Know what motivates you

I've recently joined Tom Salau's Facebook group that focuses on mentoring. It's called Mentors and Mentees if you're interested in checking it out. Today's questions was:

What motivated you to get out of bed today?

Some pretty stellar answers were being shared. People talked about changing the world, spending time with coworkers, and equally valuable reasons. I know I shared something equally "acceptable".

But the reality of what motivated me to get up is actually a lot more mixed. I got out of bed today because...

  1. I need to make money.
  2. I feel guilty staying in bed too long when my BF wakes up before 5.
  3. I have a crazy ingrained sense of responsibility, and can't stomach not following through with commitments.
  4. I don't want to fail.
  5. I love my job.

I am learning to not only be okay with this mix of motivations, but actually embrace them.

When I speak with nonprofits, I bring up the mixed motivation topic a lot. I remind them that volunteers don't just come to them for altruistic reasons, they come for a number of different reasons. And that the nonprofit that can speak to as may of these motivations as possible is going to retain the happiest and most helpful volunteers.

It wasn't until recently that I started to look at that idea of mixed motivation personally.

But it still rings true.

I am motivated by a number of things. Some of them are powerful in their ability to change the world and benefit others. Some of them are powerful simply because they matter to me.

The more I can speak to my multiple motivations, the stronger my will can be. 

I got out of bed this morning for a number of reasons. I continue to work for a number of reasons. And I am starting to cal those out as I recognize them, so I have more tools to use when I need that extra motivation.

What motivates you?

You don't close sales at networking events

Some people will disagree with the title of this article.

But hear me out:

Networking events should be about NETWORKING.

Networking, the process of building a network of people who are connected to you and know about your work and what you are looking for. Not selling, the process of getting people to buy what you have to offer.

Networking EVENTUALLY leads to sales.

But that can take time. Maybe dozens of contact points. So if you enter a networking event ready to hard sell, you are likely to push away people who would later have become clients or referral sources.


You're annoying.

That's right. I said it. Nothing is more annoying at a networking event that having to hide from that one person who won't stop talking about why their service/product is exactly what you need. Everyone in the room has something they want to sell; you aren't a better salesperson for taking up all the space and time in the room.

You're just annoying.

And that means I will never buy your product, even if it really was something I may have needed. I don't want to have to deal with you. You'll probably try to upsell, and I'll have to deal with that mess. And forget about me referring you to others; I can't do that to them!

Friends don't make friends deal with annoying people.

Don't be the annoying person.

Go to networking events to network. You'll gain relationships, have fun, people will learn about what you do, and EVENTUALLY they may send you business.



Stop fighting won't win

I substitute teach for a local school districts.

It's my side-hustle.

I do it to keep a steady pay-check (because this work isn't always consistent), but also to keep in touch with Generation Z and the school system. I do a significant amount of work with teachers and high schools, so I like to know what is happening.

In most schools I enter, technology is still being treated as a special privilege.

It is an "extra" and exciting way to learn that isn't actually considered necessary. Yes, most students have I-pads and are using them to submit assignments and do work. Yes, computers are used most days in the classroom. But students are regularly called out for being on social media, for texting friends, for watching YouTube videos, etc.

I think it is time we considered WHY this youngest generation is so connected to people and education through technology, and start embracing it. Start finding ways to use social media for education. Start finding ways to turn our classes into something that is just as exciting as the YouTube videos that always interrupt us. Start figuring out why our employees are choosing to be on their accounts during work hours.

Because we can't keep fighting tech.

Because tech is here to stay. We aren't going to defeat it. And this constant battle to push it down is tiresome. And ineffective.

What do you think?