What drives YOU?

I don’t know about you, but I feel as though the personal development brigade have hijacked the word passion – so much so that it’s become overused and, I don’t know, somehow demeaned. It’s got to the stage where I often feel you can’t use it without people either silently groaning and rolling their eyes or saying, knowingly, “woo-woo” behind their hands :-(

So I’m going for the word “drive” – you substitute it with whatever works for you but, whatever you call it, this is a worthwhile exercise doing not just once but every now and again – especially when you feel deflated, low and lacking vim or vigour, your mojo’s deserted you – see, I’m even steering clear of un-motivated and un-inspired 😉

Your business in context

Your business isn’t your life (at least, I hope it isn’t!) but it should be contributing to the best life you can envision for yourself, after all, as far as we know this isn’t a rehearsal, is it? Because, whatever your beliefs about life, death, reincarnation and eternity, we only get one chance at this life.

In a small business – whether it’s just you or you have a team of employees supporting you, you by and large are the business so, if you’re not out there in front being and projecting the business you want it to be, it will suffer

… I’m not saying it’s always easy because we all have good days and bad, days where the world seems to be our oyster and days where nothing goes right. But if we behave as though we don’t see the point in our business why should anybody else give two hoots?

How many times for example have we been to a networking meeting where at least half of those there:

  • Aren’t even mildly enthusiastic about what they do
  • Can’t easily and adequately explain the purpose of their business
  • Can’t differentiate their business in a way that makes us want to engage with them?

How does this sound?

If you want to be treated as more than just a commodity – how can you continuously ensure that you are more than a commodity to your clients/ customers?

What do you do for your clients or customers that they’d find it really difficult to get elsewhere?

To give you a laugh on me, when I was much more into the sales training focus of helping small businesses, one of my very good clients once told me he could get that aspect from any one of several different places and delivery routes. He already had a business coach and yet, get this: he would struggle to figure out where he could get the kind of help I provided… excuse me while I go and slap my hand against my forehead… :-(

In many ways I was his external human potential consultant: I made him stop and think when I believed he was about to louse up relationships with employees and suppliers. I told him to go home – I know, bossy boots 😉 – and see his young kids before his long suffering wife gave up yet again on them seeing their Dad… I told him off when what he was instructing the employee he’s hired me to train on sales to do something that got in the way of I was helping them achieve…

What I’m saying here is not how wonderful I am, it’s:

  • How does our inner compelling drive feed into our perceived value to others and
  • What/ where is our real value?

Because once we know the answers to those two questions, surely we can build on that precious information, can’t we?

Your thoughts?

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14 Responses to “What drives YOU?”

  1. I also recommend Dan Pink’s book Drive. And yeah, I’m getting sick of the word passion/passionate yet I keep using it in my marketing copy because I’m not sure how else to say what I want to say. Maybe driven is the word.

  2. Anita says:

    Hi Linda,

    (Love the new site look)

    In answer to your questions –
    – How does our inner compelling drive feed into our perceived value to others and
    – What/ where is our real value?

    I would have to say that my business is something I am so excited about it, I love sharing the joy of gorgeous flowers/ trees … and having a design brief to work towards for a personalised card – just love it!

    I just want to be involved in brightening peoples days :)

    I also like making friends with my customers, adding notes with their orders either celebrating or saying how sorry I am if someone has died etc… I enjoy that personal contact.

  3. sally says:

    Have you read Dan Pink’s book, Drive, Linda? It’s all about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation – might be right up your alley :)

    Like the makeover but OMG on the SM widgets!!

    • I haven’t Sally – I’ll look it up, thanks!

      We haven’t had time to change the colours of the SM widgets so I consoled myself with the fact that at least you can’t miss them! 😉

  4. Sarah Arrow says:

    I like Drive, let’s see if we can replace passion with Drive, it’s sounds so much more…. passionate 😉

  5. Jane Hatton says:

    My business pretty much is my life, I’m afraid! I’m driven by the results we get – disabled people, some of whom thought they may never work again – finding work with inclusive employers who value their skills. It’s literally life-changing stuff, and that’s what keeps me getting up in the mornings.

  6. Very interesting post, Linda, and it reminds me of a relatively old “meme” – don’t be a solution looking for a problem. Many people are very subjective about what they do and put too much energy into that, but not enough energy into applying what they do to solving potential clients’ real problems and needs.

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"I was very impressed by Linda's determination to help and the constructive, but persistent, manner in which she identified issues and then tried to resolve them. After recent progress I was again reaching a stage where I seemed to be spinning my wheels, and she has given me fresh impetus to start moving forward again."