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What Does It Mean to Be “Self-Motivated?”

Posted by Valencia on April 22nd, 2008

motivate.jpg“Self-motivated,” is a term we hear often in the freelance world. Along with other vital skills, it seems as if individuals and companies who post an ad for a freelancer or telecommuter always seek a person who’s self-motivated.

But, what does it mean to be self-motivated? More importantly, are you self-motivated?

According to, there isn’t an actual definition for self-motivated. However, there is a clear definition for the word motivate, which means: to provide with an incentive; to impel; to move to action.

We’re motivated by many factors: people, fear, religion, our children, etc. These are the people and things that influence our decisions or tell us what to do; the outside forces that push us forward; the things that trigger our actions.

Being self-motivated is different.

A self-motivated person achieves their goals without the help of an outside force. From a business standpoint, this quality is crucial. Running a successful work at home career isn’t a piece of cake. You’ll deal with distractions, disappointments, slow periods, and the biggest challenge: being able to work independently. A supervisor stationed in the next office motivates an employee to work. However, freelancers don’t have a boss telling them what to do - they are the boss.

While we may communicate with and receive support from other work at home professionals - ultimately - we rely on ourselves to get the job done. If you can’t motivate yourself to action….you can’t run a successful business.

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Reader Comments

Distractions are a huge problem to my productivity. I find that I do best when I switch from the PC to the laptop, and find a nice place to have a cup of coffee - even Starbuck’s will do!

I feel you on that…I also work better on the laptop. That’s why I love mobility. A change of scenery can make a world of difference.

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