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Why low motivation helps if you want to be a success

Having a low motivation for something sounds like a bad thing—but sometimes it’s actually necessary for success. 

by Vivienne Egan

Having a low motivation for something sounds like a bad thing—but sometimes it’s actually necessary for success. Sounds counter-intuitive? Not so, says our study results.

When you’re an entrepreneur you need to know where to channel your energy. With only 24 hours in a day, having a low preference for some aspects of business is not only preferred, it’s critical to your success. 

In our 20-year study of successful founders, we found that the most successful entrepreneurs were very motivated to act on certain aspects of their startup, and displayed a notably low focus on others. 

So, what goes out the window in a successful startup? Here’s what our study uncovered.

Low structure = high success.

A low preference for structure helps successful entrepreneurs remain agile in the early days of their business as they iterate and pivot. In fact, the entrepreneurs in our study had a 42% lower interest in structure and planning than the general working population. But here’s the kicker: preference for structure becomes more important as a business matures, so you’ll need someone on board to implement the processes you need as your business grows. 

Ignore everyone else’s two cents.

As might be expected in people with a high preference for following their instincts, successful entrepreneurs have low motivation for making decisions based on external references—that is, opinions, advice and data from others. It’s this ability to put received wisdom aside that allows startup founders to build the businesses of the future.
 
While successful early stage entrepreneurs are 41% less likely than the general population to be influenced by others when it comes to decision making, as the business grows you’ll need to consider bringing on board experts to continue your upwards trajectory. 

Forget procedure.

If everyone followed procedures, there would be no space for innovation. It’s no coincidence then that successful entrepreneurs tend to have a low preference for following the established methods and instead think outside the box. Entrepreneurs are on average 28% less motivated to follow procedure than the rest of the population, so make sure your team includes those who are willing to experiment with how things should get done, not just replicating the rules from past experiences.

The first rule of Entrepreneur Club? There are no rules.

Entrepreneurs aren’t terribly interested in asserting their values and rules on the people they work with. While some folk have a strong motivation to instruct others at work, entrepreneurs have a 17% lower preference than the average. If you find that you’re highly motivated to impose certain rules and ways of doing things on team members, consider finding a co-founder who’s a bit more, well, chillax.

So, while many folk bang on about the attitudes that entrepreneurs are supposed to have - a focus on money, power, initiation - it’s a relief to know that it’s equally important for certain behaviors to take a back seat. No interest in structure, opinions, or procedure? Looks like you’re set to make your mark. 

Discover your motivations by joining Fingerprint for Success today.

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