Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tips for Staying Motivated in Your Small Businesses

As an observer by nature, I am always amazed at how individuals operate within a variety of settings and circumstances. One of the most fascinating topics to me has been motivation. I have seen people, who were driven by success or responsibility, push themselves and their families to the point of exhaustion, and wondered if they felt the results were worth it. 

Naturally, if you live long enough, you get the chance to see just about everything. I know that I am old enough to have witnessed how my, my daughter’s, and now my grandchildren’s generations, differ in their motivation. Naturally, we are motivated differently. In my youth, our life styles were not the same as my grand children’s. I was more motivated by money and what it could buy, simply because my parents grew up during the Depression and were conservative in spending.

I hear employers complain about their workforce not being motivated and I naturally ask what motivates their workers. Usually, the clients look at me blankly; answering glibly, “nothing”; they shrug; or make assumptions. Their reactions cause me to offer my “free” speech about self-worth and how it is important to know what motivates others so they, the business owner, can be a better manager. It is not always well received, but the facts are true. If an employer dangles a 25-cent- to a dollar-an-hour raise over someone’s head who is not motivated by money, but instead by “time off,” the effort is wasted.

Since I feel motivation is something of great value, I am interested in finding out what motivates business owners and how they stay motivated.

Over the past 17 years, many women-owned businesses have especially intrigued me regarding “What motivates them.” I have watched women arrive at 4 a.m. to bake bread and stay until 11:30 p.m. to clean floors (small business owners wear many hats).