I Can’t Motivate Anybody! Article by: Jim Rohrbach

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates

As a coach, I sometimes get asked, “How do you motivate your clients?” The answer is, “I CAN’T!” Most people aren’t sure about what motivates them, which is why so many just drift through life — that’s called “normal.” (And I was very “normal” up until around age 40 …) Self-motivation is the ONLY true motivation, and it comes from within — my skill is assisting my clients to discover their true motivation, then apply it to get the results they desire. So here’s a list of what I can do:

  • Educate The word “educate” comes from the Latin word “educe” — which means “to draw from within.” So forget about what you thought was education in school — that was mostly rote learning. If I’m any good at my craft, I help my clients realize what’s really important to them. This goes beyond making more money — I help them identify what that additional money would do for them: Buy a bigger home for their family, or a summer home. Pay for their kids’ education. Help ailing parents. Contribute to a cause they’re passionate about. Travel where they’ve always wanted to go. Work less while still making more (this one’s common — having more time is more valuable to them than more money). Only by drawing these things out will they understand why achieving higher goals are meaningful.
  • Inspire By my words, and more importantly, by my actions, I can inspire others to do what I know will make them successful. Integrity is important — I tell my clients I will be asking them to do only those things I either currently do or have done in the past for myself. I am a role model — I let them know that if I’VE made it, they can make it too.
  • Encourage The power of praise cannot be overestimated, especially when one takes on a new task. Does anyone ever get enough?
  • Inform There’s a large teaching component in coaching, be it business building skills or attitudinal fitness training. I like to think I can crack the code on the various learning styles of my clients so they “get it.”
  • Define expectations Any leader needs to define what is expected of his charges, and I’m no different. I let my clients know exactly what I expect of them as we begin our coaching relationship. And I also help them define what they expect to achieve for themselves, what is “optimistically realistic.”
  • Provide feedback A burning question for any client is, “Hey — how am I doing?” I give supportive feedback and constructive criticism every session for them to improve their performance.
  • Accountability It’s easy to say your gonna do something, then not do it if no one’s looking. If you’ve got someone holding you accountable, you’re more likely to follow through. (Especially if you’re paying me …)
  • Celebrate! Finally, there’s nuthin’ like a high five from people who are in your corner to help you feel great about what you’ve accomplished — I like to think I’m good at this.


Bottom line: I can’t motivate anybody. There’s only one person I can motivate: Jim Rohrbach — and that’s a full-time job, trust me. If you meet someone who says he can motivate you, I suggest you walk (no – run!) in the other direction. Until you get clear on what motivates you, nobody else can do the job. Once you take that crucial first step, coaching can be a great help to get you where you want to go.

Success Skills Coach Jim Rohrbach, “The Personal Fitness Trainer for Your Business,” coaches business owners, entrepreneurs and sales professionals on growing their clientele. He has helped hundreds of individuals to achieve their goals since he developed his first coaching program in 1982. To arrange a Free Consultation with Jim, go to www.SuccessSkills.com.