Get All Access for $5/mo

What's Your Motivation? Find Out Now. Clearly defining the purpose behind what you do and why will allow you to renew a sense of motivation. Here's one way to get started.

By Jason Womack Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

What is your motivation? Regain your motivation by understanding the big "why" behind what you do. Simply keeping the bills paid is never enough. To be fully engaged in our lives, we must have bigger and bolder goals. Why do you do what you do? Do you really know? Do the people around you know?

While in Austin, Texas for South by Southwest a few years ago, I had the privilege of meeting Tony Deifell, renowned for asking that very question: "Why Do You Do What You Do?"

While we had breakfast, he grilled me about my motivation and actually dismissed my first few answers. Over pancakes and coffee, we kept digging deeper. Finally I said I do what I do "because I am joyful when I feel a sense of completion. " My motivation for the coaching I do is to help clients achieve more.

When I first engage with a client, the only thing I'm focused on is whether we will we be able to work together in a way that will get them to a new place. I share techniques that allow them finish what's important to them. I want to show them how they can get more done, more easily. I help them achieve completion.

The easiest way to discover purpose is to keep using two simple words: "So that...". For example, for me this might look something like: "I am a coach so that I can help people achieve more so that their company or organization can attract more customers so that the difference they make is more significant. "

Be prepared to discover something new about yourself when you go through this exercise. If possible, write down three to seven "so that..." statements for each area on which you want to determine your motivation -- your "big why" -- in order to get re-energized.

This exercise will help you clarify your priorities and gain direction and enthusiasm to work on the things most important to you. It will also give you a reason to say "no" to distractions that come along and allow you to establish a baseline against which you can review your progress.

This exercise is not designed to impose restrictions on yourself. Your "so that…" statement should not discourage or bring you down in any way. Rather, consider this an exercise in positive focus -- as opposed to positive thinking. I had one client who shared with me, "Jason, I don't need to feel bad about what I am doing. I can [just] focus on it, know why I'm doing it, and continually get a little bit better at it. This helps me think that I don't have to be everything, to everyone, all the time." An important revelation, don't you think?

"So that..." statements help you gain the freedom to choose, act and excel. When you spell out why you are doing what you do, when you understand the results you anticipate, making those results a reality becomes much easier.

Do you want to regain your motivation? Complete the sentence, "I do what I do, so that…" and really listen to your answer. Do you want more? Dig deeper. Discover why you do what you do, and make your best even better.

Jason Womack


Jason W. Womack is the CEO of The Womack Company, an international training firm that helps busy professionals be more productive through coaching and consulting. He is co-founder of the Get Momentum Leadership Academy, author of Your Best Just Got Better (Wiley, 2012) and co-author with his wife, Jodi Womack, of Get Momentum: How To Start When You’re Stuck (Wiley, 2016). Since 2000 he has coached leaders across industries and trained them in the art of increasing their workplace productivity and achieving personal happiness.


Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick


ChatGPT is Becoming More Human-Like. Here's How The Tool is Getting Smarter at Replicating Your Voice, Brand and Personality.

AI can be instrumental in building your brand and boosting awareness, but the right approach is critical. A custom GPT delivers tailored collateral based on your ethos, personality and unique positioning factors.

Business News

Is the AI Industry Consolidating? Hugging Face CEO Says More AI Entrepreneurs Are Looking to Be Acquired

Clément Delangue, the CEO of Hugging Face, a $4.5 billion startup, says he gets at least 10 acquisition requests a week and it's "increased quite a lot."

Growing a Business

He Immigrated to the U.S. and Got a Job at McDonald's — Then His Aversion to Being 'Too Comfortable' Led to a Fast-Growing Company That's Hard to Miss

Voyo Popovic launched his moving and storage company in 2018 — and he's been innovating in the industry ever since.

Business News

You Can Now Apply to Renew Your U.S. Passport Online — But There's a Catch

The U.S. State Department officially launched the beta program this week.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Apple Reportedly Isn't Paying OpenAI to Use ChatGPT in iPhones

The next big iPhone update brings ChatGPT directly to Apple devices.