Monday, 29 April 2013

Motivating Matters

So many people claim to have trouble with self motivation.  When I was coaching people we used to explore what would inspire them to achieve. The usual text book answers followed - job satisfaction, achievement, making a difference, more life/work balance - some took the more materialistic route naming money and perks. 

In my experience if you want to make progress in having a more acceptable career you have to start with being completely honest with yourself and if needs be write down these thoughts so that you see them in sharp relief.

Consider what elements in a role are you looking for?
Are you qualified?
Do you have the skills for this role?
Do you have the experience?
Do you have the communication, social skills required?
Are you a good fit?
Then a very important question ........will this role support your lifestyle?  Financially? Flexibility?

If you can't answer positively to each of these there is going to be considerable angst which leads to frustration and unhappiness.  It is a matter of being realistic. It is useful to seek the advice of friends or acquaintances who will give you an honest assessment of your abilities and then you will have to be resilient enough to hear the message.  If 2 or 3 identify similar traits about you then maybe they should be taken on board in making a future decision.

A conversation I had this weekend reminded me of a time when I had to really galvanise myself to keep myself motivated and take my own medicine.

At the age of 45 I was a senior manager, good salary + benefits including a car. I also had 2 children - one at University and the other still at school.  My husband and I enjoyed our lifestyle but I was increasingly unhappy with my job.  Things move on, the job you once had had changed beyond all recognition, the culture was different  and so on but at the end of the day I had to be realistic -maybe its not the job I wanted but it pays the bills!

I had wanted my own business for a long time but somehow didn't have the nerve to take the plunge.  Also when you are on a good package - its hard to risk it ....the old "golden handcuffs" situation.  Then the Company merged with another and to cut a long story short an opportunity arose to leave and to take with me a sizeable sum of money.  However, no matter how big the package it had to sustain me over a long period of time and the sneaking thoughts kept creeping into my head - what if I can't get work?

Anyway after due consideration I decided on a plan.  If I left how would I manage the transition?  My husband and I chewed over the pros and cons.  He quite rightly gave me his opinion that I am a very driven person, quite resilient, love to succeed but hate to fail, inclined to be a workaholic,  quite materialistic and size of income would determine in my mind how successful I was.......  inexperienced at marketing............

What next then?  I wanted a smooth transition and I was questioning how I could possible achieve this - I had accrued about 4 weeks holiday and I decided that I would take them at the end of my notice period.  During these weeks I would form  a business plan, set up the structure and essential processes.  I would read up on marketing technique,  network exhaustively and set daily contact targets.  My aim was to continue my monthly income - so when my Company salary ended my business income would provide for the month which followed.  Looking back now this was quite a gamble!  Oh and one more thing!!  I was determined not to use my "payoff"!   This would be my bonus!!
My husband knew I had always wanted a Mercedes SLK  and so he found a photo of the car and framed it and put it on my desk and he told me this was what I was aiming for!!!

So my Management Consultancy business was born!  I was fortunate to get my first client very quickly after that it was much harder but my marketing continued and I got through the first year and my business started to go from strength to strength through hard work and determination.  More on the trials and tribulations in next post.....and also whether I got the car.........