A client asked me a question, “I’m facing several challenges; how do I stay motivated to keep building my business?”
The easy answer would be to dismiss it with a wave of the hand & ask them to “just keep working at it”.
A better response might be to dive deep into what’s going on here & ask the question — what exactly motivates you?
However, this question assumes that the answer is obvious to them. If they knew, they wouldn’t be asking.
So let me tell you a story about a little boy.
A boy was taking a walk with his Mom; and they came to a construction site with several workers.
Curious, he goes to the first person & asks: “Sir, what’s your job here, what are you working on?”
The worker responds, “I’m a construction worker; I make bricks”.
The little boy thanks him & keeps moving.
Coming to the next person, he asks the same question, “What’s your job here, what are you working on?”
This time, the worker says, “I’m a construction worker; I make bricks for walls.”
The boy cheerfully thanks him again & keeps walking with his Mom.
Coming to the third worker, he repeats his question, “Sir, what’s your job here, what are you working on?”
This third worker responds, “I’m a construction worker; I’m building a church.”
This worker went on to explain: “I’m so excited, I just can’t wait to finish it in a couple of years. It’s going to be the most beautiful church in this city; and will have lots of space for families to worship & kids to play.”
These 3 men were all construction workers; and they were all making bricks.
But they all had a different mindset & approach to their jobs.
The first worker in that story is a short-term thinker.
He lives only for today; and he cares only for what profits he can make today.
If he doesn’t get paid his day’s wages, or faces any other challenges at work, he’s going to quit right away.
After all, he simply makes bricks.
This kind of worker lacks internal motivation; and cannot see beyond his nose.
It’s all about the money.
If he’s not being paid here, he’ll quit & go look for another job.
He certainly cannot build a business.
The second worker has a bit more insight; he understands that his work is more than just making bricks.
He knows that the bricks come together to make a wall.
This person has a medium-term mindset.
He can go 1 or 2 months without his salary.
But after that, it’s all falling apart.
He cannot stay in it for the long-haul; because he simply does not understand a life beyond walls.
This is someone who can start a business; but it’ll be hard for them to sustain it.
If they don’t make an income in 2,3,6 months; it’s all pointless to them.
The 3rd guy in our story is who we want to be.
Yes, he acknowledges that he’s also a construction worker; and that he makes bricks.
But he knows that what he’s actually building is a church.
He’s building something way bigger than him.
He’s creating something that will last a lifetime.
He spoke excitedly about wanting to see the families worshiping & kids playing.
That’s the vision that drives him everyday.
That’s his motivation; to put smiles on other people’s faces & create a spiritual home for them.
This guy will do anything to see this dream come to reality.
No matter how high the sun is, or how much the rain beats him, he’s going to keep building his church.
Even if he’s not paid his wages for several days, weeks, or months; he keeps going.
To him, it’s not just about the money.
If it were about the money, he could go look for another job that will pay him more.
But no, he knows that a few months of suffering mean nothing in the grand scheme of things.
He must find a way to build his church; and that’s what makes him wake up every morning.
This worker can start a business; and will patiently work hard at it until he builds that vision in his head.
This is who we want to be.
The details of this story are not important.
It does not matter whether you’re a spiritual person or not; whether you believe in churches or not.
The important thing is the moral of the story.
What is that big thing you believe in?
What’s the equivalent of the church in that story to you?
If your answer is nothing, then maybe that’s where the problem lies.
You need to dig deep to find this answer for yourself — because only you can do it.
If you need help, get a friend or coach to ask you a series of questions to help you dig & dig until you discover your big Why…
Because the truth is that if your business is only existing for income, you’ll keep questioning yourself every single day.
“Why am I doing this? I should probably just go get a job.”
And there’s nothing wrong with that.
As a matter of fact, I’m a big advocate for getting a job that takes care of the bills.
That way, you can build your business without the pressure of needing immediate returns.
But while you build that business, what’s going to keep you going through the hard times is your vision; your goal; your motivation.
And so I invite you today, go find your “church” and start building it.
You can thank me later.