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There may be many levels of motivation for people, but the two I want to focus in on today, are a) duty and b) money.

Duty is a very high level of motivation. People who operate at this level, feel that they have been tasked with the job of getting their product or service into the hands of the public. They know deep down that they have something superior to offer and they feel that it would be a disservice to not have as many people as possible benefit from it. This is a great level to operate at, as it means the person goes through life with a crusade, and a very strong sense of purpose. They will still of course have obstacles and challenges – at times it will seem that no one else cares, or that what they have to offer is not appreciated, but the strong belief in what they are about, will ultimately cause them to persist and prosper. If you know you are someone who has a sense of duty about your business, but begin to find that work is becoming “work” to you, then chances are its time to re-visit your purpose, why you are doing what you are doing, and not something else.

Most of the dentists that I’ve worked with over the years regarding their purpose, typically discovered that it had something to do with helping people. There are lots of ways to help people and everyone has a unique way of doing so. Therefore, no two dentists, will service their patients exactly the same way. But if they are passionate about what they have to offer, their patients will see that they care which will keep coming back, and referring others.

Next we come to “money” motivation. Duty and money are not mutually exclusive. It is totally okay to be motivated by both. The biggest problem is being motivated only by money. The ‘duty’ driven person should have no concerns about wanting to get paid for what they do. It doesn’t make less of the fact that they want to help people, to also want to get paid for it. Not getting paid or not getting paid adequately, just makes it harder for them to help more people e.g. to hire enough staff to properly service customers, to do adequate amounts of promotion, to buy themselves more time in other ways e.g. by investing in new technology etc. So wanting to be paid is nothing to be ashamed of – and it’s not an either/or situation – where you can’t operate out of a sense of duty, and be motivated to make a good income as well. In fact, if the only reason to focus on money, was to prevent financial problems that would pull you off your purpose, that would be reason enough to focus on it!

This above can be applied when hiring staff too. You want to find someone who has a sense of purpose/duty – not someone who would work anywhere for a paycheck. You could ask them e.g why they would want to work in this industry versus a completely different one? Staff who have a sense of duty will stay till the job is done, will generate more creative ideas to help grow the business, and will be far more fun to work with, than those that took the job just because they needed the paycheck. At the same time, a good employee, who wants to be paid well, or who maybe suggests a bonus plan, does not necessarily mean of course that they are purely money motivated. Having a sense of purpose does not mean they should not have any interest in providing well for themselves and their family. It is actually healthier that they have both motivations.

Finding and focusing in on your own purpose is the first step. Hiring staff that also have a sense of duty and communicating with them about your purpose on a regular basis, is key also, and will drive more success than most business owners can conceive of!

If have any questions on getting motivated or establishing a highly motivated team, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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