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You Don’t Lack Discipline, You Lack Motivation. There’s a Difference

As indie entrepreneurs we live and die by the execution of our ideas. Without the right focus and motivation, discipline alone won’t save you.

I find it’s very common for creatives and business builders to feel they lack discipline. We think if we had more discipline then we’d be making more progress on our idea.

I don’t agree. You don’t lack discipline, you lack motivation. You lack the internal drive, the clarity and focus of desire, that would make being disciplined almost easy.

As I said before, us indie biz people live and die off the ideas we execute. Not the ideas we capture in our Moleskine notebooks, but the ideas we execute.

And if you’ve got issue with motivation (or discipline, if you insist), then you’ve got big problems with execution.

But here’s what I believe: you deserve to bring your idea to life. You deserve it. You’re not sitting on your ass doing NOTHING; you’re doing things to make it happen… it just sometimes feels like, you know, you don’t do enough, you couldn’t do enough, you’re not enough and you’re never enough.

Again, that’s all false. You just haven’t learned how to turn on motivation and channel it at whatever project you want.


Imagine a Pill…

So, imagine a pill that, once you took it, would make clear to you exactly what you should be working on.

It tells you WHAT to work on next and it makes you feel WHY you should work on it. Focus to know what’s next, motivation to do the work enthusiastically.

This is the kind of thing I’m talking about. Us indie entrepreneurs need something like that, a quick hit that can keep us focused, engaged, productive and motivated… that we can take whenever we need to.


Sustainable Motivation

You know, a lot of us don’t feel like we’re disciplined enough, but the truth is, we haven’t learned how to TURN ON our motivation.

I have ended way too many days of my career feeling burnt out, empty and unproductive. In fact, I would get so depressed about this that it was effecting my marriage, my work, my livelihood.

So, for me, it really mattered that I figured out a way to TURN ON my motivation and, well, frankly, get my heart involved in my work.

You must know what it’s like to lose motivation, right? To be working on something, all fired up and excited, and then over time that excitement fades?

That’s called “unsustainable motivation.” It’s like a faulty engine, it just fizzle out over time. (By the way, did you know this is why we called our company Fizzle?)

What we need instead is “sustainable motivation,” motivation that renews itself, motivation that lasts and lasts.


15 years…

You’ve probably heard that adage, “it takes 15 years to become an overnight success.”

It’s become a cliché because it’s truth is repeated again and again in different success stories.

It takes an enormous amount of energy over time to be successful as an indie entrepreneur.

I’ll say that again: to create your own success it takes a ton of energy over time in the same direction. This is what’s happening those 15 years before someone becomes an “overnight success.”

This is what Elizabeth Gilbert was doing, writing articles and books for 15 years before her breakout success in Eat Pray Love. This is what every comedian and filmmaker is doing during all those years it takes to find their voice. And it’s what your business success will need from you as well.

It takes an enormous amount of energy over time to create your own success… so, why would you spend all that energy to pursue a direction you don’t fiercely care about!?

But many of us don’t know what we care about that way. Sure we love our kids, our spouses, our family and friends, we love having freedom to enjoy ourselves… but few of us know what fierce curiosities or cares we have that we could pursue as a side project or career.

I used to think that “my passion” or that thing I care fiercely about would just come to me one day—it would just hit me and I’d realize it. But now I know we all need a process for looking for it. It has to be discovered from the inside out, only YOU can discover it, and even if it takes time it’s the biggest work of your life.


“It takes an enormous amount of energy over time to be successful as an indie entrepreneur.”


Pop the question

So there’s a question I’ve been building up to. The way you answer this question matters not to me, but to you. How you answer this determines whether or not you have a chance at succeeding.

We know we need internal motivation, energy from within, to have enough interest and energy over time to devote to our project.

We know need to be consistent and diligent because it is going to take time to make our own success for ourselves, and our idea needs time to develop and mature and grow.

We also know that discipline alone isn’t enough. Any guru who tells you to hustle harder or get into #beastmode is giving you a recipe for burnout.

So, how are YOU going to turn on motivation and focus every day? We know you won’t be successful if you don’t do it because you’ll get distracted or lose confidence. We know that if you DO do it your workload will be streamlined as you work smarter not harder. So, how are you going to do it?

It can’t be #beastmode. It can’t come in short sprints. It has to be ongoing; we don’t want spikes and falls, we want to elevate the baseline because another thing we know is that habits are more powerful than goals.

So, how are you going to do it? How are you going to turn on motivation for your business/project/idea day in and day out?

  • It should be something you can do any time,
  • It should be something you can do relatively quickly,
  • It should be something you make a habit of so you build the right mental muscles.
The truth is, most of us don’t have a great answer to that question. Most of us just “do a little work and see what happens.”

Right? Admit it to yourself if that’s what you’re doing right now. There’s no shame in it, that’s what MOST of us do. I’ve spent years doing that.

The danger, though, is that you’re really just throwing the dice at a craps table. Total luck, probably won’t work, let’s just try it… and you walk away worse for the wear but at least you tried.

I DON’T WANT THAT, THOUGH. I want to succeed. I want to enjoy the shit out of succeeding. I want life on my terms. I want to spend my time my way. And I want the job of my dream, namely, the one where I’m making shit I believe in and enjoying every moment of it and getting paid handsomely for it… and doing it all authentically.

If you’re comfortable with the craps table, lemme buy you a drink, but the rest of this post isn’t for you. If, however, you feel the same as me, let’s talk.

We need an answer to that question — how are you going to turn on motivation and intentionally focus it every day?

Truth is, I made something for you. If you’re interested, check it out.

If you want to turn on sustainable motivation and quit ending those days feeling depressed about what you DIDN’T get done… check it out.

If you care enough about your service, your customers, your future to realize you need to turn on motivation and intention daily… check it out.

And if you’re up for taking on the responsibility of being a DOER not just a dreamer… check it out.

I’m laying it on thick here—I know and so do you. But after 5 years of working with literally thousands of entrepreneurs I can say this really is the center of every issue you’ll have in modern indie business.

So, what’s your answer to the question? Your ideas are dying to know.


“you don’t lack discipline, you lack motivation. There’s a difference”


We made an excellent podcast episode about this topic, complete with insights from guest experts. It’s one of the biggest topics, one of the harshest realities, we all face. And there’s some powerful insights in here. Enjoy!

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Show Notes:


Fizzle

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