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Backwards Method to Get Motivated, Even When Things Suck

Motivation and hype alone are insufficient for achieving sustained success in sales. Many training programs emphasize staying motivated through playlists and pep talks, but these methods offer only temporary boosts. Instead, tapping into a deeper sense of drive and purpose is essential for long-term achievement.

This isn’t about finding your “why”—it goes much deeper. In this blog post, I will introduce a completely different approach to motivation. This method has proven transformative for members of the Roofing & Solar Reform Alliance, with testimonials like Mickey’s, who stated, “I would have paid $50,000 to be here,” and Mark’s, “I’ve never approached my business like this.” Andrew even mentioned, “I apply this concept every month, and it has transformed how we grow our business.”

Whether you are running a company, managing a team, or working in sales, what I’m about to share can significantly impact your life. The perspective shift that transformed my own life led me to transition from a transactional business model as The Roof Strategist to a relationship-driven approach with the Roofing & Solar Reform Alliance.



Rethinking Motivation: A Radical Approach

Let’s dive into the core of motivation. Traditional methods focus on goals and hype, but true motivation often comes from understanding defensive pessimism. Consider a classic experiment: a starving rat placed in a tube with cheese out of reach and its tail in a trap with a spring. The rat didn’t pull very hard, not wanting to endure the pain. However, when a cat was introduced, the rat pulled significantly harder, driven by the fear of the cat.

This principle—defensive pessimism—applies to humans too. Fear of loss often motivates us more than the potential for gain. For example, if I put a metaphorical “gun” to your head and demanded you make $10,000 by selling five more jobs this month, many would fail. But if I said you’d lose $10,000 if you didn’t, most would succeed. This fear-driven motivation can be harnessed to drive performance.


The Pitfalls of Complacency

Complacency is a common issue, especially after achieving a significant milestone. I’ve seen top sales reps go from earning $550,000 one year to less than half that the next. Maintaining momentum is crucial. When things are good, it’s not the time to let off the gas; that’s when you need to push harder.

My worst business year followed my best, highlighting the importance of sustained effort. After earning a Christmas bonus of a 1991 Corvette ZR1, the following year’s revenue plummeted. This experience taught me that maintaining high standards and staying proactive is essential.

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Establishing High Standards and Visibility

Creating a culture of accountability and high standards is key. On my team, we maintain transparency and set clear expectations. We use tools like Slack for full visibility of each team member’s activities, including calls, emails, and sales reports. Each morning, we set a Wildly Important Goal (WIG) that is within our control, such as knocking on a certain number of doors or following up with leads.

At the end of the day, everyone reports their sales, demos, and new bookings. This transparency fosters accountability and motivates everyone to perform at their best. We aim to build a team of A-players, setting a high bar and ensuring everyone meets these standards.



Leading by Example

Leading from the front is crucial. When I noticed my team wasn’t knocking on doors, I started holding sales meetings in the field at 7:30 AM. I worked alongside them, setting an example and keeping them motivated. By maintaining high standards and visibility, complacency is minimized, and everyone is driven to perform.


Final Thoughts

Motivation is not just about excitement and goals. It’s about understanding the fear of loss, maintaining high standards, and creating a culture of accountability and visibility. This approach can transform your business and drive sustained success.

If you found this perspective helpful, consider joining the Roofing & Solar Reform Alliance, where we delve deeper into these concepts and provide ongoing support and training. Let’s embrace this new approach to motivation and achieve extraordinary results together.



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