #1 goal for 2007!
9. What’s next? Back in the day when I used to sell furniture, my boss would post little sticky notes all around the store asking this two word question. According to Pamela, it kept her employees on task. Especially when business was slow. ‘What’s next?’ reminded us that there was always something to do: sweep, rearrange couches, follow up on special orders or study the new product catalogues. What’s more, this question works for small things and big things alike. Asking, ‘What’s next?’ on a big-picture scale is a valuable brainstorming activity to evaluate the growth of your business.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you asking yourself the right questions?