What is your real motivation?

Why do you wake up each morning?  What is your driving force?  2015 was a year of discovery for me.  I used to think that greed was the only reason people started businesses.  I thought pursuing money as an end in and of itself was a bad plan for long-term happiness, and I still believe that, but money isn’t the only reason to start a business.  Let’s take a deeper look at why we do what we do.  

Make no mistake, there are those who are motivated entirely by the almighty dollar.  I can’t say whether or not these folks are happy, but if they are, I doubt their bank account is the real cause.  When we chase money, what are we truly seeking?  Fancy possessions?  Maybe.  But why do we want the possessions?  I argue it’s because we want security and attention.  We want to contribute to society.  

You might earn millions starting a respectable business, or you could be an executive at Philip Morris, making millions selling lung cancer.  You can earn money both ways, but do you want to make your fortune off of suffering?  Will you feel as good about yourself?

Money isn’t bad.  It’s not good either.  It’s neutral.  You might meet all of your physical and psychological needs, but still earn very little money.  The key is understanding what really motivates you.  Dig deeper than superficial answers like, “I want to make a million dollars.”  Ask yourself, “Why do I want to make a million dollars?”  The deeper you go, the more you’ll learn about yourself.  Once you truly understand yourself, you’ll be able to draw an effective roadmap to success.