QUESTION: How do you maintain focus and motivation on a day in, day out basis? – Jeff, IN

ANSWER: It is a good question and my gut feeling is that you are not focused on an outcome.  I am reading between the lines.  Let me just reverse engineer something. 

Let us say your goal is $300,000 and you are passionate about making it happen  Your average fee is $25,000.  That is a placement a month, $25,000 x 12 = $300,000.  You need 8 interviews to make a placement which is pretty standard in this economy.  You need 2 interviews a week.  It ain’t hard to arrange 2 interviews a week.  (For more information about reverse engineering your goal revenue with metric see our post: “How To Track Recruiting Metrics“)

So how do you maintain focus and motivation? On Friday afternoon before you leave do you ask yourself where are my 2 interviews coming from next week?  I begin a whole plan.  Now you might say to yourself, well, I do not really have anything to go to work on.  So now I have got to engineer a plan more heavily around marketing than recruiting, or I have got these 4 searches to work on.  Which one is the greatest likelihood to get me a send out?  As long as I am arranging 2 interviews a week, and for those of you who do not believe me, just trust me, I have never not seen it happen, you will have $300,000 at the end of the year if the other parameters that I said are true. 

One, I would say get clear on what you want.  Two, become rigidly committed to getting to it, or three, maybe what you have is good enough.  If you what you have is good enough, then you have to say I am giving myself permission to settle.  A lot of times people aspire to other people’s goals.  That is why I am saying it here.  I do not know if that is your situation, but when I see people that lose focus and motivation, they are not clear on what is going to happen next.  

When I began growing my office, the excess money was put away for the kids’ college and stuff like that.  It wasn’t really sexy.  But for me, one of the things that lit me up was – What do I need to do to be able to sell my firm in 2008? This was in 1991, what do I have to have in place?  I sat down with a financial advisor and we engineered what that number was in a ramp, meaning grow my business, grow the revenue.  Now the excess funds after taxes went into savings and investments.  I got excited about that, so that was a powerful, motivating thing for me.

For some people, depending on where their lives are at, or where their kids’ lives are at, it may be putting money away for college. I remember with one client whose child was 11 or 12 years old and they hadn’t put any away and they didn’t have a lot of savings.  He goes, “Well, I told my kids I would pay for their school.”  I go, “So I want you to imagine the conversation 7 years from now where you say you did not put any money away, and I want you to imagine their reaction.”  Sometimes pain is a powerful motivator.  Wanting to never have that conversation really drove that individual. 

So those are just some examples.  I do not know what it is for you, Jeff.  That is your job to find and identify what your thing is that will drive you so that you can tie that to an outcome in your professional life.

Thank you so much for the question.  It is a great question.