Originally sent via email as a Letter. Subscribe here or over to your right in the side bar.
Last week I had a call with a potential new client and asked him my favorite question: “What’s something nobody asks you, but should?”
His response: “What motivates me? Nobody asks me that. They never ask why I do things, they just want to know the how.”
First - I’m really excited to write this particular person’s story. It’s incredible.
And second, I’m officially adding that question to every single onboarding questionnaire I do. I was floored by how simple yet powerful it is...and also a bit sheepish on why I hadn’t been asking my clients this already.
After hearing his answer of what motivates him, I thought long and hard about what my answer would be.
I’ve been dancing this question around for the entire time I’ve been in business.
It's hard to sit for a long while about true motivation. It requires vulnerability, bravery, and a hell of a lot of introspection.
When people ask me why I quit my full-time corporate job to be a freelancer I say something along the lines of “I have the freedom to CHOOSE and do the THINGS that I LOVE!!!!” (read: utter bullshit answer)
This past year I’ve felt like I was hitting an arbitrary ceiling that I built for myself, unsure of how to break through or even find the ganas (motivation) to do so.
Did I want to grow simply because I could and therefore conquer?
Did I want to grow because I could do more “things”?
Did I want to grow because I feel like I should?
Notice how all of those questions are based on answers external to myself?
Adding another badge of honor to wear and look “successful”
Outcome focused yet vague enough to not be actionable
Outside pressures of almost every single piece of advice found for solopreneurs
Because of this, I started to doubt whether growth was even a good idea.
I sunk into imposter syndrome hell and lost almost all confidence in my work.
But going internal is what I preach day in and day out to my clients.
What are the internal desires and pain points that your clients are trying to solve?
For some reason, my client’s wording of the question “What motivates me?” finally clicked with me.
I sat down on made a list.
It was a really long list.
But when I stepped back to look at it in total they all came down to two distinct categories:
To be in a position of giving back more to my community, family, and friends.
To be able to create more safe spaces, weaving, music, and experiences.
I’ve never been able to see these things so clearly before.
It took me almost 2 years to figure this shit out for myself.
Those years have been a struggle to find momentum and keep it up because I didn’t have my North Star guiding me along.
So tell me, what motivates you?
And if you’re not sure, my Branding Power Hour could be the session you need to figure it out. Sure, I built it for a company, but all of the questions I ask can be equally applicable to you.
It just might be the push you need to clear out those cloudy skies and find your star in the sky. (omg so cheesy but you know you love it)