From the October 2006 issue of Entrepreneur

What drives you? What motivates you to get up and go to work with a relentless desire to create results? It could be the money, the excitement of competition, providing for your family, personal achievement or any other factor that sets a fire in your belly.

Every entrepreneur knows how important a sense of urgency is to keeping the business growing and keeping prospects moving through the sales cycle. Yet sometimes, no matter how much activity you've created, sales seem to slow down or stand still. Your reps say they're working on it, your prospects say they're on top of it, your clients say they'll be putting in more orders in a few months-and so on.

When I say to tell yourself "If it's to be, it's up to me," I'm not saying everyone around you is incompetent or that teamwork is a bunch of baloney. I'm saying there needs to be a driving force behind your business that keeps you focused on the results-and that driving force needs to be you. When one person is enthusiastic and driven to get results, people tend to follow that individual, or at least catch some of his or her enthusiasm along the way.

When you're struggling with certain accounts and having difficulty getting things to move in the right direction, it's time to take action.

1. Start making calls. Make a list of the people you need to make decisions, and think about what would motivate them to act. Ask yourself: What would be the benefits to them and their companies if they acted sooner rather than later?

2. Don't take no for an answer. If you know your product or service has value for prospects or clients, don't give up on them. Think of new information you can share that supports your product's value. If I stopped calling some of my clients after they said no, I'd be out of business.

3. Remember, leverage is power. Whether it's promoting the fact that a certain industry or vertical market has endorsed your product, or you've been reviewed in one of your industry's most respected magazines, get the word out and let your prospects and clients know about your success.

4. Rewrite your goals. What's your most important goal? Write it down and put it where you can see it every day-on the wall in your office, in your wallet or in your daily planner. Every time you look at it, ask yourself: What am I doing now that's getting me closer to this goal? Goals drive us into action and keep pulling us forward. They help you clear your mind and regain a sense of purpose and direction when everything around you spins out of control. When I want to generate qualified activity to grow my business, I reorganize my goal board in my office. New ideas and specific people to contact will start flooding my mind and push me into action.

5. Don't let the naysayers bring you down. Negative influences can put a damper on your initiative to take action. Stay away from naysayers, and surround yourself with people who have strong positive attitudes combined with integrity and intelligence.

I'm sure you can add more to this list, but what's most important is not to let anyone else determine your success or failure. At the end of the day, the only person you have to report to is yourself. Ask yourself: Have I done everything in my power to move activities forward and make sales happen? Not only will you feel better-you'll also sleep better.

Barry Farber,author of The 12 Clichés of Selling, has taught thousands of individuals and corporations how to break through barriers to achieve their sales, management and personal goals.