Motivation: Don’t Wait for your Boss to Do It


Could Zig Ziglar have said it any better? Not a chance. He nailed it with this one. Maybe he could have said “showering” instead of bathing (who takes baths anymore)? Still a great quote.

Daily. Key word there. Motivation is a daily chore. Like house chores. Take a day off from motivation & your house gets dirty. Anyone living in a dirty house right now? Chances are you’re waiting for someone else to motivate you.

Won’t happen. Can’t happen (for long periods of time).

Write this down: Your boss, supervisor, or anyone else for that matter, can’t motivate you. Your #1 motivator is you. Period.

Ever raise kids? Attend their sporting events? Why is it that you wanted your son to get that puck out of the corner a hell of a lot more than he wanted to get that puck out of the corner? You have all heard the jackass parent in the stands, screaming her head off at her own kid. That parent is motivated. Her kid? Not so much.

No different than the dad that wants his daughter to block the spike in volleyball. Everyone in the stands knows she jumps like a turtle. But dad, he thinks that’s the moment she’s gonna get hops. He’s motivated. She can’t wait to find out who’s having the sleep-over this weekend.

Sales Directors, VP’s, Sales Managers, you know this more than anyone. It is impossible to motivate your team. Some have it & some don’t. You likely have a few studs (or stud-ettes), a few so-so’s, & a few that won’t be there a year from now. Don’t tell me it’s your product, your pricing, your market, your culture. It’s THEIR MOTIVATION.

You try. You have sales meetings. One-on-ones. Ride-alongs. Spiffs. But, nothing. Just like your kids’ sporting events, there are far too many times when you want success for your salespeople more than they want success for themselves. That is an awkward feeling that you do not get paid enough to have. It’s called motivation. Or the lack of it.

Sales Leaders: What can you do? A few things:

1. You can start with better people

Start looking for people that have the commitment & desire for success (not just the ones with technical aptitude).

2. You can screen, assess & evaluate – pre-hire

It works. There are many companies that offer these assessments. Imagine the time, energy & money you will save by doing what we call the “MRI before the operation.” Ask yourself this question: Why does Brad Pitt or Julia Roberts always show up for the interview… but three months later, Rodney Dangerfield or Roseanne Barr shows up for work? Did you assess them?

3. You can really get to know their “Why”. What motivates them?

Get to know your team. What motivates them? What are their goals (not the ones you gave them)? What do they love? Here’s a promise: They are motivated by one of two things: 1. Moving away from PAIN (bad situation, debt, hardship, etc.) or 2. Moving toward pleasure (money, status, recognition, retirement, vacations, toys). Find out what it is for them.

Salespeople: What can you do?

1. Know what motivates you – every single day.

Why do you get up every day & do this? How do you do it? What motivates you, gets you going, keeps you going?

Sure, you have a family to provide for – so does everybody else. What really motivates you (Moving away from PAIN or Moving toward pleasure)?

2. Do a gut-check on your own commitment

Similar to #1, but different. Commitment = What you will do to be successful. Are you doing what it takes? Starting early. Ending late? Answering phones, emails & texts on evenings & weekends? Asking the tough questions? Stepping up? Doing extra? If you’re not, someone will. Don’t be outworked. It doesn’t cost money & it doesn’t take any more brainpower than the next person has. Do it.

3. Tell yourself how good you are (AKA: Self-Talk)

Sounds corny, but if others aren’t telling you how good you are, you’d better tell yourself (just don’t do it out loud).

For example:

  • I’m good, damn good
  • I have forgotten more about ________ than they have ever known
  • I am worth (insert giant number)
  • I love this (job, industry, business, company, etc.)
  • I got this! Piece of cake!
  • Failure is not an option

Repeat: Motivation is a daily chore. You wouldn’t show up to work without showering. Don’t even think about showing up without the self-motivation that it takes be a rock-star in this business. You deserve it.

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Dave Tear

Dave is passionate about selling & helping others understand the sales process. Whether a client company has a 5 person sales team or a 300 person National sales force, Dave can Coach & Train them to be the best in their industry.
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