Motivation is critical if you want to be successful in business. However, it isn’t just about your motivation, it’s about influencing those in your team so they are motivated to achieve alongside you. Motivating your team, even to do menial tasks, can improve your whole business, lower costs and open up new opportunities for you that you haven’t realised before.

But how can you find that motivational tactic that will work for you and your business?

Here are some suggestions from my experience.

Learning About What You Want

I wrote a little while ago about Eric Thomas, a motivational speaker, author, activist and minister, who gave a speech to students on how to be successful. Part of his speech was about defining how much you want to be successful. He claimed that if you want to achieve as much as breathe, then you will find a way to be successful.

While his words are not supposed to be taken literally, there is some truth in what he says. If you want to succeed in business you have to really want it. And if you want something a lot, you’ll work extra hard to get it. Therefore, deciding what you really want is an important stage of knowing whether you want something enough or not.

So you have to ask yourself honestly: How bad do I want to achieve this outcome / goal?  Once you’ve answered it to yourself, you choose whether or not you can dedicate the time & effort in focusing your energy on achieving that goal.  That’s half the battle.

Yet not everyone has the same goals and desires that you do. For your team, you have to discover what motivates them to achieve success and then direct your efforts to focusing on their goals and desires. And don’t get mixed up with business goals and personal goals.  In my experience, helping someone genuinely achieve personal goals will fuel them to reciprocate to help the company achieve their business goals.

But you have to ask. It’s odd the first time, but in my experience, these have been driving factors for my team to work the extra mile. Provide an environment for them for them to feel safe, and I guarantee you, you will get a high return on value.

Focus On The Task At Hand – Click to Tweet

motivational tactics
One of the biggest problems entrepreneurs face (even myself from time to time) is getting distracted and not concentrating on what is really important for the success of their business. It might be really enjoyable to complete certain jobs and achieve prestigious awards, but if you don’t have the time or the resources to do these as well as essential tasks to achieving your overall goal, then you are ultimately going to fail.

This is why focus is important as a business leader. Every activity you partake in has to be analysed for both relevance to the main goal and the resources it will consume. If an activity is wrong for the business, then you must look at declining it or waiting until the environmental conditions are right.

What I’ve done to help me focus at the task at hand (work in progress) is that I’ve set up a Trello account and organize the top 3 priorities of the day. These are things that are critical to the company’s success and they need to get done first. I try my best to tackle the least enjoyable task first; here is a great behavioral science article about tackling the painful things first written by a friend of mine, James Clear and why it’s effective.

If you need help with this, get this amazing tool called The Productivity Planner from my good friends UJ Ramdas and Alex Ikonn at Intelligent Change. It’ll get you back on the path of success.

I’m not perfect, so sometimes I do get distracted by my 2.5 year old cause I just want to spend some time with her, but what I’ve done that has worked for me is that I close all my e-mails & social media tabs and just get a task done.  Rinse & repeat.

Determination When Things Go Wrong

Life is not easy. That’s a fact. You will sometimes find that things go wrong but this is not the time to get downhearted by events. Instead you should look for the opportunities that exist within the incident. Your attitude is 90% of how you’ll overcome this obstacle.

This is not about positive thinking, this is about analysing the scenario and seeing what actions can be taken to reap full advantage of the situation. For instance, you might have placed an order for the wrong supplies, they might not help you with one product, but could they be used for creating a new product? It’s a learning moment.


To succeed you to need to motivate yourself and lead by example because it is contagious (in a good way). For this, you need to know what you really want to achieve. At the same time, change the way you see challenges to opportunities / learning experiences to help you move onto the next stage of your goal.