Picture this. You’re an Olympic runner. You’re perched on top of the platform you’ve dreamed of for as long as you can remember. You hear the first few notes of your National Anthem and know you’re about to feel that smooth ribbon around your neck, the weight of the gold medal.
Quick: What got you there?
One of two things — a carrot or a stick.
But it goes a little further, and if you can see the value in knowing what motivates you and others, this is going to be really helpful.
How can this help you?
Two ways, really.
First, knowing what motivates you will help you see what’s most likely to move you forward, to help you accomplish what you desire. Instead of leaving your motivation unconscious, you can harness it to take you where you want to go.
Also, if you interact with anyone anywhere… professionally or personally, knowing what motivates them is invaluable, too. Chances are, you’re dealing with people every day who are not motivated in the same ways as you are. Without understanding their motivations, you’re going to be a lot less effective and a lot more frustrated than you need to be.
So, what motivates people?
You've probably heard about the carrot and the stick.
About half the world’s population is motivated by the carrot - a reward of some kind, something you’d do just about anything to move toward. The other half is motivated by the stick - a negative consequence that you'd do just about anything to avoid.
But it goes deeper than that.
There are three major areas (Power, Affiliation, Achievement) that motivate people, and with each, people are either striving toward something (carrot) or away from something (stick).
When you combine them you have 6 very distinct motivation types.
Let me explain.
Carrot + Power
Stick + Power
The first area is power. For someone motivated by a carrot and power, the goal is to beat everyone else, to rise above the crowd, to be Number One, the best.
The person motivated by a stick and power, they'll do just about anything to avoid the feeling of being defeated or powerless. It’s just unbearable for them to lose, and they can't stand the thought of looking up to anyone else who defeated them.
Carrot + Affiliation
Stick + Affiliation
The second area is affiliation. Someone who’s motivated by a carrot and affiliation gets pumped up by the idea of having recognition, of being loved and admired by an audience of fans full of admiration and applause.
In contrast, someone motivated by a stick and affiliation wants to avoid being a loser, thinking nobody will like them if they don't win. Avoiding being alone, isolated, and cut off is what drives them.
Carrot + Achievement
Stick + Achievement
The last area is achievement. The carrot here involves competing with yourself, and there’s nothing more satisfying to this person than setting a goal and achieving it. It’s not about winning or losing, but about reaching the goal. It’s more of an internal thing rather than competing against others.
The stick-driven person here wants to avoid failure at all costs. If they do fail, they will redouble their efforts, blaming only themselves. Next time, they'll start sooner, work harder, and do whatever it takes not to fail again.
The question to ask is, which category best fits you?
Knowing what motivates you can give you great clarity on your own life - both in what you’ve done in the past and what you want to accomplish in the future.
Based on how you’re motivated, what can you do to move yourself forward?
But this is also a great tool when you deal with other people.
Knowing what motivates them helps you to empower them to be the best they can be. You can tell a lot about their motivation type from what they say and do. It will be language and action that fits into one of the 6 categories.
The mistake you might make in not understanding these motivations is that you’re likely to try to motivate others the same way you’re motivated. Unless they come from the same angle you do, it’s probably going to misfire and frustrate both of you and make them UNmotivated!
One more important thing about this - there’s no right or wrong to human motivation; it’s more a matter of how we’re wired. Understanding motivation is just a matter of being able to better understand people and what makes them tick.
Turning this toward your online business, what’s going to move you forward? Think keeping these motivations in mind as you write your sales letter might help you connect more with your prospects? Use both the carrot and stick, power, affiliate and achievement in your writing.