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What’s Your Motivation?

Founders are creating something from nothing. Tapping into the reason why is the key to staying motivated and finding success throughout the startup journey.

Some people are motivated by money. Others are motivated by the impact their company could have on the world, their community or their family. Whatever their motivation is, they know the failure rate is pretty high, and they still believe their idea or product is good enough to beat the odds, face the market and emerge victorious.

“There’s got to be a reason why you’re going to take this leap,” said Dr. Julie Gurner, founder of executive performance coaching firm Gurner Consulting. “There’s got to be some type of internal driver that really pushes you.”

Gurner shared more of her thoughts on entrepreneurial motivation in a discussion with York IE CMO Adam Coughlin. Here are some more takeaways from that conversation:

Stand Up for What You Believe In

Sometimes, even the most energized and motivated founders don’t want to shout their belief from the rooftops. Why? Because they feel it could come across as egotistical or cocky.

This is understandable, but if you’re not talking about your startup, how will anybody know about it or get excited about it?

You need to find a way to bring your passion forward in a way that’s effective, Gurner said — not in a way that’s going to turn people off.

Founders who have deep resolve and conviction in what they’re doing are inspiring to others. Investors want to see that a founder is engaged and how he or she can weather the storms that will inevitably come. It’s also really energizing for employees to see.

Put in the Work

Of course, it’s not enough to be confident and motivated. In Gurner’s work as an executive performance coach, she talks to extremely successful people from all different countries, across all types of industries. Without exception, they’re all:

  • self-learners who never stop growing; and
  • on the cutting edge of their professions.

They’re not people who haven’t opened a book since they took their last college exam. They’re watching webinars, reading blog posts and engaging with experts on Twitter and LinkedIn.

“They want to win, and they want to enrich themselves with the information that’s going to help them do that,” Gurner said.

It’s challenging, given all the competing priorities that founders face. But making time to learn and stay ahead of the game is exceptionally important for getting to where you want to go.

Unlock Your Potential

Founders and CEOs all struggle with the constant pressures of success.
Discover Dr. Julie Gurner's unique approach to helping high performers thrive.

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