The Nerve to Find Out if You’re Motivated by Money

In this episode, I delve into the essence of motivation, pondering what propels us – beyond the usual suspects like money. I recount a revealing episode with my son Ryan, whose indifference to conventional discipline unearthed his true motivator: freedom. I would love you to introspect and uncover your unique “currency” that motivates you. It’s about recognizing and valuing your inner drive, enabling you to lead a life that’s authentically fulfilling and aligned with your deepest desires.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • A personal story about my son Ryan and what I learned about motivation that shocked me.
  • How to determine what really motivates you? Is it money? Time freedom? Significance?
  • An invitation to create what you crave once you understand and own what true motivation means for you
  • How to join my new Beyond Mastermind: The Business Edition
  • Details about a brunch that I am hosting in Atlanta on April 28th

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Susan Hyatt (00:00):
Is there something you wish you had the nerve to do? Welcome to, you've Got Nerve, the podcast that teaches you how to conquer your fears, upgrade your mindset, and get up the nerve to go after whatever you want. If you wish you had the guts to go all in on your goals, dreams, and desires, this show is for you. I'm master certified life coach Susan Hyatt, and I am so excited for you to join me on this journey. Oh, hey, today I'm talking about motivation. I'm curious what you think motivates you. What do you think drives you? What's the currency that makes you willing to get out of bed, suit up and get back to work, or whatever it is you do all day, the currency that you most want. It might be money or it might not. Many of my clients, a lot of y'all are often surprised to discover that making money is actually not your primary motivation in life.

And actually it's something else. And plenty of y'all listen to this podcast because money is what motivates you. And in all my research about motivation, really and truly, I think motivation can be tracked back to, do I want to have freedom? Do I want to have security? Do I want to feel connected? Do I want to have an impact? And there's no judgment about what motivates you. I just think it's important to recognize and honor what the truth is for you. So as we dive into this conversation about motivation, I was reminded about an old story about my now 25-year-old son, Ryan, back when he was in preschool and elementary school. Let's just say he was not the teacher's pet. Far from it. Y'all who've been around a while, know he was really like the teacher's worst nightmare. Now he's a great kid, he's smart, he's kind, he's passionate, but sitting quietly at a desk, it was not his thing and it's still not his thing.

Never has been. So back in preschool, he was constantly getting into trouble because he was so energetic and feisty. He didn't want to sit or nap or color quietly. He wanted to run around and jump and tumble and play. And his level of energy was through the roof. And honestly, his teachers didn't know how to handle him. And I do not blame them. I honestly credit my running career and my muscle mommy dom, because back in the day, I knew I had to generate, become an energy factory. I had to generate the highest level of my own energy just to keep up with this kid pretty much every day. Back then, he would come home from school with a red card. Now, red was considered bad. Red meant that he had been in trouble and a green card was good, and a yellow card meant maybe he had had a so-so day, slightly disruptive, but red, y'all red was really, really bad.

Pretty much every day was a red card day. His teachers were understandably upset and they encouraged me to discipline him more sternly at home. And so looking back, I wish I had known then what I know now, but back then I just followed what they were recommending at first. So I took away certain privileges like TV and told Ryan, you can watch TV again once you start behaving and you can earn that privilege back. But traditional parenting techniques, all that stuff, y'all, it didn't seem to have an impact on him. He just didn't care. And then I read a parenting book that said, if your child is really uncooperative and will not respond to anything that you've tried as a last resort, empty their bedroom, take everything away. Literally everything. The book encouraged me to take out his clothes, his toys, his books, posters, artwork, curtains, everything except a mattress to sleep on.

And the book said, tell your child that he must earn back all of these privileges and all of these possessions by cooperating and behaving. And until then, no stuff, no entertainment, no toys, empty room. And I thought this sounded pretty harsh and severe, but at this point we were at our wits end and I truly didn't know what else to do. So this one day when I had had it, I took everything out of Ryan's room and his little sister, Cora watched and sobbed in the hallway, shrieking, no mommy, no. And I felt awful, but I did it. And then I explained the deal to Ryan, behave, be polite, follow the rules. No more red cards from school and you can have your stuff back. So do you want to know what Ryan did next? He took one look at his empty bedroom with nothing inside except for a and the bare walls and carpet.

And he said, hooray, this is awesome. Now I have room to tumble. And then he started happily tumbling and rolling and cartwheeling and doing gymnastics all around this empty room. And he genuinely was not trying to be a smart ass. He was genuinely thrilled and excited because he could tumble freely all around his bedroom. And in that moment I realized, okay, obviously this plan is not going to work because obviously Ryan is not motivated by the prospect of having TV or games or toys or stuff in his room. That is not what is motivating this kid. That is not what is interesting to Ryan. Ryan is motivated by something else, and it took me several more years before I figured things out. But eventually I realized that this kid was motivated by freedom more than anything else. And you can only imagine how that conflicted with Catholic school.

Freedom is what he craves. Freedom is worth more than gold to him. Freedom, not stuff or money or TV or praise or attention. Freedom is his primary currency. Still freedom is what he wants more than just about anything else. And if you threaten to take away his freedom, that's going to get his attention. If you dangle the prospect of more freedom, that's also going to get his attention and he will be highly motivated to work hard to get it. So here is the question of the day. What is your currency? And it may be different than everything that you've been taught. What do you crave and value more than just about anything else? Maybe society has conditioned you to think that money is your currency or that security is the most important thing, and for some people that's true. But for you, maybe it's not.

We don't know. Let's explore. Maybe what you crave most is freedom. Maybe it's public recognition or respect from your peers. Relationships, connections, attention, feeling, significant important, feeling influential, feeling helpful, feeling wanted. Feeling like a good parent or partner, feeling spontaneous, having options, having simplicity. Maybe your currency is beautiful. Experiences like travel, beautiful possessions, like gorgeous clothes that you love or a new laptop. I do not believe that certain forms of currency are better than others. I think they're all valid. So if you are highly motivated by the prospect of earning money or being able to afford a fabulous vacation, that's just great information to have about yourself. And it does not necessarily make you somehow less caring, more shallow, less loving than somebody who is primarily motivated by say, relationships or freedom. So don't judge yourself for wanting the currency that you want. Just be honest and embrace it, and you can use this information then to motivate yourself.

So for me, I would say I am highly motivated by money, but I would say my top motivation is freedom. Having the freedom to work for myself, having the freedom to have my own schedule, having the freedom to have an impact and work with women so that they can create more money and freedom for themselves. And it's a powerful thing to understand. So whereas I have worked with plenty of people in politics, for example, and they are motivated very much by power, they're motivated by notoriety. Plenty of clients have been motivated by having a celebrity status. And again, there is no judgment about that being a motivator. For me personally, I don't really care that much about being known. I care about impact and freedom and money. And so my challenge for you this week is to figure out what types of currency feel the most valuable to you.

So in other words, just let's get honest and embrace what really motivates you. So you can start off by thinking about the question, what do I crave most? And make a list of things that come to mind, and that'll get you going in the right direction. It'll get you started. It may think you already know what motivates you, but what you write down might surprise you because even if it's money, it's really the feeling state that having money can give you and what you can do with money, that's the motivator. So money for money's sake is kind of neutral, but if you think about, oh, I want to earn X amount of dollars because when I do that, I'm able to pay my father's medical bills, send my kids to a private school, send my kid to college, et cetera, et cetera. You get my point? Hopefully.

So if you can discover what truly motivates you, and if you can dangle that currency like delicious, treat in front of your eyes at all times, then taking action to create the life you want will no longer be as much of a struggle. I'm not saying it won't be work, it's just that clarity and that vision of, oh, okay, within five years I want to be able to do this. Like Scott's 60. So within seven years, he has a very clear vision and plan for what he's going to accomplish over the next seven years. And he's very motivated by investing in commercial real estate to accomplish that. And so is it going to be work? Sure. But having that clarity, it just makes everything less confusing. And then you can take action and make decisions from a place of understanding what's the goal? So you don't need someone else to bark at you, remind you, nudge you, encourage you or threaten you in order to stay motivated.

Although I do think some healthy accountability is a wonderful thing, which is why I have the Beyond Business Mastermind because I do think I was talking about this on my run with my best friend today, that having an accountability buddy, we're accountable to one another to get up early in the morning and go run at 5:00 AM If I didn't have an accountability buddy, I probably would still get up, but maybe only 90% of the time, not a hundred percent of the time I do when I know she's waiting on me. And vice versa. And once you know what your currency is, your motivation will begin to come from inside you. Inner drive, inner motivation, not external motivation. And that shift changes everything. So get out there and find your currency, and I would love for you to report back what you discover.

All right people. So if being part of a group is something that motivates you being in community, I want to point out that I'm enrolling now for the Beyond Business Mastermind. So if you want to chat about it, we have a link in the show notes where you can reach out. I'll hop on Zoom with you and we can talk through what your goals are and see if it's a good fit. I also have a brunch coming up in Atlanta in April, so you're going to want to check out information about the Atlanta Power Table brunch. It's happening on Sunday, April 28th, 10 30 to 12:30 AM and we're doing it at the Swan House, and I found out that they filmed Catching Fire from the Hunger Game series there. It's gorgeous. So I hope that you'll join us.


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