Have you ever wondered how to maintain your motivation for a project? I was reading Kick Start Your Success by Romanus Wolter, and he describes ways to both kick start your projects, maintain your motivation, and achieve your goals. He discusses the intent behind your work and how to inspire others to engage with your project. Your project can be any kind of goal you’re working towards, whether business, personal or anything else.
- Intent: Internal vs external
- Inspire others to help you
- Question of the day
Intent: Internal vs external
One of the first things Romanus defines is the idea of internal and external intent.
Internal intent is your personal purpose for this project. It’s the reason why you want to accomplish this goal or be successful. It also highlights the benefits you are hoping to achieve through this. Basically, what’s in this for you?
Whereas, your external intent is the purpose of this project for other people. It outlines how this will benefit and help others, along with why they should be interested in this project. Identifying this external intent is a great way to understand how to get others involved.
One activity that Romanus takes you through in the book is to craft an instant impact message. This is a short phrase, around 10 words, that succinctly outlines how you can help others and the external benefits of your project.
Understanding both your internal and external intent will help keep you focused, by understanding why you are doing this project and how you can help others. Both intents, when brought together, can make your project sustainable by balancing the benefits for yourself and others.
Inspire others to help you
A big part of this book describes how you can involve others in your project, as nothing happens in a vacuum. Romanus uses this phrase that I really like to “inspire others to help you.” This simply means finding ways to engage others in your project and have them be part of your success.
A good place to start is noticing how you speak about yourself and your project. If you speak passionately and positively about both, people will be interested to know more. It may also help you be successful by seeing the positive side of things and focusing on what you’re achieving.
Another way to involve others is to ask them for input. Ask people for advice (see below for your question of the day), you never know who might be able to help. Don’t hesitate to talk about your project and see what others think.
Romanus even encourages you to engage with the naysayers. Rather than just taking their negativity to heart, ask them how they would solve the issue they see with your project or how they would do it differently. Sometimes they just aren’t used to being listened to and would appreciate the opportunity to give you some advice. Their advice might be useful! Whereas sometimes they’re just negative and have nothing useful to say. If the latter is the case, then there’s no reason to give them any more time.
Question of the day
In combination with the topic above, one way to inspire others to help you is through a question of the day.
The idea of this activity is to craft a question you can ask people throughout the day. The question should focus on the current hurdle or barrier you’re facing, and simply asks for advice on how to overcome it.
It’s a great way to spark conversations about your project and to crowdsource ideas to overcome issues. Getting advice from a wide range of people increases your chance of getting a good solution, as well as making more connections that might benefit your project.
Plus the question focuses on a specific actionable item that you need to address and creates an opportunity for others to help you. It can also provide your close friends and family something to focus on, especially if they want to help and don’t know how.
Another great benefit of this is that you can change the question of the day whenever you have a new hurdle. Once you’ve solved the issue, then update your question to focus on the next issue you need to solve.
I found the idea of connecting your project to its external and internal purpose was a really interesting way to think about it. It’s important to both provide you and someone else benefit, or else it probably won’t be successful. If you’re not gaining something from it, you won’t be motivated to keep going, and if it isn’t benefiting anyone else, then you won’t be able to make it sustainable, especially if you need to make money.
I’ll be honest, the book did come across as misogynistic and outdated. The examples used in the book were about a man looking for a job and the woman was looking for a boyfriend to complete her life. It just seemed so dated and unnecessary to reinforce those gender stereotypes. I get the idea that they wanted to show how the activities apply to a range of goals, but they could’ve easily switch the genders.
However, there were some interesting ideas and useful activities in this book, but maybe read it with a grain of salt just to find what’s useful for you.
Here’s a life tip, if there are books that you think might have interesting parts but don’t want to support the authors financially (or don’t want to buy the book for various reasons), check out your local library! You can also borrow ebooks and audiobooks from your library by using the Libby app connected to your library card. It’s a great way access books and I use it all the time.
Have you read this book? I’d love to hear your thoughts in a comment below!