Can “overmotivation” be holding your business back?

Darlene Ziebell

Darlene Ziebell President Center for Women Business Owners

Can you be too “overmotivated” ? Is that preventing your business from being a success?   I am a very big believer in positive thinking.  And I enjoy really thinking big.  I read all the books, planned my success, and envision it daily.  But what really helps a small business owner reach their goals?   I discovered I need both:  motivation and training to be a successful business owner.  I constantly strive for more knowledge and guidance.  I believe both motivation and education helps me.

When women business owners approach me to evaluate their business plans and strategies I am shocked at how little education they sought to show them “how to run a business”.  Most of their research and networking time was spent at “feel good” venues.  Everyone loves to feel good – me included.  But sometimes it requires a more challenging approach to learn what you really need to manage your business.

I suggest to all women who approach me for help in teaching them “how to manage a business” three things.  Ask yourself these questions:

  1. When you register for a business event… are you attending to learn something new on how to manage your business… or are you  avoiding the real challenge that is required to learn more about managing a successful business?
  2. When you attend these events… are the other attendees having the same problems as you?  If so, you aren’t really learning from someone who has done it before.
  3. Make sure you get the “right” motivation to help you grow personally.. in addition to the “right” business education you need to help make your business a success.  Don’t confuse the two.

Be careful.  Don’t just use motivation to “teach you how”, but also balance it with some “real life hard knock business training” so you will have a better chance for business success.

Darlene Ziebell

Center for Women Business Owners


  1. Great blog post!

    I agree with every word! Like you Darlene, I also enjoy thinking BIG! I’m a dreamer but I’m also a “doer.” If i come up with a new business idea (which is frequently), I cannot wait to carry it out! I am truly self-motivated when it comes to business. It’s a like a fun project to me that I can’t get enough of.

    However, I also constantly seek ways to learn more and more. Through training, through hiring professionals, and/or signing up for webinars. I love to stay on top of the latest, not only in my industry, but in my clients’ as well. I love to read and journal my ideas and plans. I constantly read business books and articles about successful entrepreneurs making it big! It gives me such a rush and enthusiasm that gets me thinking “I want to be that big!” or “I want to do that with my business!” That gets my brain going and what follows is sometimes scary because of the “doer” part of me. I will work on it until it’s done exactly the way I pictured it!

    I love your post in that you caution business owners to pay attention where they’re spending their time. I say no to a lot of invites to events and activities that would not be the best use of my time.

    Time, not money, is our most valuable asset, let’s spend it wisely!

  2. Thank you for your kind response. I believe some women business owners may accept every invitation or sign up for every event as an easy out to avoid the fear of handling difficult business situations. Hoping to search for easy and quick solutions… that sometimes cannot be avoided. My best to you and your business success.


  3. Lynn Nicolai says:

    My first business was such a learning experience. I learned about so many things not to do. So when it came time for me to start another business and this time with a partner aka my husband, I decided to start from the very basics. I signed up with the SBA for all their business classes. I drew up my business plan and worked it while I was learning. It made an enormous difference.

    Since then with my career and business ventures I put a lot of effort into learning and growing as well as doing. It’s a great balance. The feel good seminars are great but wear off once I get back to the nitty gritty of working my business. I like to schedule those with my friends who are also business owners so we can have a great feel good time together.

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