Trying to get a blog off the ground is hard work. After the initial period of excitement died off I found it harder to continue writing and thinking about ways to generate inbound links.
A month had passed since my last post and I began working on other projects, letting Nubtub slide lower down the list of priorities.
Until I finally received a positive comment on a post I was particularly proud of.
I suddenly found myself re-energised and inspired to continue writing. This is a pretty simple concept which is applicable to many areas of life and not just work, but it begs the question:
How can I use this knowledge to my advantage?
Actively seek feedback
You need to accept that with any new project you are going to have an initial burst of motivation that will eventually taper off. How you deal with this transition will have a massive impact on your success.
By acknowledging this fact, you can take steps to prepare for this lull and implement a strategy to manage your own level of motivation.
Success breeds success – ride the wave
I played competitive games online for over 6 years, during this time I went through many ups and downs in terms of performance. One observation I had was that when I was hot, I was hot.
When you start to win – at anything – you begin to find it easier to adapt and overcome small setbacks. Barriers to success turn into challenges, a problem for you to solve. A chance for you to shine.
Remember: it is harder to build momentum then it is to maintain it. If you find yourself on a hot-streak, milk it for all it’s worth and continue to challenge yourself.
Motivate your staff by giving them feedback
Conversely, lack of feedback runs hand-in-hand with de-motivation.
If you are in a position of leadership and someone in your team is working particularly hard, by failing to acknowledge this fact you are effectively telling them that you don’t value their hard work.
It is important to ensure that this feedback is genuine; people will know if you are being insincere and this may have opposite to your desired effect.
If you have a team member who is struggling or not doing well, you may need to spend some time thinking about what they do well so that you have some honest feedback to give them.
Give people a vested interest in your success
I recall one manager I had that just didn’t care; he often made excuses for not coming into the office and did his absolute best to escape any semblance of work or responsibility.
At first I thought it was great, I saw it as complete freedom and a rich opportunity to do what I liked, when I liked. I didn’t have a great deal of respect for the man and told myself that I didn’t care what he thought and was not fussed that he had no idea about any successes I had.
Eventually I started to become de-motivated and strangely upset by this lack of support. I was experienced enough to not need any help but what I wasn’t getting was my ego stroked and appreciation for my efforts.
This led to me resenting my boss and the company and I felt like no one cared about how much effort I put in. As a manager he failed catastrophically.
Despite my manager’s shortcomings, the ultimate responsibility for my de-motivation rested with me.
What I should have done was approach my manager and tell him that I needed more feedback. I should have made it clear to him that his success was directly linked to my success and found a reason for him to take an interest in my needs.
Figure out what is important to people
What my boss failed to do was to recognise what it was that motivated me. You cannot assume that everyone will be motivated by having their ego stroked but what you can assume is that everyone has an inherent need for their efforts to be acknowledged and appreciated.
Pay attention to people (and yourself) and study what makes them tick. Once you have discerned exactly what motivates them you can use this knowledge to your and their advantage.