What is in it for you?

We all need to earn a living right? There is work to be done and bills to be paid. Unless you are the heir to some fortune; we get up each day and head to work.

But money is not always the primary motivator.

A sense of accomplishment, making a difference, helping others, learning a new task, leading a project, or creative expression tend to be higher on the list for many people.

While coaching someone recently, they paused and asked a direct question.

“What is in it for you?”

Their question made me think about my own motivation and why I do what I do.  I thought about my sentence, or the guiding articulated reason behind a lot of my actions. It helped me develop a reply.

“Helping talented people find the right position that fits who they are.”

But their question was more profound than they perhaps imagined. It remained with me long after our time together. The question spurred others.

Why do we blog?

Why do we consult?

Why do we coach others?

Why do we create?

Sure sometimes it is to make a living, but not all of our hard work generates income. Except for a few rare cases, blogging doesn’t create cash-flow. Not all consulting is on the clock and billable. Not all coaching arrangements come with an invoice. Creativity is not always for the pursuit of an immediate reward.

If you are interested, Dan Pink does a great job of explaining some insight into what motivates us in his book Drive, and below is a 10 minute video summary of the book.

As you contemplate “What is in it for you?” Understanding your motivations and even your sentence may be a good place to start.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: