Many freelancers and solopreneurs think they’re totally motivated to build a rockstar business that wins them wealth, freedom and fame.
It’s a lie.
The truth is that most freelancers only believe they’re driven toward wealth and success. But dig deep down, and you discover that the opposite is the actual reality.
Where does it all go wrong? What makes freelancers say they’re gung-ho about wealth and freedom when they’re actually not?
Read on. You’ll learn the mental makeup of the freelancer that pinpoints the problem.
How Motivated Are You to Gain Wealth?
Imagine you’re lying on the couch. You’re exhausted. You have the flu, your head feels like cotton wool and your body aches from head to toe. You’re having one of those days where you just can’t work – and for freelancers, reaching that point often means being nearly on death’s door.
The next thing you know, I burst into your house. “Hey! Come with me right now! I have a client who wants to hire you. Land this contract and you’ll make $10,000! It’ll be great. You’ll rock, I know it – it’ll be as easy as pie! Now get up and let’s go, he’s waiting!”
What would you do?
Remember, you’re pretty sick – death’s door. You were taking the whole day off to recoup your strength and get over this flu you’ve been fighting.
Freelancers who answer this question honestly usually say they’d actually be skeptical of me and my enthusiasm.
You’d have questions, even if I were a trusted friend with a reputation for clever ideas. You’d want to gauge the opportunity before you dragged yourself out of your flu-induced stupor. Even if I had you utterly convinced, your first question would be, “Can I see him tomorrow? I’m pretty sick.”
How Motivated Are You to Protect Wealth?
I want you to imagine a different scenario. You’re still on the couch, feeling as sick and miserable as before, only this time you have $10,000 hidden away in your underwear drawer. It’s your hard-earned cash, tucked away Mafioso-style for safekeeping.
Suddenly you hear shattering glass from your bedroom. There’s a thump, and you hear your drawer being opened. I’ve broken into your home – and I’m after your money.
What would you do?
No matter how sick or miserable you feel, you’d probably leap up like lightning! Your heart would pound and adrenaline would zing through you, making your mind and body crackle with energy as you grab a baseball bat and come after me.
The Freelancer Feast or Famine (Finally) Explained
Freelancers are notoriously known for yo-yoing bank balances and that oh-so-common feast or famine cycle. You’ll find posts about it all over the internet – but very few tap into the truth about why it exists, and what to do about it.
And most freelancers just accept the poor-to-rich-to-poor cycle as an inescapable reality of the self-employed lifestyle.
It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, the only thing that causes your freelancer feast or famine is the psychology that drives your motivation.
The good news? Psychology can be changed!
The exercise you completed earlier tells you a lot about your personal motives for action and the psychological forces that drive your behavior. Most people are far more motivated to avoid losing money than to actually pursue riches and success.
They mentally focus on avoiding poverty. Not on creating wealth.
That’s why most freelancers are highly motivated to find ways to bring in money when they’re near disaster but often lack the necessary drive to build a business that takes them to the big times.
3 Quick-fire Yips to Turn Yo-yos into Rockets
Get your bearings. Yo-yo motivation (and feast-or-famine finances) are primarily caused by a lack of direction and vision. Richard Branson doesn’t yo-yo because he always knows there’s another level of success to reach. Now he sends people to the stars. Figure out your long-term direction and business goals. When you’ve done “enough” of them, you’ll be hungry for more.
Raise your standards. Donald Trump won’t buy a suit that costs less than $3,000 – so it makes sense that he doesn’t consider it a good day unless he makes millions. Up the quality of your living and simultaneously up the expectations for your business performance. Did you get into business to struggle month after month or to succeed?
Line up the rewards. Set rewards worth salivating over. Go beyond merely raising your living standards and decide on some captivating rewards for specific business milestones. Grab a mentor or a friend and get some accountability, then set a target and stick to it. When you reach it, celebrate big and then return to work with a fire lit under you.
Of course, none of these tips work unless you deal with the psychological core of the problem, which is…
Overcoming Your Fear of Loss
Even if you’ve been reading about personal development for years and believe that you’re a positively motivated person, it’s time to take an honest look at what drives your behavior.
If the imaginative experiment of earlier had you leaping up to prevent me from stealing your money, you’ve successfully identified some mental conditioning you need to change. Spotting the problem is the first step.
Let’s keep it real, though. Working to avoid financial loss and stay away from poverty is a good motivation. You never want to lose that.
But imagine if you could channel that same lightning-fast, zero-hesitation energy into the pursuit of business growth.
Instead of reaching that point where your unconscious decides you’ve done enough for the month, you’d be furiously working, capitalizing on any success so you could take your business (and your life) to a whole new level.
Twitter, your RSS reader, YouTube, watching TV… None of that would look very tempting. Wild horses couldn’t drag you away from your business.
All this is possible and easily achievable, but you have to overcome your fear of loss. As long as you hold onto that fear, your unconscious keeps the bulk of your motivation juice in reserve to save it for a possible financial apocalypse.
Ironically, the only way to guarantee such an apocalypse never happens is to get motivated enough that you build the kind of kickass business that can survive anything.
Reconnect with what it is you really want – not what you don’t want. Expose your business fears and look at them. Do whatever it takes to remove them from your consciousness.
Forget what you’re driven away from. Set goals that pull you toward what you want.
And when you do? You tap into the same psychological, motivational state that the world’s business rockstars use to win wealth, freedom and game-changing impact.
For business psychology strategies that help you achieve more wealth, freedom, AND sanity (all at the same time!), click here to visit the home base of Peter Shallard, the Shrink for Entrepreneurs, or follow Peter on Twitter for mini Jedi mind tricks that get you ahead in the game.