I don’t know if this is a confession, or a habit I’ve picked up, or if it’s completely normal, so I’d really appreciate your thoughts and experiences.

After being an entrepreneur and starting businesses, running businesses, rocking businesses, fucking up businesses and selling businesses for seven years now, I’ve put myself through the wringer when it comes to motivational techniques. You know the ones. The answer you give when people ask, “What gets you out of bed in the morning?”

I use a combination of music, books, and videos. The majority of the time, I have never needed anything in particular to keep me motivated. I just get on with it. I’m not a robot, so this motivation does have its peaks and troughs. But I have picked up on a trend that I’m working on fixing…

I find myself at my most productive and motivated when my back is up against the wall. When we lose a client, or are being criticised, or the industry is moving faster than usual, or an employee is fucking up. These are the times when I feel unstoppable and when I put the most effort into motion. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t put my foot on the brakes when things are going well, but I’ve felt more urgency during the bad times.

This makes me look at other aspects of our lives, too. Think about when someone you love is ill. You’ll make a concerted effort to see them and to tell them you love them, won’t you? Or when you recover from a sports injury – getting back into the gym feels euphoric.

But, of course, this isn’t sustainable and it certainly isn’t smart.

So let’s live with our backs permanently up against the wall. Let’s work and love and train and exist like we’re doing it to save ourselves or our businesses or the ones we love.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts on this with me on LinkedInTwitter, or Instagram.

Photo credit: Mr Smith Studio, Dubai

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