From my experience, successful entrepreneurs are masters of self motivation strategies. It’s an absolute must. Being an entrepreneur, the self motivation and the drive of your group is on you.

There is no boss to answer to. You must learn to make yourself do the things you’d rather not. No excuses. As your own boss, unless you plan to outsource some tasks, if you don’t do it, it won’t get done.

That is a tough pill to swallow for new entrepreneurs. It takes dedication and employing some tips and tricks to keep your motivation high. One of the most effective motivation hacks I know of is positive reinforcement.

What is Positive Reinforcement?

Positive reinforcement is the practice of rewarding the desired behavior. Our Sacha did an amazing job of demonstrating the principle in a recent video. She gives us a peek into a training session with her not-so-tiny fur baby, Donkey Kong.

The principle is simple; when he obeys her command, he gets a treat. When he does not complete the task as directed, no treat. It works marvelously with him.

It works equally well with people. It is astonishing how effective a simple affirmation is. Especially when it comes to seeing more of the behavior you want to see from others.

There are people out there that use the hovering threat of negative reinforcement. They hold themselves and others to ridiculous standards. Anything other than reaching the target receives punishment. We’ve all known someone like this. How did they make you feel? Was it your best? Likely, your answer is no.

Examples of negative reinforcement.

  • The sales team that didn’t hit its goals now gets a lower commission rate and smaller paychecks.
  • A messy teenager is grounded until she keeps her room clean for a month.
  • The toddler who soils her diaper is scolded.
  • You’re not dressed as nice as your husband would like, so he refuses to take you to dinner as planned.

If this was you, how would you feel? Does receiving a negative in response to a situation make you feel more motivated to succeed or just scared to fail?

Imagine how much more effective the positive approach to motivation is. It’s human nature to prefer it. Receiving pleasure is more pleasurable than escaping pain. The promise of rewards is a strong personal motivator.

Now, let’s look at examples of how to apply these same principles to keeping your own motivation high.

Applying these principles.

It sounds great, but not sure how to make it work for you?

Hover over the steps below to learn more.


An area in your personal development that you know needs some work.


Think about a milestone or goal that would stretch you. (Don’t overstretch though, be reasonable.)


Think of a reward that would thrill your soul.


Write it out, assign a completion time or date, and put it on your calendar.

For instance, I am bad about taking it too easy during the early part of the week. Then I’m stressed the second half of the week trying to get all caught up before the weekend. Here’s what it would look like if I apply the above steps.

  • Identify: I want to complete a list of 5 tasks on time each week.
  • Stretch: They are due by the Friday, but I want to push myself and aim for Wednesday.
  • Reward: I LOVE not having to cook and clean dishes. Take-out sounds like heaven.
  • Commit: If I complete my list of 5 tasks b y 12:00pm each Wednesday, I’ll buy dinner out.

Following these steps will do much to keep you motivated and moving towards your goals.  You would not believe how often this works.

We’d like for you to come back and share your experience using positive reinforcement. Say hi in the comments below!

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