Hi I’m Adam Mortimer creator of the Achieve Today Certification program and High-Performance Coach. I help high achieving people be their best selves. They come to me with a range of various problems to solve but many of them take a similar form, and a recent interaction I had was a simplified version of that very problem.
I had a client come to me because she was having trouble taking action. In order to move her career forward and reach her full potential she needed to be reaching out, making contacts and pursuing opportunities. And yet when she came to me she admitted to not making any effort in that sense in over 2 years. She simply couldn’t find the motivation to put in the work. She came to me so I could bring that motivation back.
She started my program with a lot of excitement. I gave her specific, tangible assignments to work on such as making ten phone calls in the next week. But the next week she came back having not completed them. For three weeks I tried to motivate her through positive reinforcement, describing the career and salary she could have if only she put in the time and effort but she kept coming back having not taken any action the week before.
At that point I was frustrated and she was frustrated. She paid thousands to work with me and neither of us knew why she was unable to move forward. That is when I tried something different, a technique from my mentor, something that sounded crazy enough I was hesitant to give it a try. I am so glad I did.
I asked my client what amount of money, if you lost it, would not make you destitute but would sting. “Honestly”, she said “right now 500 dollars would really sting if I lost it.” I asked her political affiliation and the two of us made a pact that if she did not make her requisite ten phone calls in the next week she would have to donate the 500 dollars to the opposing party’s national committee.
It did not take long for her business to explode. She made a comment that really made the power of this technique sink in. “It’s interesting I wouldn’t take action for the six figure salary I am now making but I did to avoid losing 500 dollars.”
Did you hear that! The fear of loss was a bigger driver for her than the carrot of hundreds of thousands of dollars. This psychological idea is called loss aversion, it posits that humans are more motivated to act to avoid a loss than to achieve a gain, even if the potential gain is much larger than the potential loss. This is hardwired in all of us. Great coaches use these psychological hacks to get results with themselves and others. How can you take advantage of this technique with your own teams?
- Have team members put skin in the game.
Everyone involved in the project should have an idea of how the consequences of failure will impact them. For each task that needs to be completed, make sure the team member responsible is aware of what they will lose if they don’t succeed.
- Have specific tasks with deadlines.
Without specific deadlines, it’s impossible to determine if team members are meeting their responsibilities. It’s important these deadlines be reasonable or your team might be motivated to find ways to cut corners.
With clearly delineated deadlines and clearly delineated consequences, it is important to make sure that when team members don’t complete their tasks, they see the consequences as well.
Try these tips and watch the fire that you light within yourself and your teams! When my client used these techniques on herself she took her long-plateaued business to unseen heights. Her new success saw her invited to speak before the company convention in front of thousands of people, a long-time goal of hers.
Motivating yourself and others to action is often difficult, but by utilizing human psychology and a little ingenuity, anyone can break out of a rut. If you’ve been having trouble getting started on something you’ve been meaning to for a long time, try these tips out and see if it doesn’t get you moving.
Adam Mortimer has spent the last decade decoding the mysteries of the human mind working with many of the greats in that field of study. He has coached students in every state in the US and many countries all over the world. He has coached for Brendan Burchard, Zig Ziglar, Les Brown, Nightingale and Conant, The Silva Method, Mind Valley, Learning Strategies and many other leading companies in the field of personal development.
Adam is the creator of the Quantum Meditations program and the author of the bestselling book, The Secrets of As a Man Thinketh. Adam has been referred to as the “Blockbuster” for his ability to identify and eliminate unconscious blocks.
He has been featured on Inc, ABC news, and GQ Magazine. He has shared the stage with Kevin O’Leary from Shark Tank and Willie Robertson from Duck Dynasty. He recently spoke at the Best You event where he shared the stage with Marie Diamond and Paul Mckenna, the top experts in Europe on personal development.
Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.