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Motivation in a Small Business Start Up

The business start up techniques and motivational strategies taught at Penn’s Wharton School of Business or at Harvard’s Business School are not designed for small business start ups. The MBA graduates of those schools have been prepared to start up a division for DuPont or Pepsi or direct a hostil takeover of a public company. One prominent blog writer gives start up advice from the perspective of opening a new division for DuPont and opening 200 Pizza Hut stores for Pepsi’s commitment to delivering pizza in their Pizza Hut division.

These are impressive credentials and solid advice for fellow MBAs working for mega corporations, but not much help for someone trying to figure out how to open an independent pizza shop and find the $150,000 needed to open that first shop. The problems faced by a hopeful entrepreneur in his initial effort, requires many things and sustained motivation is a prime requirement.

Getting started is hard work and staying motivated needs more than a will to win. Bear Bryant was a legendary coach of the University of Alabama football team and was a outstanding motivator of his teams. I was reminded in recent research of something he said which I often used. It became so much a part of my business start ups that I came to think it was my own and forgot that I got it from Bryant.

Bear said “It’s not the will to win but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference”.

Preparation is the start of almost every success story and when I decided to start my own business I used preparation to counter the family and friends who were vocal doubters. I worked hard to prepare for that break from the comfort of corporate America and sought advice from people who shared my desire to have their own business and were succeeding in their effort.

To remain motivated through the tough start up challenges requires preparedness, Preparedness solidifies a belief in your effort and aids in the stimulation of your creative juices. With fun thrown in as a seasoning element you have the tools needed to maintain a high level of motivation.

The preparedness effort requires careful study of the competition that is succeeding in the area you intend to pursue. Your preparation is enhanced with a bit of careful questioning of their customers (if you can) to find out what they like about the goods or services they are buying. The service or goods you will be selling needs to meet the challenge of competition and motivation should include determination to meet and exceed the competition.

I came across an old quote from Norman Vincent Peale in doing my research on motivation that needs to be embedded in your start up motivational memo pad. He said: “It’s always too soon to quit”.

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