When thinking about trying to achieve a goal like starting businesses or creating something, having a mental model as to why you are going after it, to begin with in the first place is vital.
These are the eight most common archetypes seen in creators. As you read, try them on for size and see if they fit.
You don’t know exactly what to do with your life, but you do know this: this job sucks! You’d be willing to do anything to get out of your current employment situation, and starting a business seems like as good of an option as any. The escape artist reads books like Escape from Cubicle Nation, The Four Hour Work Week, Career Renegade, or The Art of Non-Conformity and then thinks, “Why am I putting myself through this. I should just quit and then figure it out.” Now you’re finally doing something about it.
The lifestyles of the rich and famous have always fascinated you. You imagine yourself fitting in at Hyde Park parties and Hollywood awards shows. A closet full of gorgeous clothes or a garage full of collector’s cars at your seven-bedroom mansion sounds just about right. Now, if you could just find the right idea that would lead to all of that. Nothing to be ashamed of here, the more you own your desire to live the high-flying life you imagine, the more likely you’ll be to maintain the motivation and focus to get it.
Freedom and flexibility are your core motivators. You don’t want anyone telling you where to be or when to be there. You work to live, not the other way around, and for good reason! Life has so much to offer and you’ve figured out that we don’t have to live the way the system wants us to. But that’s going to take some intentionality. When you imagine your future you’re skiing in the morning, working a bit in the afternoon, and then grabbing cocktails with friends in the evening. Or maybe you’re living on the beach in Thailand and enjoying the sun in between short spurts of hyper-productive work. Whatever your version of the ideal lifestyle is, you know that working how and when you want and as efficiently as possible makes the most sense for what you want from life.
You need to provide for your family and you’ll do anything to make that happen. Perhaps you just got laid off from your job and are all out of options or you simply can’t make the kind of money you need to make on your current career path. One thing is clear: your family is the single most important thing in your life and you are motivated by giving them a leg up. Not to mention the fact that if all goes well, you’ll actually be able to earn a better living and spend more time with family. If you’re driven by meeting your responsibilities to the people you love head-on and taking control of your path forward, this might be you.
You want to make the world a better place. There’s a problem you just have to solve. You look around and you see things that are broken in the world. You have to fix them. Think about all of the people you could help if you just focused on serving others first! Every time you join a new organization or encounter a new experience in life, you’re constantly looking for ways to improve things and make them better. After all, the world deserves entrepreneurs who solve important problems, right?
You can’t help yourself. You’re too ambitious for your own good and you want an outlet to find the limits of your potential. Every job you’ve been in has felt like it’s holding you back in one way or another. When you think about the future, you imagine yourself leading a big organization, casting vision, and making things happen. You’re the kind of person who everyone knows sets goals and achieves them. Why put all of that horsepower to work for someone else when you could be building your own empire?
You love the little details. You like working by yourself–working in teams is stressful, over-stimulating, or just plain frustrating. You prefer to go into your mad scientist’s laboratory and come out with a solution to a problem based on your knowledge and intuition. You might try 1,000 potential solutions, but you’ll always work until you land on the one that’s just right for any given situation. Sure, you’re willing to work alongside others on occasion, but more often you want to find a problem and drill down on the most efficient and effective solution all on your own. You are motivated to solve interesting problems in your lab and ideally get people to pay you for it.
You’re driven by the need to create. There’s something inside of you that simply has to be expressed– not just occasionally, but every day. Your art is your work and you want to spend all of your time focused on making that art. Whether someone appreciates your art the way you do isn’t your chief concern. You’re willing to eke out a living in order to dedicate yourself to the expression of truth through your art.
Which motivational archetype are you?
Of course, all of our motivations are nuanced and personal. There’s no doubt you’re unique. But you also probably fit into one or more of these buckets. As you read through the list, which one(s) most fits your motivation for certain goals you have? What’s your personal why for chasing after them?
Here are a few things to note:
Archetypes 1, 2, 3, and 4 are largely driven by extrinsic motivation. There’s something you want that’s external to you and chasing this goal is the best way to get it. That’s a powerful reason, but research shows us that extrinsic motivators can wane over time, losing their power to propel you forward.
Meanwhile, Archetypes 5, 6, 7, and 8 are more driven by intrinsic motivators. They’re part of who you are and what inherently drives you as a person. Intrinsic motivators tend to be more sustainable and more reliable over time.
Consider choosing both an extrinsic and an intrinsic archetype. You’ll find that having a dual purpose for achieving your goal will give you motivation both today and in the future.
If you want to learn more check out Creator Pass, ConvertKit’s FREE Building An Online Business Course.
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