I bought a lottery ticket. I hope to win. That would be so cool, wouldn’t it? Do I think I’ll win? No. I fully understand the odds are against me. Then why did I buy one? I bought it because I’ve been thinking about hope and whether or not it is a powerful motivator.
To move forward, whether it is in business or in a relationship, you have to identify what is holding you back. For me, my blocks were both professional and personal. My business and my relationship were so closely intertwined that I didn't realize I had a problem until I got stuck again.
My title this month is a funny metaphor for a common opinion that I found written on a bathroom wall. The understood part of the graffiti is that the first mouse must die springing the trap before the second one gets the prize.
Today in business we’re stumped by recession, international competition, high taxes and government regulation. We need to follow the advice “Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.” Easier said than done.
If you think about it, every product and service you purchase began as a solution to a problem. Whether it is through necessity or simple desire, people find new ways of doing things through creative thinking that was stimulated by a mystery. What mystery do you want to solve?
I was less than 2 minutes into my sales presentation when the business owner sitting behind his desk, gruffly said, "Get out of here." …I suffered a moment of cognitive dissonance, this wasn't making sense. He had given me the appointment over the phone, I had driven nearly an hour to get there, and even paid for parking. I said, "But, I haven't even shown you the benefits of the program yet."
Then he screamed, "Get out of here now, or I'll throw you out!"
When you communicate by example, you say non-verbally that you would not ask your people to perform anything that you are not willing to do yourself. Or as Albert Schweitzer observed: "Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing."
Find out what is valuable to the person you want to motivate. What hobbies do they have? What are they passionate about? How do they spend their spare time? Then when you learn what rocks their world, find a way to tie your goals to it.
When you observe the world's most successful people -- in business, sports, or politics -- you see that Desire takes precedence over every other aspect of their lives. Once it takes root, Desire has the amazing ability to drive itself. When it becomes very powerful, we call it Ambition. So few people reach this level that we use the word Hunger to describe it because that is a desire that everyone can understand.
Several years ago, I was invited to speak on Creative Thinking in Business to a civic club luncheon. During the meal, a man at my table sneered, "Sooo, you're a motivational speaker. Well, motivate me!" I was shocked by the un-professionalism, and thought, "I'm getting heckled, and I'm not even on stage yet." So, I laughed and said, "Dude, nobody can motivate you, but you."
Have your heard of The Platinum Rule? More valuable than The Golden Rule, it reminds you that to motivate someone, give them what they want. This is a good lesson in Life, in Relationships, and in Work and Business.