One of the most common questions asked of me by salespeople and business owners is,
“Can you help me to get and stay motivated?” I tell them that motivation is not something I offer or provide; motivation is something, with my help, they can discover and develop in themselves.

To clarify, the meaning of motivation is “the desire to do something.” Shockingly simple! It’s not some magical ingredient that gives us the power to do whatever we want; it’s simply the desire to want to do it. It’s there, or it’s not.

There’s no question about it, salespeople and business owners who are motivated earn more money. Your attitude, mindset, and approach will always play a huge part in helping you to build the business, close more sales and earn the money you desire. Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

Motivation starts and ends with you. Smart and enlightened salespeople and business owners know that their personal motivation is like a thermostat. They set and maintain the level of their motivation. It’s a choice, and that’s what sets them apart and defines their income.

When we’re motivated, and things are going good, we get things done; we feel invigorated, and we know that we did something meaningful. When we’re not motivated, we don’t feel the need to get things done, and we don’t produce results. Not earth shattering news, just the shockingly simple truth.

Since I became a published author, people tell me they want to write a book as well. However, very few of them sit down and write one. Lack of motivation isn’t the problem: they all have a desire to write. What’s missing is the commitment: they‘re not willing to do what’s required. They don’t want it bad enough. They’re only wading in the motivation pool and not willing to jump in and swim.

I call that a gap. Their motivation and commitment levels have a gap that only they can close. They’re waiting for that magical day when they wake up feeling motivated to take action. It doesn’t work that way. It works the opposite way. You take the action, even if you don’t feel like it, and then and only then can motivation, willpower and discipline drive it home. Nobody is motivated all of the time, and everybody (including me) has a lazy side. Our lazy side is always there to create opposition to success. Your job is to close the gap, fight the urge to be idle and resist making excuses.

The “I have no motivation” excuse has two sidekicks. They are, “I have no willpower, and I have no discipline.” Declaring these absolutes keeps you stuck in your excuse and they always turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The words motivation, discipline, and willpower are merely descriptive labels. They are ways of describing a pattern of committed action. You can’t wait for the motivation to kick in and then take action. Remember, it works the opposite way. You take the action, even if you don’t feel like it.

Motivation is the cause and commitment is the effect. Anyone can get motivated. It’s staying motivated that’s the hard part. Think about how many Mondays you started a diet. Motivated on a Monday and deflated by Thursday. Or how many New Year’s resolutions you made on January 1st and were history by January 16th. It’s not enough to just be motivated; you need to partner up with commitment.

Motivation is the inspiration, force and stimulus behind you that offers a subtle push, a gentle nudge, or full-blown shove to move you and your business forward.

Liz Wendling is the author of two books (and counting) — The Unstoppable Business Woman and Everyone Sells Something, a columnist for Colorado Biz Magazine, and one of the first nationally credentialed facilitators for Napoleon Hill Mastermind groups. Learn more at lizwendling.com.