This blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 5 seconds. If not, visit and update your bookmarks.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pain vs. Pleasure-the Key to Unlock Your Motivation

About 3 years into his career in financial services career, Bill recognized a “hidden truth” that allowed him to triple his business, from $320,000 to $1 million in 4 years. Here’s what he noticed. He was more motivated to avoid pain that to obtain pleasure. When he became a branch manager, he noticed that every other rep in the office behaved the same way. Most reps will produce just to the level that avoids their pain. See if this is also true for you.

If pleasure were a strong motivator, you would have no problem going to the gym, no problem earning $1 million a year and no problem achieving your goals. But pleasure is not a strong motivator for you. It’s the avoidance of pain that motivates you: by pain, I mean psychological pain.

When you look deep enough, you see the psychological pains you seek to avoid: avoiding poverty, protecting your children from harm and hardship and avoiding angry calls from clients. You will do most anything to avoid pain. So face that truth and then let’s see how to use it to your advantage. You may not like the fact that pain is a stronger motivator than pleasure. However, accept it and embrace this fact for extraordinary power.

If pain is the item that best motivates you, why not intentionally inflict pain to get what you want? If you want more clients, schedule a seminar, call the location you will use, reserve the room for one date next month and send them a $250 deposit. You will be motivated to get the room full, master your presentation and use the best technique for closing appointments right at the seminar. Why? Because you will work hard to avoid losing the $250 deposit and to avoid embarrassment. You will find yourself motivated to avoid the negative outcome, the pain. Another way to say this is that you are better at reacting than proacting. If we were all masters at proacting (rather than reacting), there would millions of Bill Gates and Warren Buffets. So set up your circumstances to do what you do well—react.

If you have a goal to join three associations (e.g. the local estate planning council, the industry association you want to court, the chamber of commerce) you can best assure that outcome by pushing yourself into a corner with significant painful consequences. Call each association and tell them you want to sponsor the lunch at the next meeting. When faced with a forthcoming lunch bill for several hundred dollars, you will be sure to make the most of your contacts at that association.

If you have a goal to increase your productivity (e.g. make 120 contacts next month rather than your budgeted 100) tell your branch manager to advance you $2000 for marketing. Make him the deal that if you do not increase your documented activity by at least 20% over budget (or over last year), you will pay him back $4,000.

If you have a goal to meet three CPAs in your town next month, then have your assistant call three from the phone book to tell the CPAs that you have the ability to refer clients through the year. (This is true whether you have realized it or not because you probably meet more new prospects and obtain more new clients than they do). Have your assistant set a date and time for you to take each to lunch. It sounds like this: “Mr. CPA? My name is Joe Johnson. I am calling from the office of Tom Stewart at ABC Securities. He is seeking a CPA that he can refer his clients to. Can he take you to lunch next Wednesday to see if you would like to work with the types of clients he has?” Once you have the appointment in your calendar, you will prepare for it and keep it. Of course, one of your agenda’s at the lunch, in addition to learning about the types of clients that CPA can best serve, is to determine if he has the types of clients you can best serve.

Here’s another idea to get business coming at you. Run advertisements that offer a fee booklet. The reader of the ad calls to request a copy. All you have to do is react and send it. The negative consequence of losing the money spent on the ad motivates me to follow up with a call. You will have set up the game to be the victim of my self-created circumstances.

Look a your business. List the ways in which you obtain clients. Ways such as :
Client Referrals
Professional Referrals
Cold calling

In what ways can you set up a game that burdens you with painful outcomes if you do not react? In what ways can you set a system to react like the examples explained above?

There’s no revenue in continuing to believe that your income will rise by becoming more motivated, more inspired or by rising to the top of Maslow’s hierarchy. Rather, confront the hidden truth—most of your actions are reactions and serve avoidance of pain. Set up some painful consequences to get yourself moving to higher revenue.