What Motivates Change?

What Motivates Change?


Do you think making a change is easy or difficult? I like to believe that making a change is easy, but sustainable change is difficult. Why? Because, sustainable change requires a change in our lifestyle and mindset. Without a change in the way we think, then the way we behave, and the actions that we take are only for short term.

It is like being a vegetarian. Eating vegetables for one day is not a challenge. But if you enjoy eating meat, and had to continuously eat vegetables for 365 days, then that would be a challenge. Why? Because that would require a change in the belief and value system for WHY vegetables are good for me, and hence change my mind-set about being healthier.

So what makes people change? Let me show you the Change Formula and how this formula affects how people change, and what motivates one to change.

Before I explain the Change Formula, here are a list of reasons why understanding the motivation behind people’s change is so important:

Few of us live as if our time matters. We spend hours of our precious time on commuting – to our office, to client’s place, to do household errands. We wait for a friend who is tardy, a meeting that isn’t on time and a queue at the bank’s ATM machine that stretches too long. Yet we complain we have “no time.”

My approach to time management for business owners begin with identifying what matters most. In ActionCOACH there are 3 key areas to effective time management:

#1 – When you understand what motivates you (as the business owner, entrepreneur and the leader of your organization), you will know how to drive yourself to get better results.

#2 – When you understand how others are motivated, it’s easier to work with your business partners, managers, and team members. You will understand what inspires them aside from the business, which is really a means to an end.

So here it is, the Change Formula…

“D × V + F > R”

This is called the Change Formula. All human beings are resistant to Change, however, the only difference between them, is the Resistance of Change, R. Humans are mostly motivated to make changes due to essentially 3 elements. If the elements on the LEFT of the equation are greater than R which stands for RESISTANCE, then the person will create change. Likewise, if the elements are less than R, there will not be sufficient DRIVE to overcome the resistance.

  • D – Dissatisfaction:
    Areas in my life that I am unhappy with causes a PUSH factor. If these areas of dissatisfaction cause me sufficient discomfort, pain, or unhappiness, I will be motivated to change faster.
  • V – Vision:
    The opportunities that I see are the future possibilities. If I don’t change now, I will lose out on those opportunities, which are called the PULL factor.
  • F – First Steps:
    This element also motivates people to change faster, when they are given guidance on HOW to make the changes. However, this is not a strong element, so this only adds up to the equation on the LEFT, while D and V are multiplied.

Why? Someone Dissatisfaction and Vision compound into a person’s WHY and PURPOSE. The biggest motivation factor for change would be the WHY behind the change. If that is strong enough, they would change, and it’s usually a really strong PULL or PUSH factor.

What does this have to do Business? Everything!

Knowing why we make changes allows us leaders to stick to our decisions. Are there going to be times when you are challenged out of your wit and every night we stay awake wondering if we are going to see another day? And times, when we doubt our every choice? Absolutely, YES! When we know our WHY, it is the reason we started, and it’s the same reason that will keep us going. Understanding that why and our purpose is a very important part of being in business. It keeps us on track.

When we understand how people change, we also become very good at helping people achieve their dreams and visions through our businesses. We become very good at aligning our partners and team members to what the business can help them achieve. As I said, business is a means to an end (for everybody), therefore it’s important to find out everyone’s END so we can all align with it. And will the WHY for others be slightly blur, or probably misaligned with ours… Absolutely, YES! But it’s good to hear people out and even if it seems misaligned (for the time being), it’s only going to get clearer as the organization moves forward.

How do I Get the Change to Stick?

Are lottery winners rich? No. They may have cash at the present, but they are not rich and certainly not wealthy. Most lottery winners I know go back to the wealth status they were in pre-lottery and some even dig a hole deeper than the one they were in to begin with.

Many wealthy entrepreneurs I know have lost lots of money, but they find many ways to gain back the money they lost because they have a wealthy mindset.

So here is another formula I would like to introduce you to, and this one is important because it’s gonna make the change stick.

“BE × DO = HAVE”

  • Have
    Here, I have to define my destination and be pretty clear about it if I knew I had arrived. Lack of defining this, I know many ambitious nuts that keep running after their own tail in the business because they never define what they want to have.
  • Do
    The right actions and activities will lead you to what you want to have. Don’t just wish, dream, or attract what you want, but go out there and take positive actions toward what you want.
  • Be
    Your thoughts, beliefs, identity, and values works on the areas below sea level, which we cannot see with the naked eye. When we work on this part of ourselves, the changes we make become more long lasting.

Your Be and Do must come together as one without the other will only mean short-term activity without long-term gain. The challenge I see with most successful entrepreneurs and business owners, is too much “Do”, a lot of busy-ness and activities, with insufficient stop, review, read, learn from other leaders etc. This busy-ness may make them money short-term.

“Stop the busy-ness long enough to review and learn from our mistakes, so that the journey isn’t so painful and redundant.”

A man who runs an electrical store in an old part of town has been in the business for close to 20 years. He told me that he was busy running the store and getting more and more customers and he realized one fine day, that he didn’t want to run the business anymore. Furthermore, what hit him was that his younger brother was diagnosed with cancer. Sometimes it takes such an impact to us, or the people close to us, for us to realize. But is that what it takes?

The less successful entrepreneurs or at least the “wanna-be” entrepreneurs usually lack the “Do”. They attend all kinds of seminars, read every book, but they still haven’t started their business.

I would be happy to help you come through some “sticky” change. Well, that’s what we do as business coaches anyway. We have a job to do because we know that change is not easy. If it was EASY, many people would be multi-millionaires by now and no one would be working! So, if you need a business coach to work on you and your business, both personal and leadership development, and at the same time work on the strategies and results, do give us a ring at +603-6204 0812 or email us at sparkactivators@actioncoach.com.

Till then, enjoy the application!

Maresa Ng Business Growth Specialist

Maresa Ng – Asia's Top Business Growth Specialist

As Entrepreneur, Author, Investor, Professional Speaker, and ActionCOACH Asia Master Coach Trainer, Maresa has grown several of her own businesses and has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, business owners & CEOs to succeed in turning around their businesses. She is the author of MPH Masterclass Guide to Starting a Business. Having spoken in over a dozen countries regionally, her business-building-seminars have touched the lives of thousands of business people and entrepreneurs. Maresa had achieved Top 3 Firm Builder in Asia Pacific in year 2015, and maintained Top 100 Global Coach in 2012 and 2013. One of her businesses was awarded SME100 Fastest Moving SMEs by SME & Entrepreneur Magazine in 2012. Her track record of both successes and failures has led her to be one of the most prominent business speakers and experts in the region. Described mainly as businesses secret-weapon, Maresa has the strategic and tactical ability, energy and passion to take entrepreneurs and businesses to the next level. Visit www.maresang.com and transform your business today.


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