You’re doing your daily social media binge, and that same old sponsored post pops up on your feed: “follow so-and-so for daily motivation!”
Daily motivation. A vague couple of words to say the least. But hey, we’re all human—we all need a little motivation sometimes.
As a young small business owner, running a music library puts me in an intensive industry. Much of my day is spent working on the exciting yet treacherous journey of small business growth, and sometimes I too find myself needing an extra push.
So there I go, pursuing some “daily motivation” and I come across the same exhausting content every time: supposedly self-made millionaires flaunting stacks of cash, cars, and mansions. Or in other words, flaunting money, money, and money. This wealth pandering has become a dangerous new social media trend.
These “self-made millionaires” post photos of their precious possessions with only two objectives in mind. The first is to trap people in an inescapable box of desire. The second is to get them to buy into whatever they’re offering by playing to subjects’ wants for wealth.
Here’s a prime example: there’s a notorious day-trader whose idea of “daily motivation” is flashing his cash. Intrigued, users try to learn penny stocks on their own, but find it nearly impossible. Then they try day trading, but fail miserably, so they buy into his baseline service. The service doesn’t cut it, so they buy his next package to continue chasing a materialistic dream.
Before they know it, they’re paying $150 a month to a man who has convinced them that this is the only way to be successful.
This is a dangerous thing for all of us with dreams, and even more so for us trying to grow businesses. We follow these pages and get lost in someone else’s grandiose way of life. Through that, we lose our focus, lose our money, become greedy, and forget our original goals of what we were trying to achieve in the first place. One of the fundamental rules of selling is to solve a customer pain. But how can a business solve a pain if its primary objective is to make money? It won’t even get its foot out the door. People will make the decisions that get them rich in the short term, rather than making a decision which could be exponentially better in the long run. This “money over everything” mindset is setting us up for failure.
In the words of innovator Mark Organ,
“I have seen highly successful people leap into entrepreneurship with the only goal of attaining personal wealth. They lose heart when faced with the inevitable setbacks. The most successful entrepreneurs are not motivated by money. It’s about the experience, the way of life, the chase, the identity, the rush.”
If our primary motivation is wealth, we’ll spend the rest of our days unsatisfied with the successes we’ve had, and in turn, we’ll be highly susceptible setbacks. Subscribing to this kind of content will only make us feel trapped if we aren’t yet living that high roller lifestyle. It’s a distraction from real objectives we should be following to grow our careers, business, or whatever we seek to accomplish someday.
By buying into “entrepreneurs” who spam our feeds and feed to our materialistic sides, we give in to an unrealistic expectation of our future status and forget about what we should be focusing on presently.
Think about it. You follow two pages. One of them posts a quote by Warren Buffett with a photo of him smiling in the background, the other posts a quote by Warren Buffett with a fancy car. You’ll probably subconsciously be more interested in the page with the car, because that’s how our minds work—especially for those of us with far-out dreams. We get sucked into a tornado of luxe.
According to Forbes, “most successful entrepreneurs say that their primary motivation has been to build something lasting, not to make a lot of money.” By opting into countless images of luxury, we back ourselves into a corner. They’re trapping our minds and limiting our thoughts until we end up drained and unhappy with where we are in life. Our businesses and ambitions fall because we chase the wrong dream; we follow the wrong journey.
It’s not bad to have epic goals for future wealth, but don’t make that as your only source of motivation will only lead to an unsatisfactory end. For so long, I was someone who felt that the idea of money was all I needed to persevere. When it constantly avoided me, I became frustrated. Forgetting about all of the small victories that grew with my music and my business, I put my focus on the fact that I didn’t live in a nice apartment building, or I wasn’t able to buy tables at clubs, or I wasn’t buying expensive clothing. It backed me in a corner and I could never focus properly on growing my agency.
Don’t get backed into a corner like I did. Break out of the cycle and push forward on your own terms.
If you’re looking for real business motivation, don’t fall for these desire panderers. Focus on real entrepreneurs like Daymond John, Elon Musk, and Aaron Marino, who use their content to inspire the masses and foster a more positive influence on us as future innovators. Stop feeding the fake entrepreneurs getting rich off of other people’s ultimate goals. The more you feed them, the less you have to feed yourself.
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Zach Ciampa produces and licenses music under the pseudonym Haelphon. He has spent the last ten years working both independently and with global brands and agencies helping them amplify their message and excite their audiences through the power of successful music selection and integration into their videos, social media, and events. To view his audio collection, visit the Music Library tab on the top menu.