During my blogging presentation at Leadership 2013, I spoke about the factors that make a difference between having a hobby blog and having a business blog. I am pleased to say, based on feedback I received, that phrase seems to have struck a chord with many demonstrators. So let's chat about that today, and maybe you'll find some insight into your own motivation, too.
You cannot expect business results from hobby effort...in any area of your life.
Hobby effort will only get you so far. It will not carry you through the times when you are feeling lazy, or burned out, or unable to focus. It will not get you to the point where you are willing to part with money as an investment in your future business. Hobby effort will not win you awards or earn you incentive trips. Hobby-level effort will not make consistent blogging a priority. It will let customer service slide when it becomes inconvenient. It will push everything to the side when life gets busy and return only when things are slow.
Let's contrast that with business-minded effort. Business effort keeps going even when you are tired, reminds itself of the rewards while working through the burn-out, and forces itself to focus until the job is done. It is willing to invest time, money, and resources into a payoff that will be a long time coming. Business effort is what it takes to perform at levels where awards are won and trips are earned. It keeps plugging away at customer service, year after year after year.
Business effort groans at the thought of turning the computer back on because you haven't blogged yet today... but it turns it back on and blogs.
Now, I'm assuming if you are reading a "demonstrator motivation and inspiration blog" you are somewhat business-minded and will understand the spirit of what I am trying to express. There's nothing wrong with being a demonstrator as a hobby at all. If that is what you want or are able to do, right now, then that's perfectly acceptable. Our wonderfully flexible company allows demonstrators to participate on an enormous variety of levels, from purely making the minimums by yourself, all the way to selling a couple hundred grand a year, and everything in between.
The problem comes when those only willing to put in hobby-level efforts want or expect results that only come from the hard work and sacrificial making business a priority.
I'm known as such a business-minded demonstrator that sometimes on web forums I am unjustly accused of being anti-hobby demo. It's simply not true. I started as a minimums-only demonstrator myself, nearing eight years ago, with no expectations of building a business. My team is probably half or more dear, dear ladies who are in it totally for the fun and will quit when it ceases to be so for them. Enjoyng the benefits of being a demonstrator at any level the company allows is your right.
What I see happening, though, especially at the mid-level range of demonstrators who have enjoyed some successes and caught the vision of what is possible to acheive, is an unconscious, lingering expectation of business results from hobby effort. Many of us in the mid-range are still sporadically going about our tasks as if our business was a hobby--whimsical and random--and yet wondering why we don't acheive business success from these efforts.
What I'd like to leave you with as a challenge today is to look at ONE area of your business--say recruiting, or blogging, or bookings--and determine whether or not you are putting hobby-level effort into that area, or business-level effort. Only look at one area at a time, or it may prove overwhelming.
If you can honestly say you have put forth consistent, enthusiastic, sacrifical effort into achieving success in that area, then move on to look at another one. Chances are good that you'll find at least one aspect of your business where you have gone about things in a random, haphazard or half-hearted manner.
And once you've spotted an area where you are subconsciously expecting business-level results from hobby-level effort, you can work on fixing it. Knowing is half the battle--but the other half of the battle is hard work. Are you up for it? The results can be incredibly rewarding.
I hope you've gained a little motivational insight from this article or perhaps one of the others on this free motivational blog. I welcome comments, and as always, if you would like to suggest a topic for a future post, I would be happy to consider it. I cannot stress enough how much I want for the demonstrators of Stampin' Up to be super successful, personally fulfilled, wildly happy and creatively fabulous. You have the creatively fabulous part down pat. Let's work on the others!