Do you care about what you’re doing? Does it make you excited? Do you jump out of bed on Monday morning? Did you even stop working over the weekend at all?
Important to think about. Often we start out this way only to find ourselves doing the opposite after a while.
If I find myself avoiding working on something for more than 3 or 4 days I know there’s something wrong. Something has gotten in the way of caring about the work.
Typically the reason I’ve lost zeal for any given project is that I’ve lost sight of a purpose that excites me. Sometimes I started with a great purpose, but midway through the project my motivations changed and I no longer am excited for the reasons I had in the first place.
The reasons that often hijack a project and almost always end up being demotivating in the long run come down to these: people pleasing, money, and fame/reputation.
This happens to all of us. Whether an event, a community initiative, or the entire coworking project itself. We start something with great intentions, but then we bring on partners or take money and it changes the project. It’s no longer easy to take risks. It’s suddenly tempting to try to make your partners and investors and sponsors happy instead of doing the project justice.
When we recognize that this has happened we have a choice. Sell out, quit, or reconnect with a purpose that sustains us and makes our work better and more authentic.
The latter doesn’t need to be altruistic. You don’t need to sacrifice your self-motivated needs for the public. You can serve both. If you started an event series and it’s turned into a sleazy lead generation tactic for your sponsors, you can pivot and use it as an opportunity to learn about and connect with experts on highly interesting topics. This expands you’re knowledge and network (selfish) but has the added benefit of putting better content in front of an audience (selfless) who might convert.
The important point here is to reconnect with something, anything, that excites you again. It could be the quest for knowledge, it could be creating an experience that seems fun and energetic (like a party), or it could be creating a huge impact in your community. Whatever it may be, you have to find something that sustains you.
Here are some things that motivate me:
The quest for knowledge. Learning something new or figuring something out for the first time.
Creating something that solves a significant problem I have or have had.
High-touch experiences, especially where there’s an opportunity to create a vibe or feeling for a group of people.
What are your motivators?