Looking for how to find your self-motivation? You first need to find leverage for yourself.
Here's my story about leverage - that force that we use to change our lives.
Two brothers left Ireland bound with hope to America in the 1880s. They landed in Virginia; one brother went south, and the other up into the Appalachian Mountains in southern Virginia.
That man ended up being my great-great-grandfather. Several generations of hillbillies grew up in “the hole in the wall,” as they called the small house in a spit of a valley, with the hoped-for job being a coal miner.
One of his sons was a preacher. By all accounts, he was the fire-and-brimstone change-your-ways or you’re burnin’ kind of guy.
He had a farm but wasn't around much to take care of it. His son, my grandfather, woke up one December morning from a knock on the door. It was the sheriff repossessing the farmhouse. They chucked all of the furniture and belongings out into the cold. The family went to live with relatives for several years. That was what we call an inciting incident.
My grandfather, William, was determined that would not happen to him. He got an education, became a carpenter, and learned the trade well enough to become a general contractor.
I always think about that on Thanksgiving because every one of his sons and daughters got out of that Appalachian hamlet. Many went on to get advanced college degrees.
And I stand on stages across the world today because that man set a goal; he envisioned a better future for himself and his family.
He had leverage on himself to make it happen as he saw the consequences of inaction at a very early age.
Because of him, I write this as an information entrepreneur, not a guy trying to make a living in a coal field.
My message is that while we should be thankful for all we have now, it is at least as important to be thankful for all those people who came before us and whose shoulders we stand on today.
No one pulled themselves up by a lone set of bootstraps.
The power comes from discovering the inciting incident that changed someone in your past's life.
From that, you can develop your own ultimate why. Why do you want to grow your business? Add locations? Heck, just go to work?
It has to be more than getting a paycheck.
It has to be more than making more money.
Unless you connect the dots to something truly meaningful you want or want to avoid, then those times you need to follow through but don't will be easy to let slip.
When you have clarity as to what you want and why, you can stay focused and move through those challenges you'll have with suppliers, employees, and even family members so those moments become speedbumps, not cliffs that you can't recover from.