A Powerful Source of Motivation that's Right at Your Fingertips …

Zig Ziglar says that what you need to know to be successful in life isn’t taught in schools.

That’s why one of the advantages of working from home is the opportunity to teach your family successful business and life skills that they may not learn any other way.

Let me explain.

The other day, I was in a meeting with Zig’s son, Tom, discussing a book promotion I’m writing for Zig’s 30th book, Born to Win (due out in January 2012).

During our meeting, Zig walked in the room and told us a story about his first job. He said, “I was in the first grade and wanted to earn money for a coat. I’ve been working ever since and loving it!”

His energy, as always, was positive. He was on his way to work out, and as he left the room, he said, “I have the idea for my next book … I’ll have the first two chapters written tonight before I go to bed.”

Keep in mind, it was about 3:30 in the afternoon and Zig is 84 years old.

He is the most consistent, driven man I’ve ever met. Ask people close to him, and they will say the same thing.

You definitely see his influence in his children and grandchildren. In the last year and a half that I've had the pleasure of working with them, I can see Zig's positive "can do" attitude reflected in their work ethic and character.

They always seem to be excited about what they're doing. And like Zig, they are consistent in their behavior.

The thing is, just like Zig, we are a role model for our family.

This means that how you approach your freelance writing business can be a great source of positive family growth. For me, having the opportunity to be a role model to my kids is one of the driving forces for my success as a copywriter.

After all, what better way to pass on the importance of positive attitude, dealing with obstacles, goal setting, and planning?

(Plus, realizing that I will be viewed as a hypocrite if I give up on my own dreams and goals, while telling them to do the opposite, is a powerful source of motivation.)

Today, I’d like to share six ways you can positively influence your family through your business. This will not only help you set a great example but also inspire you to work harder and get more out of your freelance business …

Persistence – The way you persevere in the face of your own challenges is a powerful model for your family.

This will have the most profound impact when you are trying to make the leap to full-time freelancer. There may be times when you feel discouraged. Perhaps you hit a snag and it takes you a bit longer to quit your full-time job to become a full-time freelancer.

Think what an inspiration you’ll be when you persist and succeed! They’ll know how to push through any obstacle they face.

How you handle failure – You don’t want your family to give up when they fail. You want them to have hope and be optimistic about the future.

Knowing that your family is watching you, especially if you currently have children living at home, the question is … what attitude do you want them to have in response to failure?

Do you want them to just give up or follow your example?

If you miss an important goal, don't fall apart. Simply put together a more effective plan to achieve it. Handle all setbacks with grace.

And the next time they miss a goal, they'll do the same thing.

Realistic expectations – The other day, my 10-year-old, Dalton, was trying to learn a difficult John Mayer guitar solo. He’d been working on this particular song for about a week. Just starting to learn how to solo, he’d been working only on solos for a month.

When Dalton got into his lesson, he didn’t play it perfectly. So he got upset.

After his lesson, I asked him, “How many times do you think Michael Jordan has practiced making baskets?”

D: “About a zillion, million, trillion times.”

Me: “And what percentage do you think he makes in games?”

D: “I read that he tries to make 50% of his shots.”

Me: “What about John Mayer? How much do you think he’s practiced?”

D: “A lot.”

Me: “Do you think he ever messes up in a performance or when he’s in a recording session?”

D: “Yes.”

Me: “So is it possible that you have set your expectations a little too high by expecting to play this guitar solo perfectly after just a week of practice?”

Dalton could see my point. And it’s a lesson we can all learn about our own expectations and what we role model in our own copywriting business …

Setting realistic expectations, based on the effort you’re putting in and the level of experience you have, helps keep you from getting frustrated. And when you talk to your family about how you set your expectations so you won’t experience frustration, you teach them to do the same.

Plus, discussing how you readjust when your expectations are too high or too low is a great opportunity to role model another element to this success strategy.

The importance of ongoing education – If you aren’t writing consistently, you can’t expect to get better.

If you aren’t reading to learn new things about your craft, then you can’t expect to become more knowledgeable and move towards a higher income.

When you write and learn something new to apply to your business every day, your income will go up. And when your family sees you succeed as the result of these activities, you promote the importance of learning and continuing education.

The importance of marketing – Whether you're explaining to a friend why they should go and see a movie you just saw or trying to convince someone to hire you for a job, in life we're all marketers of varying degrees.

As a professional marketer, just think about the impact you can have on how successful your family members are at marketing themselves throughout their lives.

Share what you are doing to promote your business. Talk to your family about how you dress and the way you communicate to market yourself to the world. They will learn that marketing helps them get the things they want in life, like a summer job, a date, or acceptance to the college of their choice. And that’s just for starters.

How to set goals and make a plan to achieve them – Each New Year’s Day, my whole family sits down and sets goals for the year. I share with them my goals. And they share the goals they’ve set for different areas of their lives.

Several times during the year, we revisit our goals together as a family. I let them know if I met my goals or not, what I’m doing to readjust when I don’t meet them, and why a goal is changing if I decide to shift gears.

Making a good plan to reach goals is still a bit of a struggle for my kids. But each year they get better and better at this and, quite frankly, because of them, so do I.

When you include your family, you get better at setting and making a plan to reach your goals. And you’ll also be more accountable. And being accountable to your family means you are more likely to achieve your goals.

Being consistent in your behavior sets a good example for your family, especially your kids. And thinking about what messages you're sending with your actions keeps you motivated.

Remaining conscious of your own actions while demonstrating how to … be persistent … handle failure … make a plan to set goals … set realistic expectations … and achieve more with continuing education and marketing … you’ll get better results for your own efforts.

At the same time, you’ll teach your family how to avoid frustration, remain hopeful, and achieve more throughout their own lives.

So if you need a shot of motivation, think about the example you're setting to those around you during your copywriting journey. On a good day, you’ll be inspired to do even better. On a "challenging" day, you’ll be motivated to dig in and work harder.

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Published: July 20, 2011

2 Responses to “A Powerful Source of Motivation that's Right at Your Fingertips...”

  1. Great job Cindy!

    I've been a Zig Ziglar fan for over 20 years. It's so nice to know that he is such a positive influence on his family. Some times they are the hardest to get through to. Many times others will be influenced first. I love the story too.

    You taught Dalton a very valuable lesson. Even more powerful with questions and let him realize it for himself.

    I love the family goal setting! Great lessons throughout.

    Thanks for great tips and the inspiration to apply it!

    Tonimarie Marrese

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