I wasn’t always a machine. I didn’t always pump out 10-15 hours of work within the span of 3 hours.
In fact, I was the complete opposite.
I’ll bet you didn’t know that I once had a job in sales where cold calling was my primary function.
Well, you might have known that. But here’s what you didn’t know. My manager actually had a phone usage tracker to make sure we were always on the phone.
I was so reluctant to make my calls that I would literally pick up my phone and let the dial tone ring just to rack up minutes on the tracker.
In retrospect I look back and realize that was one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done in my career. Talk about a complete waste of time.
When it all changed
Oddly enough this was somewhat of a pattern for my entire career.
I was in jobs where I did well. I did what was required of me. But I never did more.
To be honest I just didn’t care. Whether it was a boss I couldn’t stand or a job function I just didn’t like, for some reason I never really tried as much as I should have.
However, the second I quit my job in 2007 and went off on my own to pursue my business, it’s like a light switch went off.
I became an early version of “The Machine”
When I started my business I worked relentlessly. It wasn’t just an “hours per day” relentless.
It was that I cared. It was that I was putting so much of my mental energy into every moment on the job.
Maybe it was the fact that I had more financial pressure because I was on my own.
But if you want my honest opinion, that’s not it at all.
The moment I became a machine is the moment when all that was important to me was clear.
What was important to me
With regard to my career, I never wanted a boss and I never wanted a big commute.
As soon as those things came to fruition it was like I was hit by lightning and realized that I could never, ever go back to that life.
As my career developed and my priorities changed, these two pillars never did.
I have more priorities in life now. And there are things that are just as important to me as not wanting a boss and never wanting to commute again.
But I’ve never lost sight of those two. And I’ll never lose sight of my other “core values” – those being my family and my health.
What are core values?
Core values are the secret sauce to being motivated. If I were more clear on my core values earlier in my career, I might have made those calls. I might have tried a little harder.
Maybe not though since my core values were not having a boss and not commuting. We’ll never know.
Perhaps I was always destined to be my own boss and until I hit that point I never would have given it my all. It’s quite possible.
But I will say this. Until you tap into your core values (i.e. what’s most important to you), you’ll never be motivated enough.