Kicking It Into High Gear With Your Goals

What Fuels Your Ambition?

Every so often, I reflect on the fact that I’ve been a father for nearly three decades, and it’s somewhat surreal. My story takes an unconventional turn because I became a dad at the age of 16. I was still very much a child myself when my first son, Brandon, entered the world. However, I made a resolute decision to step into adulthood and commit to raising him the right way.

During my late teens and early twenties, I embarked on a journey of business exploration. I delved into the world of business, even launching a few small ventures of my own. It’s worth noting that young adults who lead a “typical” life seldom devote hundreds of hours to reading, learning, and experimenting with new business concepts, as I did.

Certainly, my story differs in many ways from that of others in my age group. Yet, there is one monumental distinction that sets me apart—I had a compelling reason, a profound “why,” that motivated me to invest time in studying and launching businesses at such an early age. My “why” was crystal clear: I needed to provide for my son. I was determined to shield him from the hardships I had encountered during my childhood. I was unwavering in my resolve to ensure he received a quality education. Above all, I was driven by the desire to spare him any disadvantages that might arise from having a young father.

Consider the contrast between a teenager who fervently aspires to become a doctor and one who passionately aims to become the world’s best PS4 video game player. It’s the “why” that sets them apart, propelling them from the realm of good to the pinnacle of greatness. It’s the driving force that compels individuals to make sacrifices today in pursuit of a brighter tomorrow.

Smarter Goal Setting

Finding Your Reason Why                             

Everyone has different motivations for the things that they do. When I was poor and my wife was required to check with me before she could go do any semi-major grocery shopping, just so I could make sure we had enough money in the account, money was a very good motivator. As I have become more successful, money by itself isn’t as motivating as it used to be (don’t get me wrong, it’s still motivating), but when you aren’t sure you have enough money for dinner each evening, the desire to earn more is far more motivating than it is when you’re eating steak every night.

Personally, I find I need a few large goals and a number of small milestones to motivate me. When I am making my large goals, they have to be goals I feel are possible to achieve, but not so easy that I can accomplish them without doing too much hard work. I have discovered that, if the goal is too easy for me to accomplish, it is actually demotivating.

The smaller milestones obviously work towards achieving the larger goal, but they don’t always have a direct impact. Let me give you an example; when I was trying to get selected for (and ultimately win) GKICs Marketer of the Year contest, I worked really hard to create new marketing that ultimately helped me increase sales – but the goal itself was simply to win the contest. The increase in sales was a great additional benefit, but not the reason why I was doing the work. Many times my reasons why have to do with my family and the goals we have together. For example; right now I am building a new house. As a family, we don’t want a mortgage that is so large it would be considered a jumbo mortgage, and we want to pay off any mortgage we do have as quickly as possible (as I am adverse to debt). For me, those two goals are very motivating.

At the end of the day you need to find what works for you… what is your “why?” Is it money, possessions, family, vacation time, a goal to be debt free or retire in the next few years? Whatever your reason why is, once you have it, you’ll find that working hard becomes a whole lot easier.


P.S. One final tip: Just because the last reason why was, for example, “I need more money,” doesn’t mean that “more money” will be enough to get you in gear this time around.  If you are finding your reasons why are NOT motivating you, it is time to reevaluate.

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