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Entrepreneurship and motivation, what is the secret?

When it comes to successful entrepreneurship, you need a lot of motivation to overcome setbacks and gain success. You must keep the engine running even when you are out of petrol. Where do entrepreneurs get this motivation from and how do they keep having the energy to continue to innovate?


As a strategic sparring partner and business coach of many successful entrepreneurs, I see too often that some entrepreneurs are exhausted over time. Managing the company costs them so much energy that in the evenings and the weekends they can do nothing but lay down on the couch. Even playing with the kids costs too much energy.


However, this is not necessary. There is a big difference if an entrepreneur pursues his goals and ambitions or if he lives every day according to his highest intention. One costs energy and the other gives energy and motivation. Every day again.


The difference between goals and ambitions

If you achieve goals, those goals ultimately lead to your ambition. Imagine that you want to write a book. Then that can be a goal to become a writer. But when you write an article, the article can be a goal for your ambition to write a book. The greater the ambition, the greater the goals are to achieve your ambition. You can look at it as follows:


Ambition > To become the best writer in the world


Goal > Become a writer


Sub-goal > Write a book


Sub-sub-goal > Write an article


The definition of your highest intention that motivates entrepreneurs

All successful entrepreneurs live according to their highest intention which motivates them. You can describe your highest intentions as your most significant objective in life. Suppose I believe that education facilitates world peace.


Because if everyone had all the knowledge of the world, there would be more mutual understanding and we would be less inclined to make war. My highest intention then is world peace by contributing to the education of humanity.


If this is my highest intention (or internal compass), it could be a logical consequence to become the best writer in the world. But more happens when I state my highest intention. All of a sudden, my ambition, goals, and sub-goals have only become replaceable resources to contribute to my highest intention.



Instantly there are many more ambitions and goals to consider of how I organize my life in such a way that I contribute to my highest intention. For instance:


  1. Building schools in deprived areas

  2. Give lectures and speak in front of an audience

  3. Help others tell their story

  4. Etc


Suddenly ambition is secondary to intention, and that makes a huge difference in the energy and motivation of an entrepreneur. It has to do with the following:


Ambitions and goals:

  1. Are about yourself and what you want for yourself. That is why they are usually about ego, status, and money.

  2. They are time-bound. Once achieved, you need a new goal or ambition.

  3. Costs a lot of energy to achieve. You have to work hard for it and often have to learn a lot.


It is very different when we talk about your highest intention

  1. The highest intentions are timeless. You can contribute to it, but there is no finishing line.

  2. The highest intentions are about yourself in relation to others and society. It is a contribution to a larger whole than yourself that you are still part of.

  3. The highest intentions provide energy and motivation. Always. You may be woken up by it because your intrinsic motivation is so high that you can be busy with it day and night.


Successful entrepreneurs get their motivation from their highest intention

It is the highest intention that gives successful entrepreneurs their motivation. Your highest intention provides direction to all your ambitions and goals. It gives you the identity that you need to have the right attitude. It is the compass with which you can validate whether you are pursuing the right things.


Many entrepreneurs forget that and burn out like a candle because they waste a lot of energy on the wrong goals and ambitions. They lose their motivation. Sometimes they lose sight of their highest intention and sometimes they never became aware of their highest intention.


Your highest intention also gives you peace of mind and freedom. You not only know why you do what you do, but you can also freely choose which ambitions and goals provide the most satisfaction. And if one thing doesn't work, you just do the other.

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