top of page

313. The Motivation Trap

The Motivation Trap

Turning Motivation Lulls into Productive Momentum: Strategies for Entrepreneurial Success

Discipline: The Backbone of Consistent Performance

When the thrill dissipates and tasks become mundane, discipline must take the driver's seat. As Amy describes, discipline isn't just about pushing through the lack of motivation; it's about setting up a system that ensures progress regardless of one’s emotional state. Creating habits that align with your personal and business goals is crucial. Discipline ensures that the necessary work gets done, helping entrepreneurs maintain momentum even on the most challenging days.

Structuring Success: The Role of Routine and Non-Negotiables

The structure is a friend to the entrepreneur. Amy shares from her experience, recalling her days in outpatient physical therapy where her schedule provided a backbone for her day. Translating this structured approach to her entrepreneurial endeavors, she underscores the importance of having daily non-negotiable tasks. These are activities critical to the business that must be completed daily, ensuring consistency and progress, irrespective of how one feels.

Amy’s strategy involves lists of daily non-negotiables which serve as commitments to oneself and one's business. She emphasizes that your venture isn't just a hobby—it’s a business and should be treated with the seriousness it deserves. This mindset shift is vital for entrepreneurs struggling to transition from motivated beginnings to disciplined maintenance and growth.

Leveraging Structure for Freedom

Amy proposes a somewhat paradoxical concept where structure leads to freedom. Designating specific days for specific tasks can free up mental space and decrease stress, allowing for more creativity and innovation. For instance, Amy reserves Fridays as her CEO days where she disconnects from the routine tasks and focuses on high-level planning and networking, which are essential but often overlooked.

This approach not only enhances productivity but also ensures that she has time for herself—something many entrepreneurs neglect. Setting aside time for reflection and dreaming is vital for sustained creativity and can lead to more innovative ideas and better problem-solving.

Reward Systems: Boosting Productivity Through Incentives

To combat procrastination and boost efficiency, establishing a reward system is a practical approach. Amy discusses setting clear, achievable goals with specific rewards upon completion, which helps maintain focus and motivation. This strategy turns daunting tasks into challenging yet achievable milestones, making the process more engaging and less tiresome.

Conclusion: Embrace Discipline, Reap Freedom

Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint. The initial burst of motivation will inevitably wane, but with the right structures and habits in place, it doesn't have to spell disaster. By embracing discipline, establishing daily non-negotiables, and structuring your work life, you not only keep your business afloat during motivation dry spells but also pave the way for sustained growth and personal fulfillment.

Episode Links

DM: Drop in my DM’s over on Instagram @amytraugh and say hi! Yes, it’s actually me responding!

GET MY BOOK: The CEO Method: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Business Success is an Amazon bestseller. Grab a copy for only 99 cents on Amazon!!

CONNECT: Join our FREE online networking event for like minded entrepreneurs. Click here for details.

WATCH: We’re on YouTube! Check out our channel here!

Transcript for Episode 313. The Motivation Trap

Amy [00:00:02]:

What do you. All right, we're going to start over from here. What happens when the motivation fades? This is something that came up when I was working with a client the other day, and she posed this question to me. I'm doing all these things to grow my business, but I don't feel the motivation that I once did. What do I do? I want to unpack this topic in today's episode because this is a very real thing. This is a real thing impacting so many entrepreneurs. And let's face it, motivation will ebb and flow over time. Do you know what the key is? The key is discipline.

Amy [00:00:57]:

On those days where that motivation fails, you need discipline to keep you going. This is where habits are so, so crucial. Knowing how you function best and leaning into that is key. If you've been around here for a while, you might have heard me talk about my career. In outpatient physical therapy. I worked off of a schedule for 16 years. I was given a list of my patients that were coming in, and I had my day planned out for me. I knew what was coming.

Amy [00:01:36]:

I knew what I had to get done. And what I learned was that when I had all of this time during the day, it was very easy to put those important tasks off. I mean, today is a perfect example. It is absolutely gorgeous outside. It is 72. It is sunny. There is no humidity. It is one of those picturesque days.

Amy [00:02:03]:

And I'm in northeast Ohio, and let me tell you, we don't get many of those days. So today I'm really having to stay disciplined. I'm having to commit to doing the work, to showing up. It would be so easy to be like, you know what? No, it's nice outside. I'm not going to work. It was tempting. I'm not going to lie. I was very, very tempted to do that.

Amy [00:02:34]:

But I know that I am running a business and I need to treat my business as such. So what do I do on days like this? On times like this, I have my list of daily non negotiables. And I encourage you to go back and listen to the episode I did on what my non negotiables are. I broke those down for you. And it really helps me stay on track because what I'm doing now is I'm keeping promises to myself. I'm keeping promises to my business because this is a business. This is not just a fun little side hustle. No.

Amy [00:03:13]:

This is my income. This is how I am making and generating money so that I can create even more impact in the world. So I think it's very critical that you take the time to assess how do I function best and how can I lean into it. I love structure. My brain loves structure. For me, structure gives me freedom. So on Fridays, it's my CEO day. I block the day out so I can work in my business and on my business so that I can do those tasks that during the week don't get prioritized.

Amy [00:04:05]:

Things like recording solo episodes of the podcast, things like catching up with emails that didn't need immediately acted upon throughout the week. Really being intentional about completing those tasks that have kind of gotten pushed off to the side. Taking the time to reflect back at my numbers, taking the time to reengage with past clients, to check in with current clients, to really nurture and foster those relationships. I have a little checklist that I go through, and what's really helped me is not giving myself all day to focus on getting this accomplished. It's like, no, let's see, how quickly can I rock this out? Because after that, I'm gonna have some me time. I am going to unwind, decompress, and really enjoy. Just embrace life. Lean back into me.

Amy [00:05:09]:

This Friday afternoons are when I do a lot of my brainstorming where I just get quiet and I sit and I dream so often. We don't give ourselves the space to dream because we're caught in the hustle. And granted, there will be seasons when there's more work in involved. I am by no means saying that, you know, you need to just stop what you're doing and just take a break. That can be beneficial. It's important to pause. We talk about that all the time on this podcast. You need to pause to get that clarity.

Amy [00:05:48]:

But being intentional about the pause is so, so key. So think of different ways that you can reward yourself. You know what? If I get these tasks done, this is my reward. That way you're not procrastinating, you're actually putting in the action that would move the needle forward in your business. You know why you're doing what you're doing and being super intentional about it. Structure has given me freedom. Structure keeps me on track. And again, this is the part of growing a sustainable business.

Amy [00:06:27]:

It's doing the basic foundational elements over and over and over. And for so many entrepreneurs, I see them pivoting. They're pivoting all the time because the shininess has worn off, the newness has worn off. And let's be honest, we get bored. It's not exciting tracking your numbers, it's not exciting looking at the data, it's not exciting doing these nitty gritty things, but that's the key to building a sustainable business. But really getting clear on how do you function? How do you function best? You know, leaning into it. I have seen so many different methods out there. There are so many methods and they all work.

Amy [00:07:19]:

Some people love time blocking. I've tried it, I've dabbled around in it and working off a schedule, you would think time blocking would work really well for me. It does in a way, but at the same time, I really prefer a checklist. Like, I just want to know, okay, what do I need to do?

Amy [00:07:39]:

So I have my morning routine just like I have my morning like self care routine. I've got my morning business routine that, okay, before I even start on any.

Amy [00:07:49]:

Work, I'm going to go in, look at my emails, engage on social, engage on LinkedIn. Like I have this whole methodology that the more I do it, the faster and more efficient I get at it. But it's doing that basic foundational element so I'm not getting distracted. So I'm not spending the entire day on my phone scrolling because I'm ending up procrastinating. So I really encourage you that the next time you're feeling that motivation fade.

Amy [00:08:23]:

Just know it's okay.

Amy [00:08:25]:

You're not alone. It will. This is part of life. That newness eventually wears off. It's just a fact of life. But when you have that discipline, that will keep you moving forward. We talked about this a few weeks ago about striving for that 1%, just taking the next step, and the next step striving to be 1% better each day. And you don't do that through motivation.

Amy [00:09:00]:

You do that when you're disciplined. Remember, in order to achieve what you really truly desire, you need to take action. You need to stay disciplined and hold yourself accountable because you have the solution to the problem that someone has. So get out there and share it. Share it with the world. Somebody is looking for you and everything that you offer, your business matters. You matter. I am here cheering for you.

Amy [00:09:39]:

And until next time, cheers to making the money you want so you can create the impact you desire.


bottom of page