Motivation: Money.

On February 16, 2011, in Something To Write About, by lesley

We’ve all seen the comedy sketch where the actor, pretending to be a ketchup bottle, stops everyone mid-scene because he can’t find his motivation. We all laugh, finding motivation is funny.

But one of the wonderful things about the recent series of webinars has been the questions you have sent in, and one thing that’s pretty clear is that motivation is a big problem for people starting out in the internet business. Much more so than we thought.

I’m not just talking about fear of failure here, that’s something quite different. I’m talking about finding the mental attitude that gets you to work after work , to add yet more tasks to a hectic life, to play less and produce more; all things you have to do when you’re still working a nine to five job, but trying hard to escape.

Because it is hard work, whatever the other internet gurus tell you, so how can you find the right motivation?

It’s always interesting when scientific research and the gurus of academia catch up to what you and I have always known – in this case I found an interesting post on Yaro Starak’s blog which pointed out the new research shows – guess what?

Material reward is not enough.

There is more to life than money.

I suspect that this view depends very much on your current situation. If you’ve no job, no income and a family to support, it seems there is little more to life than the desperate need for everything money can buy – making money a superb motivator. Maybe  money can’t buy you happiness, but it can help you feel miserable in great comfort.

But move on from that – and people do, does the situation remain the same?

The question I get asked most often is ‘How do I find stuff to write about? My business is XXX and I really don’t like it much or know much about it.’

And that’s the webstore problem in a nutshell.

You can wrap it up in any fancy terminology you like, but most people start an online business because they want money. They may call it financial independence, but it boils down to the same thing. They choose a business model and a product for entirely financial reasons.

And as a motivation, that works. For a while. But then it gets to be a chore. You have no interest in the subject, you spend hours trying to learn stuff, and as a result you are very very open to those who tell you they can do it all for you, if you just part with a few thousands of dollars.

Or you give up before you get to success. Yes, some gurus will admit that it really isn’t that hard, i’ts just that most people give up too soon.

Now I’m not trying to say that money isn’t useful, or important, or that you should ignore financial concerns when you plan your ebiz. Far from it.

But really it doesn’t have to be a chore. The old adage about doing something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life, can be true.

Humans aren’t about stuff. They’re about feelings and concepts; about love, and beauty and feeling fulfilled.

Yes, I know it sounds corny but remember another saying –  that a man on his deathbed never regrets missing time at the office.  So what if it is corny – this is Valentines week and I can mention the L word if I want.

Now the good news! An internet business can be the key to a new life which provides everything you need, and no, I’m still not talking about money here.

I’m talking about

  • a way to express yourself
  • a way to be creative
  • a way to be fulfilled
  • a way to have fun


  • a way to be free

but you have to choose wisely – don’t do something you don’t want to do, just because you think it’s a route to easy money.

Research your products and ideas around things you like, in fact, start with things you are passionate about. If you can’t find the right thing,  look for something you can get passionate about. Something you love which solves a problem for other people.

Yes, you will have to do things you don’t enjoy at first, but it’s temporary. Once you have made some money you can outsource the tasks you hate and concentrate on those you love.

There’s nothing wrong with money unless you lose site of the fact that it’s not money you want – it’s a means to an end, and so is doing business on the internet.

What’s your motivation?

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9 Responses to “Motivation: Money.”

  1. Pictureme2 says:

    Great article! I could relate to this statement: “that a man on his deathbed never regrets missing time at the office”

    I remember one time I was sick and had to be hospitalize. I worked a 9 to 5 job and never missed a day for years. I always wanted to make sure my work was done and some. But once sickness took over, I have never missed the job or the office. I was sick and being healthy (not dizzy) was my first priority.

    Second, I like my full time job and I have been there for 14 years. They recognize and appreciate the workers a lot with benefits, rewards, gift, and bonus.

    However, I love and have a passion for photography. I love taking pictures and creating images that lights up the face of each client. In my town, I am the “go-to gal” for photo-shoots! I am the Harlem-Female Shooter (with a camera of course) in Harlem NYC and I LOVE IT.

    My goal and motivations are to build a nice presence online of me and what I love to do.
    Building a blog, website, or even an eStore, is hard (regardless what the gurus told me). I need to do it full-time. I need to take one step at a time. However, I get so distracted and anxious (excited when I see other people’s work) that I lose my train of thought.

    I need to relax. I need to fall back. It’s not about the money at all. I have the money and need to realize I need to stay focus.

    And, once I get where I need to be, I will outsource work that I hate!! (I love this part Lesley)!!!

    Thanks again for the article!! I have to share this with my friends!

    • lesley says:

      Jackie thanks for this great comment. Before every business is there is a plan, and before every plan there is a vision, clearly you have that vision and motivation is not a problem! Now, take the passion, make the plan and put it into action.

  2. Maria Pavel says:

    @Lesley: I’d say that it depends, for some people is money, for people who have money is something else, like passion maybe. When you start, the motivation is money and the need to change something, like your job or what you do at that job.


    • lesley says:

      Maria, as you say, when you start, motivation is often money, But it doesn’t need to be. If I could go back to twenty all over again, there are some money related choices I made that I think might well go the other way.

  3. Insightful, Lesley! And a topic that whirls through the air unspoken but always there, seemingly. My motivation, at this point in my life, is different than in my 20s or 30s, even my 40s, and now that I’m 105 … well, I’m all about kindred spirits and celebrating the power of meaningful connection. Am happy to know you! And that’s worth a lot of dough to me. Take care, my friend! –Daisy

  4. lesley says:

    Daisy – the thing I love most about Twitter is the lovely people Ive met there, which of course includes you and your sunny room studio!

    You made an excellent point which I’d love to explore in another post, motivation changes not just with time, but with age. Is it because we get wiser, or just because we get older?

  5. Not sure, Lesley. Probably a function of experience and life priorities, perhaps. Those on a “spiritual walk” v. those on a “commercial walk,” but it’s probably a little bit of everything. As we evolve we grow, with luck, and monetary matters may not be as compelling. Take care, and will watch for that next post on subject! –dh

  6. Victoria says:

    The hardest part about setting out online businesses is finding the right balance for the limited number of hours.

    We need to invest time to research this quagmire of (online) information, find the right products, find the right clients, find the best way to present everything, and of course, test test test. It can easily enslave us.
    Not to mention the time we need to recharge our batteries and enjoy life with those closest to us.

    It´s absolutely essential to enjoy what we’re doing, ´cos we´re gonna spend a lot of time doing it! Nice post. Thanks.

  7. Adam Gardner says:

    Having just a monetary reward for your labor or innovation is not enough all the time, you also need to have motivation, which propels you to go even higher and more dedicatively.

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