Daniel Pink exposed a counterintuitive trend or phenomenon that happens in economics that has been uncovered by economists—research economists—and what they found is that when it comes to complex work, people respond in an inverse way to incentives.
So what does that mean?
That means when people are doing complex work—something that’s…
Well let’s first talk about the opposite of that.
If people are doing mechanical work—they’re doing something simple—just a simple task like cranking a widget. So, their job is to crank a widget… If you offer them a higher incentive for the more widgets they crank, they’ll crank more widgets. They will put in that extra effort because the task they’re doing is mechanical.
Well when it comes to something more complex than something mechanical, where it requires thought or some creativity… With complex work, if you offer people a higher incentive, they actually perform worse.
It’s counterintuitive and that’s been something that economists have struggled to figure out and understand.
So in any type of endeavor that you may be doing on the side, it probably has some level of complexity to it—it’s probably not…it may not be something that’s really simple. So in doing that work, if you do have some pretty lofty financial goals, you may actually be demotivating yourself from doing that work by giving yourself such high goals and in putting that kind of pressure on yourself.
So here’s a little tip or a little trick to to break that down and not adversely affect your own performance but still move towards your larger goals.
And what that is, is: the first thing you’ve got to do is you’ve got to figure out what your “rainmaking” activity—what is the smallest activity that really moves you closer to making a sale or making some money.
In most businesses, you have to do something to acquire new customers. So you may have to do something like set appointments with people. Now that doesn’t mean you’ve closed the sale or even done a presentation, but you’ve set an appointment. So you can assign that small mechanical task—assign that some sort of monetary value so that every time you set an appointment, you reward yourself with—even though it’s imaginary—you reward yourself with that amount of money.
So that can become sort of a mental incentive to do that repetitive, somewhat mechanical “rainmaking” activity and it feeds the pipeline for you to do all of the other more complex stuff that you may have to do like, you know, presenting and talking to a person, and maybe closing them on your product or service or whatever it is you do.
So that’s a handy little trick that I’ve learned to kind of keep myself motivated to really do that core activity that feeds the rest of my business and moves me towards my larger goals.
And another tip is that there’s a—if you do have to, you know, set appointments with people and track customers and customer calls and that sort of stuff—there’s software—there’s cloud-based software that’s free called HubSpot CRM1 that you can use that I’ve found is really handy that keeps track of those monetary incentives for me and it’s been a really cool tool for me to play around with it. And It’s been pretty motivating and it’s made the task a lot more fun for me to stay engaged with.
I no longer use HubSpot CRM. I did at the time I recorded this video, but since then I have switched to a premium service that not only provides my CRM software, but also my website hosting, lead magnets, marketing training, and much more. Click here to learn more about the CRM I use.