Drive is essential in keeping you going in the never-ending battle to become successful. I look at drive as being a combination of motivation and vision. You can hardly accomplish much when you lack motivation. And you cannot work towards achieving something if you can’t envision the results you want. Things get hard, confusing really fast and you might end up getting discouraged to continue. Fortunately, most of us don’t suffer from a lack of drive. But unfortunately, many of us focus on the least effective type.
In a previous post, I distilled all forms of “drive” into being of two fundamental types. Impact and Reward. Impact is when you are driven to create or cause a positive change in people’s lives. For instance, the reason I would want to become a successful architect is to be able to design eco-friendly housing that 80% of the nation’s population could easily afford.
A bit too grand, maybe? :)
On the other hand, rewards are the result or bi-product of becoming a success. Which is often more money in the bank or recognition in the industry. For example, my drive to become a successful architect is so that I could enjoy the paychecks they score and the opportunities many of them get to travel the world. Yes, this is a drive.
Now just to be clear, both of these are legitimate reasons to strive for success. In fact, for most of us aiming to accomplish big goals, we usually have a balance of both. Yes, I want to make games that people will never want to put down. and yes, I want to make good money so that I can take my kids to better schools (which are getting more and more expensive every year).
However, what I’m trying to say is that the balance is actually quite delicate. And putting more emphasis on the reward than the impact is not your best bet.
The problem with focusing more on the reward is that it’s really vague. For instance, saying that you want to succeed so that you can make a lot of money is not specific. You could make money by being the best freelance writer. But you could probably make even more money if successfully robbed a bank.
In fact, it could even lead to this kind of thinking. Depending on just how strong your drive is to get more money, you may just end up seeking questionable opportunities to make a quick buck.
I’m sure you have seen this. It usually looks like this: Someone tells you that they want to get into web design. They don’t see good sales in a month, so they abandon the idea and get into app development. And maybe that’s not going too well, so 4 months later they learn that selling computer hardware is a “more profitable” venture so they jump on that.
Notice how this has nothing to do with the people you are meant to serve. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Today, I contract a freelance web designer to help design my personal website. Within a month, he/she manages to get something up and running for me. I love the progress so I get in touch with him/her to talk about taking it to the next level. Unfortunately, I hear that he/she no longer does web design and is on to app development.
Especially in today’s world, you will need more than just skill, passion, and dedication to succeed in different business ventures. You will need to be reliable, available, and trustworthy. In short, you will need to show your audience that you actually care. I’m not talking about manipulation though. Anyway, that’s a topic for another day.
So, looks like thinking about earning the big bucks is a problem, huh?
Not entirely. There’s always the option of empowering your drive to create an impact with your drive to get big rewards.
How? Simple actually. At the beginning of every journey towards success, you will not have all the right tools and resources you need to make the best of what you have to offer. So after you start reaping the early rewards from your efforts, you will obviously spend them on improving the services you offer.
It sounds pretty obvious, but it isn’t common. Some driven individuals forget about their initial drive the moment the rewards kick in. Don’t be these folk. In our little connected world of business and social media these days, having a good reputation is what it's all about.
I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface on this topic as a whole. There’s a lot more to it than only what I shared. If you have a comment, suggestion, or even a view that doesn’t agree with this idea, please feel free to share it below.
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