Business Should Motivate You

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I was thinking about this (a lot) the other day…

I had to review some edits for my new book, CTRL ALT DEL (out in May 2013), and I realized that I had written about a similar thought as I had in my first book, Six Pixels of Separation (2009). The crux of the thinking goes like this: you will hear a vast majority of professionals say something akin to: "it’s nothing personal, it’s just business." To be blunt, that’s B.S. I don’t know about you, but I spend the vast majority of my waking hours thinking about not only the business of Twist Image, but what I can do to achieve more. If I don’t take business personally, what is the point? I can’t even think of something that I should take more personally. Can you?

A deeper reflection.

I had the pleasure of being in Charlotte, North Carolina on Tuesday to record an upcoming webinar with Jeffrey Gitomer (best-selling business book author of The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, Social BOOM! and countless other tomes that are quick-witted and provide striking insights into how to be better at work). The webinar is called, Jeffrey Gitomer’s Webinar Boot Camp 2012 {Re•define} Yourself (it’s not free, so click on the link if you would like more details). As I sat in his studio, sitting side-by-side with Gitomer, I had this strange feeling come over me. When I first got interested in business books, I fell madly and deeply in love with three authors: Jeffrey Gitomer, Seth Godin and Tom Peters. Once blogging and online content became pervasive, I could hardly believe how much free insights and goodness these people were sharing (and, to this day, I can’t wait to see what they come up with – each and every day – in places like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and beyond). I guess it just felt strange to be a part of his content rather than a customer of it (which I am). On the flight home, I asked myself: "what did you learn today?" 

Nothing. Everything.

There wasn’t one thing. There were many things. It wasn’t obvious. I feel like I am better. We often push personal development to the side. I realized, on the two-hour flight home, that I had an amazing day of personal business development. A lot of it probably won’t sink in for months. A lot of it will probably only surface in a way that may not even seem obvious to me. With that, I also realized that seeking motivation in personal development is not the same as seeking business motivation to do and achieve more. Seth Godin recently did a 37 minute video interview with the Good Life Project. This isn’t the typical Seth Godin fare that will fill your brain with ideas about what you should be doing in business. In this video, Seth talks a lot about his personal journey and desire to do more interesting things, projects and stuff. Yes, Godin is always motivational, but there’s something about this video that is profound in terms of business motivation.

I don’t know about you…

I ate my lunch at my office desk yesterday (which I rarely do) and I decided to let this video interview run while chomping on some salad. It stopped me dead in my tracks. It was true business motivation. It moved me to do a lot more work than I had intended to. It also created a mental model for me to focus on when the desire to click over to the Facebook or Twitter tab on my Web browser seems more desirable than the work that needs to get done.  

I don’t know about you, but I need more business motivation in my life. So, please watch this and tell me if you can just sit idly by…


  1. I agree whole-heartedly on your thoughts about business vs. personal. I had a client use this with me a while back and it felt so weird to make that division. Take things personally – I try not, but to take the person out of business is impossible to me.
    And this video (as well as many others on the good-life project) are very inspiring for me as a young entrepreneur who finds everyday a bit of a mind bender in terms of deciding what I am supposed to be doing. I also suggest the Goodlife interview with
    Brene Brown.
    Thanks for the post!

  2. Agree with you Mitch and thanks for the link to GoodLife Project – amazing!
    Being human and personalizing can’t stop during business hours. It preserves who you are versus trying to adjust to be something you’re not. After all, business is led and cultivated by people – clients – employees. You do need to care in business about business and when you do it’s personal. Any of the great folks I’ve worked with all cared – took great care to preserve the personal side of business to build trust and respect. If someone says to me don’t take it personally it’s only business – it’s a red flag – that our core human values are not aligned. Doing business with them becomes only transactional and short term. Life’s too short to not enjoy the personal side of business.

  3. I agree 100% with your above statements. I hate the statement it’s not personal it’s only business. Seriously! I am focusing on improving myself personally and expecting that to reflect on my business. A book I recently read has introduced me to many ways to improve myself. The book is called, “Green Beans & Ice Cream” by author Bill Sims, Jr. This a non-fiction self help book written for anyone who wants to improve the performance of their team through positive reinforcement techniques.

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