In looking for ways to form new habits and keep myself motivated (like truly working from home and not just watching tv… ahem) I found Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project podcast.

In her new book, Better than Before, she talks about how people respond to expectations – both internal (such as wanting to run every day) and external (such as attending family events).

If you are a business owner, knowing your tendency will help you understand what methods of motivation work for you and therefore how to keep on track while pursuing your business’ goals. If you work with clients, knowing their tendencies will help you to motivate them towards a shared goal.
I have summarised the four tendencies below. To find out your tendency, you can take the quiz here.

Upholder Meets them Meets them
Obliger Meets them Resists them
Questioner Resists them Meets them
Rebel Resists them Resists them
Using your own tendency to your advantage

Once you have done the quiz, read up about your tendency. If it rings true, think about how you can best motivate yourself in your business or in life. If it does not ring true, try the quiz again, or ask a loved one to do it for you.

For Upholders, pretty much anything motivates you, so you should not have an issue with motivation. Try to be mindful and not to take on too much or you may risk burning out.

For Obligers, try to make yourself accountable to others. Publish your business goals on your social media pages, as suggested by Ben Angel’s book Flee 9 to 5. Or get a mentor and discuss your annual objectives and progress at each meeting.

For Questioners (of which I am one), you need to be sure your goals are what you really believe in, and not what you think they should be. For instance, if you have been told you should charge more, but you feel comfortable with your current price list, do some research. What are similar businesses charging? Do they have the same qualifications and specialisations? Are these differences reflected in your current prices? If they are, then there is no need to make a change. If they aren’t, make the change. If you are convinced of the reason for the change you will be better able to justify them to yourself and to others.

For Rebels, personally, I am stumped. However, the podcasts on the subject suggest that making the things you do fun and what you want to do are the key to ensuring you maintain focus. I would love to hear how you motivate yourselves, Rebels!

Using your clients tendencies to their advantage

From your interactions, you may have a good idea what a client’s tendency is. Depending on your relationship and the nature of your business, you might ask your clients to do the quiz. Regardless, having some knowledge of their tendency can improve your interactions with each other.

For Upholder clients, it is likely they will see you as an authority so will likely follow your advice without much convincing. However, watch for burnout or being too tough on them if they don’t achieve everything in the plan.

For Obliger clients, given their need for external expectations, if you give them clear objectives and due dates, it is likely they will meet them. But remember to meet to discuss progress.

For Questioner clients, you will need to convince them your recommendations are suitable and you have the knowledge to back them up. Gretchen Rubin recommends giving them articles and personal experiences about similar situations. This will allow them to see how the recommendations are suitable for them, or may bring up valid questions they may have on the chosen course of action.

For Rebel clients, Ms Rubin recommended you take a fairly light handed approach such as saying: “You can do this if you want as it might help with that issue. But I leave it up to you.” The fact they have a choice, and doing it is therefore their choice and not yours, will motivate them. A warning, be sure you are clear on the outcomes they really want, and not the ones you want. I know I really love seeing businesses being busy and organised and so my recommendations are often focused around achieving that. However, some business owners enjoy being less busy -it means less pressure and that may be their true desire.

I am hoping you experienced some of the same “a ha!” moments as I did when going through the Four Tendencies. I also hope that you have some ways to keep yourself motivated in your business and keep your clients happy and coming back for more.