Motivation: What it takes to succeed

Motivation has been on my mind a lot this week.  Why do we do the things we do.  What tools and tricks can we use to motivate ourselves to get things done.Motivation: What it takes to succeed

This week we had a great guest post by Danny about the topic of motivation and eliminating the mindset that holds us back.

-Check out some great articles Danny has about viral marketing this week:

Talking about motivation is nothing new here. I have written a  few articles about motivation and getting things done over the past year.  I think that understanding what motivates us is key.

Everyone should understand the things that drive them to succeed, or as Peter puts it, the things that get you motivated each day.

To be successful with the “Internet Lifestyle” there is a lot of work that has to be done.  Whether your approach to it is more from an affiliate marketer angle or as a blogger.

It doesn’t matter what road you take, there has to be time, effort and patience involved to build a successful business online.  Building a successful business on the internet takes time and energy.

Why do people fail:

People fail for many reasons.  Often it may be because they buy into the unrealistic hype of earning an online income.  So many products out there hype the Internet as an easy way to make money.  Free, easy, fast, simple, quick : these are often the words you hear thrown into the mix for making money online.  The reality is that trying to earn an online income is none of these things.  It take hard-work, effort patience and above all, motivation.

What is motivation? Everyone will have their own answer to what motivates them.  There are some very common factors for motivation.

Money: Many of us do work online for the money.  Hey it is nice to get some extra green, right?  As motivators go this is a bad one.  The people that are really motivated by money and only money are those people that use the internet nefariously.  They can lie, cheat and steal to make a buck.

Making money is a motivator.  No doubt about that, but it shouldn’t be the only motivator.  It is fine to hope for money but you need something more.

Basic needs: This could be a subset of money, but it is also its own motivator.  If you are doing something to put food on the table, pay your electric bills and survive, that is a motivator.  Actually that is great motivator.  “If I don’t get this done, my children don’t eat”  It is hard to get more motivated than that.

There is a problem with this motivation.  It only lasts as long as you are filling the basic needs.  It shows no love or passion for the work.  You may get the job done, but it will be without joy.

This is also a bad motivation for working online.  Many of the ways to earn money online are built on doing things today with the idea of building something for the future.  There is not often an immediate payback.  If your motivation is the paycheck to fill those basic needs, chances are you will not last long.  Those paychecks take a long time and it is far to easy to get discouraged and quit.

Social: Some people are social.  They get motivated by feedback.  They enjoy people and want people to read what they have to say.  They like the attention and interaction of a peer group.  This is a need that can really do well on the internet.  There are a lot of ways to connect with others.  Being motivated by the social aspect is something that is normal and natural for an outgoing person.

Achievement: This is my favorite.  You are motivated by the goal to create something.  You may perhaps set little mini-goals along the way.  Even if the tasks themselves may be things that do not “motivate you” there is still the ultimate goal that does.

Real achievement means stepping outside of your comfort zone.  Trying new things.  Failing.  Succeeding.  It is not for the faint of heart and certainly involves lots of planning and goal-setting.

Passion: Yes, passion is an overused word, but no other word describes the topic as well.  Passion for the topic itself is certainly a big part of success.  You should find something that you just, “enjoy” talking or writing about.  It makes the whole process easier.

So my question for you is simple: 

What motivates you? What gets you excited?  Why do you do what you do?  Are you truly motivated or simply going through the motions.  Share you thoughts on motivation and what it takes to succeed.

Take Action. Get Results.

27 thoughts on “Motivation: What it takes to succeed”

  1. When I want to do or achieve something, the forces that get me going are passion and will to do something I love. Sure, I motivate myself to work my ass off to pay the bills but there are endeavors, whether simple or lofty, that make me feel accomplished regardless if I failed or otherwise. At least I tried.

    Great post, btw!

  2. Hi Steve,
    I can’t talk long, I’m motivated to go do yardwork. My motivation? The yard looks like crap and I want it spruced up before we can have an outdoor party on our newish flagstone patio. So I guess I would say I’m motivated by what people will think. 😉 I’m also motivated to get the rest of my vegetable garden planted. That’s an easy one! It’s one of my passions.

    As far as my online endeavors, I do like the money, or rather, the freedom money can buy, but much more so it’s the sense of achievement. I get excited when I get emails like the one last night where a customer wanted to thank me for my ebook and wanted to discuss his plans and steps putting the info into action. He was so enthusiastic! THAT’s what it’s all about for me.


    • Peggy,
      I would say hat all falls mostly under achievement. (I think we all have a little mixing of motivations) I really like achievement because I think it builds on its own success.

  3. What motivates me is the fact that there’s always something that can be done to improve my current quality of life. I aim to make my life filled with activities that make me come alive, and to spend the most amt of time learning about myself and the world.

  4. Hi Steve,
    I think curiosity and wanting to know what really works trump all other factors in my life. I love to read but usually gravitate to non-fiction how-to books.

    • Good point Riley, I hadn’t really thought about that…but the aspect that you do things to figure out a “puzzle” so to speak is a good one. I know I surely get involved in the, “how do I make this work” aspect a fair amount too.

      Thanks for the comment!

  5. First off, I found Danny through Problogger last week and was really impressed with his writing style and his post, so you sure know how to pick them 🙂

    The reason I find it hard to stay motivated is because I do not like carrots.

    But seriously….

    What motivates me?
    Honestly? Money.
    When my first niche site started generating income (albeit a tiny amount of $40 in a month) I was so motivated by this that I focused hard.
    That was about 6 months ago now and I am currently making enough to survive on it, so clearly its a lot more than $40.

    I can now afford to share my knowledge without it coming at the expense of my income, but without being first motivated by that cash I would never be at this point.

    OK maybe it was not so much the money as what I could do with the money but that’s a stupid comment, because the two are one in the same.

    Great post Steve, really analysed the whys and why nots of success and self doubt.

    nb: do you have a skype account?

    • Danny is a great writer. I have no doubt at all that he is “going places”. I was very glad he was willing to do a guest post on here before he became too big for this site.

      Money is a tricky motivator. At one level I agree, if it wasn’t for the ultimate goal of making money I too would not be doing any of this. As a day-to-day goal though, I personally find it hard to get the juices flowing.

      When you see results (either your 40$ days, your 400$ days or your 4000 dollar days (ok, I came close 1 time) that surely adds a fire under your ass for a while, but while waiting for those times I think it can help most people to have other things about the writing that motivates them.

      As for skype, I do have one…but I am almost never on it. I basically schedule times to talk to people. Hit me up in email and I will chat with ya.

  6. Steve,
    Before I started my blog I already had a good idea of the amount of work that it would take to get it going.

    It’s been a fun journey and I look forward to learning and growing everyday.

    People that have drive, passion, determination, and motivation will do well earning a living on the wen.

    • Blogging specifically to me seems like a “long term” approach to making money. It is good you knew the effort involved before you got started.

      I think a lot of people don’t, and this is why they fail.

  7. This was a fine guest post from Danny, with a lot of truth and actionable ideas, which are always so helpful.

    If I might make one observation: I have tremendous motivation to succeed in my online business, but I have one obstacle that wasn’t covered in this article: unsupportive family and friends. No matter how motivated you might be to succeed, if all you ever hear is that you’re wasting your time with this “Internet stuff,” it’s increasingly difficult to stay focused. It’s pretty easy to avoid well-meaning but unhelpful friends, but it’s harder with family.

    I am determined, however! GO ME! 🙂

    Incidentally, Steve, thanks for leaving a great comment on my blog last week! Unfortunately, it was flagged by my spam filter and I only JUST SAW IT! 🙂 I have since approved the comment and will respond to it soon. I appreciate you dropping by.


    • Joe, glad you found the comment. It was a long one…lol. Anyhow I really liked your article. 🙂

      You a great point. I even wrote about that exact thing once…though it was so long ago I do not even remember what the point of the article (or name was)

      But you are 110% right. Family that doesn’t support you is hard to just cut free… But friends who discourage and refuse to support may not really be friends.

      Ha…just remembered: …20 days shy of a 1 year old post

      For anyone to be successful they need some sort of support network. It is like that old saying, “behind every great man, is a great woman”

      Perhaps that sounds sexist in our day and age where man or woman doesn’t matter for who is “out front” but it is far harder to succeed without a strong support network.

      Thanks for bringing another great perspective (and another wrinkle!)


  8. Steve, thanks so much for the shout-out, and for the honor of having a post on your amazing blog!

    What motivates me? I’d like to say money, because then maybe I’d have more of it, but the truth is that money is really a hygiene factor; not having it will make you feel crummy, but having it won’t take you that far (at least for me).

    What I get really motivated and excited about is seeing people become more empowered, and that’s what I want to do with my time and with my work. It’s what we do at Firepole Marketing through our training program, and it’s what I do (at a higher price) when I’m working 1-on-1 with clients.

    Eventually, I’d like to get back to writing, too…

    • Glad to give you a shout out Danny, and thanks again for a great post the other day.

      I think it is disingenuous for any of us to say money doesn’t matter. Of course it does and should.

      But having something like enjoying the thrill of helping others (like you do) is the cool “spiritual” thing that goes along with the -of course- nice part of making a little bit of money.

  9. This was great Steve, really enjoyed it man and you’ve got tons of awesome little nuggets here. I particulary liked this one:

    There is a problem with this motivation. It only lasts as long as you are filling the basic needs. It shows no love or passion for the work. You may get the job done, but it will be without joy.

    I think these few sentences were the key to the whole article Steve. Passion has been and always will be what carries the day. It’s what keeps us writing at 2am (like last night for me) when we’re dead tired. It’s what pushes up to help others even when it’s inconvenient. And it’s what can carry a blog through the tough times of little or no traffic.

    Great read Steve, have a wonderful week man.


    • Marcus thanks for the awesome comment!

      Like I said in comments before it would be disingenuous to claim that making money wasn’t a factor, but like you pointed out, I have never worked 18 hours strait to get something “perfect” just because of the money.

      Things like that are only done when I feel something “special” about what I am working on. Once my bills are paid, that feeling of “joy” in creating something is worth far more than the money.

  10. What motivates me is actually a tad bit funny.

    I guess you’ve heard of the WarriorForum before. The success stories being posted there and in blogs all over the net keep me motivated.

    I set up a new goal for myself last month: to read at least one inspiring post or watch one inspiring movie on a daily basis. It’s been working out great since then, and I’ve actually been coming up with a lot of new websites thanks to that.

    Tip to every future Internet entrepreneur: watch The Social Network. It’s the movie about facebook. Jeeeez – it really got me motivated! 😀


    • Nabil,

      Inspiring posts and movies are great. I know what you mean. As an external source they can get you fired up and burning with desire to “tear it up”.

      I would just be a little careful…specifically on the warrior forums. Sometimes there are people on their who want to lead you to their latest and greatest product that you probably don’t need.

      Just be a little discerning. For every “Social Network” success movie there is the flip side.. a ‘Glen Gary Glen Ross” which is you have ever done any marketing is hysterical…yet also scary true. Here is a link of the only scene that matters.

      Anyhow, thanks for a great comment Nabil,
      have a great day

  11. Hi Steve,

    I have been thinking a lot about this topic lately, and I could (and probably should) write a blog post about my experiences with motivation. I’ll be brief and explain why.

    I’m working at a University in Norway, and 8 months ago, I got a leave without pay in order to start writing my first novel. There are many reasons why I did this.

    But, I believe that money was not part of it, neither was basic needs. Feedback from other people was a small part of it. I wanted people to recognize me, and finally understand a few things about me (I didn’t want to be just one of all the people working there, and never ever being told that I was doing a great job).

    I believe that my biggest motivation was achievement. I didn’t write the novel because it was something I have been dreaming about for years. I did it because I wanted to see if I could do it, and how it felt like when I did it (the writing process). So far, it’s not part of my passion, but I believe it’s going to be. I really enjoy writing, and the process of writing a novel is amazing.

    • Jens,

      That is great topic. I think you could write a whole series alone on stuff you learn from writing a novel. I do not think many people have done that. I know I have been burning myself out trying to write a large sized eBook, in my foreseeable future a novel is… well, outside my skill-set. But I love to read enough (of just about everything) that I have a lot of respect for novelists. BTW, I hope your writing is going great.

      I know, just from my attempts at the ebooks I have written, which is far-far smaller scale than a novel that it takes a LOT of motivation of one form or another to get a project that large completed. Some days you may have the “fire-in-your-belly” other days you may not. But you have to write, and write well, regardless.

      Anyway, once again…congrats and good luck

  12. Hey Steve,

    I like the part when you said when motivation is about creating something and coming out of your comfort zones. I’ve seriously no background in internet marketing and everything I’ve done till this day is all a product of learning, experimenting and failing along the way. I’ve thought of quitting before too but after doing this for quite a while, I enjoy doing it. As for the money part as a source of motivation, yeah that’s true.. who wouldn’t like to see their efforts repaid with money but I’m glad that it doesn’t play such a big influence on me.

    • I have mixed feelings sometimes. ON one hand I do believe (as the next days article points out) that you should try to learn as you do things. Specifically as you get your “bearings”. ON the other hand I too have done a little bit of everything. Throwing everything against the wall and seeing what sticks.

      That “learning, experimenting and failing” may suck when it ends up with the failing. But failures are great lessons when you take them that way. The money is nice, and when you do see those sales and stuff it can motivate you, but it is hard to get thru the failure on that “hope”. As I am sure you know, from what you said!

  13. I think that online business can be just a hobby from the very beginning. It often happens when a hobby turns into a successful business in the end. So, let’s suggest that you want to launch a blog. Let it be your hoobby first. Just do blogging for pleasure and you will see how quickly it will become popular and you will get high ammounts of targeted traffic. When you have a lot of targeted visitiors then the next your task is to monetize traffic properly and make online business from your hobby. Just try it, because this technique works effectively!

  14. Hey Steve,
    Nice tips there.In my case its my passion towards a thing that drives to last longer and complete the work to perfection.I feel everyone gets a start enthusiastically but the difficult point is consistency.

Comments are closed.