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I’ve thought for a while that Financial Goals are misunderstood. 

We try to use them as motivation, and that’s not what they are best for in business.

So how do we stop using them as motivation? And what is their real purpose?

I think it is in discussing the difference between DESIRE and DRIVE that we can see what financial goals are really useful for. So let’s talk about the difference between these two, which was prompted by a discussion I heard with Peter Rollins, an author, philosopher and storyteller. 

Desire is conscious, a wanting for something.

Drive on the other hand is not always conscious, it where we can get enjoyment from not getting or not moving towards something. You can experience pleasure just in the exploring or seeking. Drive doesn’t require an end point or destination.

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A financial goal is usually a Desire. Not always, but it usually is once basic needs have been met. 

When we own our own business we’ve usually set it up from a place of Drive. The purpose of what we do, why we create or are in service to others.

Can you feel the difference? Desire has more of a wanting, yearning energy. Drive comes deep from within, an innate urge. 

When we’re in business and we run out of momentum to reach a Desire, say it’s a financial goal, we think there is something wrong with us or the goal. Except Desire doesn’t have the lasting oomph or energy behind it like Drive does.

We think we can apply the amazing tenacity, resilience or backup of energy we have for what drives us to our desires, but it doesn’t work that way. And then we struggle to keep up going when the desire feels out of reach.

Additionally, this is potentially why many (but not all) business owners find chasing financial goals unfulfilling and they only create momentum in the short term.

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So what you can do instead?

What if we accepted financial goals are an ‘X’ on a map and we use business design, structure, strategies and systems to be the paths you can take to that ‘X’.

Then your Drive, your ‘why’ in business can simply fit into this structure, strategy and systems.

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Then you can remain sustainable and profitable without expecting the goal to keep you in momentum.

What do you think? Have you noticed any of these observations in your business? Feel free to respond and let me know if you have!

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I write emails about making and managing money in business when you’re a kind, considerate and empathetic business owner. I speak about our monetary behaviour and practical finance business advice. We look at money from all angles.

If you’d like emails direct to your inbox… 

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