Motivation is an Inside Job
Since coming back from vacation, I’ve been struggling with motivation. I’ve been self-employed most of my working life, and staying motivated and getting the job done has always been easy for me. This lack of motivation is new. What worked in the past—creating a master plan, breaking it down into actions, assigning tasks for each day, and just doing it—hasn’t been working. For some reason, it just isn’t happening. I’m hoping that writing about it, can help me figure it out. I’m pretty sure it has to do with my less than stellar marketing efforts.
My business coach has told me numerous times that motivation is an inside job. So, I’ve been looking inside and out to see if I can discover what it is that is thwarting my progress. I went back and reviewed my master plan. My plan was and still is to develop and disseminate workshops that will show people how to write their story (memoir) five minutes at a time. And, I’m doing that. In fact I have a workshop this weekend and another the following weekend. I understand how to reach my local market, but unfortunately, the beautiful place where I live doesn’t have a large enough population to sustain my business.
When I developed the master plan, I initially and erroneously thought I would contact friends around the country and have them “host” a workshop in their living rooms. I’d provide the marketing collateral, send a press release to the local newspaper, and they would hang flyers. However, my attempts to do this in Atlanta, Denver, and Arizona—places where very good friends of mine live—failed. My friends aren’t marketing or sales people and what I was proposing was daunting to them. Realizing this approach wasn’t going to work, occurred shortly before we left on vacation.
Now, I’m on to Plan B—extending my reach to new markets. Instead of following the steps that have worked in the past—break it down into actions, assign tasks for each day, and just do it—I’ve been doing everything else. My house is clean, my laundry is done, and I’ve cooked ahead for the week. I’ve called friends I haven’t talked to in years, met others for tea or lunch, have finished reading several books and I’m in the middle of a few new ones. In other words the marketing I have to do has stopped me dead in my tracks.
So, why is this happening? Realizing I won’t be teaching my workshop in living rooms across America is part of it, but when I look inside, it seems like it also has to do with some deeply rooted irrational fear of failure coupled with the delusion that “if you build it they will come.” Before people can come, they need to know “it” exists! In spite of all the work I’ve done to heal and integrate my issues, my wounded inner child, who is driven by fear, is still trying to sabotage my efforts.
In writing this, I’m giving her the attention she craves, feeling her pain, and having compassion for her plight. Writing about this helps me understand what has been going on, and I’m already feeling the fog begin to lift, and my old motivated self re-enter the scene. Once again, my business coach is right—motivation is an inside job.