Money, success, fame.

These are often the biggest motivators in business. Yet, they are fairly easy to debunk.

We're all motivated by money. Isn't that really what makes business tick? If you have a family to support or a mortgage, you know money is a motivator. Yet, it can often fall flat. There's a huge pile of cash waiting at the end of the rainbow, right? Yet, what happens when you do make all of those millions and lose all of your motivation? Or you finally buy that Corvette you've always wanted, what then? if money is the prime motivator, it will only work for a while.

Success is also highly over-rated. I strongly believe you can never have "enough" success if that is your primary motivator. You fall into the trap of constantly pursuing it. It's essentially a false belief system that says you will only be successful once you achieve success. It's much better to view yourself as successful now, to act successful, and to develop the belief that you are already successful no matter what level of notoriety you achieve.

And fame, that's rarely a good motivator. It's more like a burden. Fame is never what it is cracked up to be because it is a losing game. It's perpetually defeating. What level of fame will finally be enough? When one million people know your name, will that finally mean you have arrived? The reason fame is a poor motivator is because it is a false hope. It's chasing something that doesn't really exist or that doesn't really provide a reward.

The one important motivator for anyone in business, yet the one that seems to take a backseat to money, success, and fame, is the desire to make something great. That's a real motivator. It's legitimately compelling. Having the ultimate goal of making something truly worthwhile and exceptional will sustain you through the hard times, through the lowest months of revenue, through the toughest meetings with your investors, and through any negative feedback.

Ther reason? Think about the other motivators. They are all external. Saying the goal is to have enough customers pay for your product, or enough people notice your contribution, or enough people notice you all have one thing in common, and they are all based on what other people think. The goal of making a lasting product or service is much more intrinsic. It's more about you establishing value for something, creating worthiness, and calcifying your contribution.

By making something great, you are creating an extension of you. It is the culmination of your thoughts, the end-result of your efforts, and the implementation of your standard. Money, success, and fame are the opposite--they are the result of external forces.

Want to persevere and make a great company? Let that be your primary motivator, because it comes from within. Great men and women build great companies. When you set the goal to make the best possible product or service, the other accolades will usually follow, but the biggest win for you is that you will have a constant companion. Nothing will ever separate you from the ultimate goal of making something great if that is your biggest motivation.

Let the desire to make something great motivate you today.