Archives for posts with tag: Motivation

When I was a kid, one of the most important motivations with parents was not to disappoint. It the wasn’t fear of reprisal if you got into trouble, did something wrong or underperformed. It was something much worse. They would be ‘disappointed’. Letting them down, letting yourself down; it was the crushing weight of potential disappointment that made me toe the line or do my best.

The D-Word was a very powerful motivation and a force for good in my upbringing. I didn’t want people I respected to be disappointed. In me, or for me.

Disappointment is still a motivating force now. I went to see my physio about a month ago for my troublesome calf that I thought I’d fixed with my change in running style, but no. She gave me a series of core-strengthening exercises to do 3 times a week before I saw her again four weeks later. They were very hard work, bordering on the murderous at times. I exaggerate, but not too much. I didn’t want to go to the gym and do them, but I did, mainly because I knew she’d be disappointed if I’d not kept my side of the bargain and put the effort in.

When there’s a level of respect on both sides, the potential disappointment that one party will feel when the other party hasn’t made the effort is a strong incentive for the first party to do the work.

The D-Word is a word not used lightly, and carries much weight.

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I finally got back to exercising ways the other day. I’d been injured after a run and this seemed to set off a chain reaction of twinges and aches in related parts of my body, so it was slightly over 2 weeks since I had last exercised.

I go the gym first thing in the morning, before I start the normal family or working day. If it’s regular exercise like the gym, the only time I will go is the morning. After about lunch time I can’t be bothered, so the only exercise I’ll contemplate in the afternoon or evening is proper sport.

Anyway, I bounded back to the house an hour later, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, all chirpy, full of the joys of spring and whatever other cliche you can conjure up. It got me thinking about the paradox that is the least-most principle of exercise. The less you feel like doing something, the more you need it and the more it will benefit you. The longer you don’t exercise, the more you don’t want to do it, the longer you put it off and the harder is to get back in the saddle.

I didn’t want to get up and dressed for exercise in the cold. It took some effort but finally I was up and ready to head out. Once I’d got to the gym, I was fine. When I finished I felt great and I was set up for the day.

For me the least-most principle of exercise always holds true. The least I feel inclined to do it, the most I need it, and the most I get out of it.

In my previous post, I shared the first of the two things you must do in any business communication. The second is so simple, yet is so rarely done.

What’s the call to action? In plain English: what do you want your customer to do? Your customer is busy, you earned their interest by explaining quickly why they should be interested in what you have to say and how they will benefit.

At this point they’re looking for your guidance. How do you want them to proceed from here? Make it clear what you want from them. Here are some examples:

– click here to request your [whatever you’re giving them]

– please expect a call from me early next week

– call this number to book your place

– reply with #AmazonBasket to add it to your basket & buy later

You’ve got your reader this far. Don’t blow it at the end by leaving them hanging. Tell them what you want them to do and make it easy for them to do it. Simple.

Whenever you communicate with someone in business, whatever your business, there are two main things that your communication needs to do, otherwise you’re wasting your time – and theirs.

The first of these is the first chronologically as well. Why should the person you’re communicating with be interested in what you have to say? Their time is at least as precious as yours, so you need to be able to quickly provide them with an answer to the following questions that are really variations on a theme:

– what’s in it for me?

– who cares?

– why should I read any further?

The only way to answer is for you to clearly state the benefit to them of what you have to say. Ideally in the heading of your communication, and certainly in the first paragraph.