“Who the heck wakes up at 5:30 a.m.?”
My husband asked me this as he got his lunch ready for work.
“We do,” I said.
“Yeah, but I have to. I have to go to work. Why does anyone get up at 5:30 a.m. when they don’t have to?”
He was referring to me. I get up alongside my husband and get ready to hit the gym at 6 a.m.
It’s my routine and it keeps me sane—that’s also the only time I’m able to fit in gym time. I get asked all the time about motivation. “How do you keep your motivation when it’s early, and cold and dark in the morning?” I hear that same question on the various fitness and weight training forums to which I belong.
My answer is always the same: I don’t rely on motivation.
Motivation will fail you.
It’s not consistent, it wanes. It will let you down. If I relied on motivation to get me to the gym, do you know how many days I’d just pull the covers over my head and go back to sleep? Or how many excuses I could quickly come up with to justify why I need to stay home?
It’s not motivation that gets results, it’s discipline.
I hate when people, regardless of the industry, tell you to get motivated. We are often told to find a reason that motivates you to break through, and then achieve your goals. But for every reason I find that tells me why I should do something, there are way more reasons why I can’t or shouldn’t do that thing.
Do you know what does keep you consistent? Discipline.
Ever had to make cold sales calls? Some people love them. I personally hated them. Motivation never inspired me to make them. A daily scheduled block of time and an accountability coach kept me on track.
Working out is a little easier, but it’s still not something I want to do all the time. Discipline keeps me focused, and helps me get up at dawn to venture out into the freezing darkness to work up a sweat.
You need discipline—not passion—to run a business
I think passion is motivation’s misleading cousin. If your business coach isn’t telling you to find something to motivate you to achieve, then that coach is telling you to find something you are passionate about, and make it your business.
Those aren’t bad messages, but passion and motivation alone won’t keep you on track. You will never feel motivated or passionate 100 percent of the time.
Instead, get disciplined. Schedule your entire day. Work up a to-do list the night prior and plug those items into your schedule. Make certain blocks of time or certain tasks non-negotiable. When I was in sales, cold calling or prospecting for new clients was non-negotiable. It could not be canceled or rescheduled, and mothing else could be scheduled in that time frame.
If necessary, let those around you—friends, family, co-workers—know about your schedule so they don’t unintentionally derail your plans.
Remember, discipline often means doing something, not because you want to, but because it needs to be done.
Motivation and passion may inspire you to get started and move forward, but discipline will keep your business on track.