Theoretical Underpinnings

Our PR guy was in town this time last year and among all of the really good questions that were asked during filming, there was one that struck me. What gets you out of bed in the morning?

My first thought was when you have hobbies like hunting and fishing, you’re always awake before the sun comes up. It also means that you wait for the weekdays to ‘sleep in’ (if only until 5 am).

My second thought was about my childhood. When I was a kid we burned firewood in the winter to heat our home. It was a decent size, two-story house with a gambrel (barn-shaped) roof. The physics of wood heat is that it radiates (hence, a type of radiant heat). This means that the farther you are away from the (Benjamin) Franklin stove, the more potential your room has to be cold.Mike Hiller

 

 

So growing up, what use to wake me up is when you’re huddled under the covers and your bedroom is on the opposite end of the house from the woodstove, and the fire starts to die down really early in the morning. The first thing that gets cold is the end of your nose. When that happens you really have two choices: You can pull the covers over your head and hope someone else is getting chilled too; or you can get your butt out of bed and stoke the fire yourself.

I’ve always been part of that latter group. It doesn’t take much to get me out of bed in the morning. And, since the question is equal parts metaphor, it’s never taken much for me to keep motivated either. Anyone who is Achievement-oriented (see also McClelland’s Human Motivation Theory) who scores really high on measures of Self-efficacy, Internal Locus of Control, and Intrinsic motivation knows what I’m talking about.

Orientation (Are you Intrinsically Motivated and Achievement focused):

  • Are you a curious person? Do you find things interesting? Do you read and research?
  • Are you challenged by goals where there are no rewards? Are you competitive at board games?

Beliefs (Self-efficacy & Internal Locus of Control):

  • Do you believe that you’re capable of handling most any task?
  • Do you believe that you determine your own success as opposed to luck or fate?

All of which seems to beg the question. Do successful Small business owners have these traits in common? What are your thoughts?

Article Written by Mike Hiller

Note about the author. A voracious reader in his own right, Mike often times finds it difficult to get his daughter to bed without her devouring a mountain of books and well-beyond bedtime.