Mindset and Motivation

Join Tracy and Pamela as we discuss how to get the mindset that will maximize your chances of entrepreneurial success! We share our own techniques that we use in our daily lives to keep our mindset positive and effective.

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Tribes by Seth Godin


Pamela:    Hello everybody I’m Pamela.

Tracy:    And I’m Tracy.

Pamela:    And we are here to discuss how business really works.


Tracy:    In today’s episode we’re going to follow up on last week’s episode about productivity and goal setting. And today, we’re going to discuss mindset and motivation.

So, does that Nike mantra just not work for you? Or, is procrastination your best friend and he just hangs out all day long tempting you to do anything other than what you’re supposed to do?

That’s why your five-year vision that we discussed in last week’s episode is so important. And it’s why understanding it through all six of your senses is so important. You have to see it. You have to hear it. You have to smell it. You have to taste it. You have to feel it and you have to feel it emotionally.

(Time – 0:59)

That emotional bond with your goal will be more motivating than anything else you can do. But just in case you’re still having a hard time getting started, we have a couple of little psychological mind hacks that might help you get going.

So the first one for me is I make an appointment. And just like I make an appointment to go to the doctor’s office or anywhere else, I set aside that time to get this done. Now, does that make me do it? Of course not, but just like if I went to the doctor’s office and the doctor was running way behind and I just had to set there and wait, I do the same thing to myself.

If I’m not willing to do that work, then I just have to sit there.

Pamela:    Just like if you’re an appointment?

Tracy:    Just like as if I am at an appointment. I can’t do anything else. You can’t substitute another task for this task and I’m actually supposed to be doing. It’s kind of like I put myself in a time out.

Pamela:    Tracy’s in the corner today.

(Time – 2:00)

Tracy:    If I’m not willing to do what it is I’m supposed to be doing then can’t do anything else.

Pamela:    So if I were going to write a blog post and I’m just having a lot of trouble motivating myself to do it. I’ll make an appointment for that blog post and if I’m still just not going to do it, I have to

Tracy:    Sit there and stare at a blank screen and you can’t get on Facebook. You can’t surf the internet. You have to set aside that time. You have that appointment and you have to keep that appointment.

Pamela:    The doctor is running late and you’re not going to the doctor’s office.

Tracy:    Yeah, so that’s one of my psychological mind hacks. What about you?

(Time – 2:32)

Pamela:    Okay, so what I found useful for me, is if I really, really, – just the prospect of doing this thing, whatever it is, it’s just so overwhelming to me. I try and break it down into smaller chunks. And I’ll just tell myself, “Okay I’m just going to sit here and write or edit or whatever for 5-10 minutes.” Just a small chunk of time that’s like hardly any skin off my back so it makes it a lot more approachable and manageable at that point. If I’m only going to do ten minutes, what’s the big deal? I can do 10 minutes right? Most people can do 10 minutes.

And so I’ll sit down and I’ll do that and that will help me get over the psychological hump of starting. So you’re looking for ways to get past the inertia, and this one really helps.

So what ends up happening usually, is that I’ll sit down, and I think this is true for most people, – you’ll sit down and you’ll do those ten minutes worth of work. But now your mind is engaged in the work so you’re going to likely continue and actually do a half hour or an hour or however long it takes you to get it done. But the key is to just get over that initial hump, the inertia; of I don’t want to do it.

And I think just saying to yourself, “I will be okay”. And you have to mean it. “I will be ok if I only do 10 minutes.” I won’t beat myself up and that’s truthful. I think it will help you a lot.

Tracy:    Well you know, that is a good psychological mind hack because basically the hardest thing about getting started is getting your brain engaged in the activity.

(Time – 4:00)

Pamela:    Right, that’s right.

Tracy:    Okay, yeah. Well, one of the other things that I use basically is something I kind of got from people that are in athletics. So when an athlete wins a race they will take that feeling, that emotional feeling, and they will try to really remember it and internalized it. And then when they’re ready for the next race or the next event or whatever, they try to bring that feeling back and that can be very motivating because you want to achieve that feeling again.

So one of the things that I do is if there’s something I’m just really dreading. I think about a situation past in which I completed something it was just like, “Oh! I’m so glad that is over with,” and it’s behind me and I just feel great now. I don’t have to think about anymore. And so I try to remember how it feels to feel like that and think if you will just go ahead and tackle this you can have that feeling again.

Pamela:    Umm…yeah, that positive feedback.

(Time – 4:59)

Okay, I have one more for you. And I call it my self-challenge. That’s just my name for it. When I get into this place where I don’t want to work out, I don’t want to do my work. Really for me this is more applicable to working out. And I’m a big exercise person but I have those days where I’m like, I just want to stay in bed. So, what I say to myself is, almost verbatim, I say, “Now is the time that’s most important for me to do it.”

It’s easy for me to go workout when I’m feeling energized, motivated, and I’m on top of the world. But if I’m tired, I’m cranky, I’m hungry or whatever you know I’ll eat first. But if I’m just in this negative space, I literally say to myself, “This is where the rubber meets the road. Am I an adult or am I a little kid?” And if I am an adult, I need to take care of myself in the harder times not just in the easier times.

(Time – 6:00)

So it’s most important, if any time at all, for me to go exercise right now because I don’t feel like doing it. And that somehow just triggers me into going. I won’t feel any better you know. It’s not like I’m improving my physical state of being right at that moment. But I just get over that psychological “I don’t want to feeling”, enough so that I get out the door and go to gym. And then when I’m done I feel so much better, because I’m exercise.

Tracy:    Well, you know, that’s what makes you a pro. Pros do it even when they don’t want to do it.

Pamela:    Yeah, and that’s hopefully what I was getting at, is that you know your successes are defined really not by what you do when things are easy. They are defined by what you do when things are hard; when you are failing; when you don’t feel well. Because there are going to be a lot of those times and if you can’t deal with those effectively you’re never going to succeed.

(Time – 6:50)

Tracy:    That’s true. So the other thing we find that keeps people from getting started is usually mindset problems. And there are three that we see the most often when we’re working with other people.

The first one is people who think, “Well there are too many people already doing that. I have nothing original to contribute.”

Pamela:    Yeah, that’s a good one and I actually have quote for you all that speaks directly to this issue, to this problem. Okay I’m going to read because it’s kind of a long quote so forgive the looking down. This is by James Jarmusch, he is a film producer and director and screenwriter and he said this to an audience of bloggers if think it was, right? It was at a writing conference and they were talking about, how do I come up with original material? Here’s his answer:

Nothing is original,

Steal from anything that inspires you and speaks to your soul.

If you do this your work will be authentic.

Authenticity is invaluable and originality is non-existent.

(Time – 8:01)

Tracy:    That’s a good quote, and you know Jean-Luc Godard used to say “It doesn’t matter where you get it from; it matters where you take it.”

Pamela:    Right, exactly. What you do with it.

Tracy:    Yeah, so you know, don’t think you have to be totally original. Just take something and improve on it. It’s like you know, improving the mousetrap. You only have to take it one step further. Add your twist to it. You know you see this all the time in the arts. You know, people just take an idea for something else they put their little spin on it.

Pamela:    Right yeah, I have an example from when I was dancing, like traveling to do swing dancing; I used to take all these workshops from the original Lindy Hoppers from back in the thirties and forties. And the ones that were still alive, I was fortunate enough to learn from them directly, and they would tell us about the Savoy Ballroom back in the day and how it was just this big huge melting pot of dancers from all walks of life.

And they said, they’re like, we got really good at dancing because we used to watch the guy over in that corner and steal his moves. And then you know, we do his move if we thought it was a cool move. We’d do his move and eventually I put my own spin on it or woman over there would do another follower’s moves and she put her own spin on it eventually. But it was all based in stealing each other’s moves and I think there’s this unfortunate taboo against that these days. Like somehow, people think that I have to come up with something deeply original. And I don’t mean to laugh, like trivialize it, but if you think about it, let’s think about it rationally for a minute. How big is this world? How many people are in this world?

Tracy:    Seven billion

Pamela:    And what are the chances that any idea I might have about almost anything is not going to be thought of by at least one other person in this planet?

Tracy:    Probably pretty slim

(Time – 10:00)

Pamela:    So even if that other person never brings that idea into the world like you would. Still the idea may not be entirely original anyway. It’s just like the law of large numbers probably isn’t on your side here so I wouldn’t worry about really being original I would worry about taking ideas that inspire you. We talked about taking ideas from nature in our Creativity Episode. You know, go out take an idea from nature and let that inspire you. You didn’t create nature but you’re taking ideas from it and you’re creating your own thing from it.

Tracy:    Okay so the other mindset problem that we see quite often is fear. And it’s usually like fear that I’m not good enough. I don’t have enough experience. I’m not the authority on this subject. And basically I’ll tell you just shut up.

Now think about it. Basically think about all through your life, who did you go to for help? So when you’re in school, you went to the kid that’s making slightly better grades than you or a person one year ahead you this already taken the class. You didn’t seek out the authority who wrote the textbook. Most people are more comfortable learning from somebody that’s just a few steps ahead of them. So as long as you’re a few steps ahead, share your knowledge.

Pamela:    Yeah I agree.

Tracy:    Okay, you’ve got another one?

(Time – 11:15)

Pamela:    Yeah I’ll just say that this is a tough one for me especially because I think a fearful mindset is something that kind of is ingrained into us from the time were small. Because you’re learning from you know your parents other adults in the world that may already have that mindset and you watch them and you do what they did right? That’s how we all grow up so we are great habits from the adults in our life and we also learn very poor habits and very poor mindset.

I recognize that what Tracy and I are saying, you know, it sounds easier than it is but don’t let that stop you. There’s got to come a point where you make the decision to move forward in spite of your fear but I think it’s also important to identify that fear. Are you afraid of failure? Are you afraid of success?

I mean I know that’s a problem for me. I think fear of success is a bigger problem for me than failure because with success brings all these other responsibilities that I don’t know if I’m prepared for. And that’s my issue you know and I deal with that I work through that. What are you afraid of? So identify what you’re afraid of first then you can work on getting through it.

Tracy:    Yeah fear of success is pretty common and I think part of it is the responsibility. Part of it is you know while I’m getting to the level of success how are people will judge me?

I had someone tell me one time he says “Your opinion is your burden.” So in other words, what someone else thinks of me, that’s their thing. It doesn’t directly affect me. If I didn’t know they thought that, it wouldn’t affect me so what does it matter once I know it.

Your opinion is your burden.

(Time – 13:02)

Pamela:    That’s true and the natural tendency because we are social animals is to care what other people think but there’s a limit that you know. You should care what your children and your parents and your spouse think of you. You can’t care what every stranger in the world thinks about you.

Tracy:    That’s true and you’re not going to resonate with everybody. When you create something and you put it out there in the world product, service, thought you know, movement of whatever kind, your going to resonate with a group. And other people are going to dislike you. You see that all the time in politics.

But you know, accept that. Accept I have my audience. I have my tribe. If you haven’t read Seth Godin’s book Tribes, definitely do that.

Pamela:    Great book, I love Seth Godin.

(Time – 13:50)

Tracy:    So the other thing I guess is almost like a bad habit, but it’s definitely a mindset. And that’s what we call the reactionary habit. These are people who basically react to whoever is yelling the loudest and they don’t manage their own time.

Pamela:    Well, I would call it more than a bad habit. It really is a lifestyle for a lot of people.

Tracy:    And I think, you know, unfortunately is the hardest of the mindsets to overcome. It’s because in many cases, it is ingrained in you from a child. Women, honestly, are the worst at it, because you get use to reacting to the children, everybody who needs you, that sort of thing.

Pamela:    Yeah so you’re in this constant state of living this reactionary reactive life where you’re not even keeping up. It’s like you just go from one emergency to the next and maybe there’s some downtime in between those but not much because you’re always reacting to the next thing that needs your immediate attention.

(Time – 14:50)

Tracy:    Well you know reacting to things constantly is exhausting. So when you do have that down time you’re not as productive. You know, it sounds cold. Give people the time but you determine when it happens. Not everything in life is an emergency. You’ve just come to react to it like it’s an emergency so accept the fact that not everything is an emergency. I need to control my time in order to be productive.

I saw this great poem when I was in college. I think its James Oliver, where he’d written epitaph for his own tomb stone. And it was, see if I can remember. It was:

He slept beneath the moon,

He basked beneath the sun.

He lived a life of going to do,

He died with nothing done.

And I just remember going “No one’s ever going to say that about me!” I found that very motivating.

Pamela:    Yeah that’s so sad too. Can you imagine your life at 80, 90, 100 years old, because we’re living longer and longer now, and if you’re saying that you’re gonna do, I’m gonna do it someday, I’m gonna do when I have time, I’m going to do it when I’m in better shape. You’re going to reach that age and it’s nothing done. And who wants, you know, I certainly don’t want to end up that way in my life. And I don’t think we will. I think we’re not in danger of that. Maybe we’re in danger of trying to get too much done. But you know we want for you to have full productive life and not end up at the end where you got nothing done.

Tracy:    Yeah, because you were scared. It’s time to overcome it.

Well we hope you liked this episode. It helped you out. Helped you get started on the things you really want to accomplish. If you’re watching on YouTube, leave us a comment. If you’re listening on one of the podcasts, hop on over to the website at howbusinessreallyworks.com and leave us a message. We’d like to hear about mindset issues that you’re struggling with and maybe we can do another episode that will help out those issues.

Pamela:    Yeah and don’t forget to like this video, share this video and if you’re listening on iTunes please give us a review and subscribe to the podcast it will really help us be found and it will help us to help you.


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