EP 19: Trouble Getting Motivated? This Will Help.

Hey all! I’m really excited for today’s show because it’s such a simple topic that has helped me SO SO SO much in my life and business. So thanks for tuning in, this should be a fun one.

Would you consider yourself a procrastinator? Like sometimes you can get into a good flow with a project or something on your big to do list, but a lot of the time you get sucked into something else…like laundry or Netflix or a stupid phone game? You hear the voice nagging at you that you SHOULD be doing something else, but you don’t. You just keep on keeping on with the thing you don’t really need to be doing.

My embarrassing guilty pleasure? Well, beside Dungeons and Dragons (yes, I’m serious), I can fall down a time warp rabbit hole with stupid phone games sometimes. Like random RPG games or Candy Crush or, my favorite from years ago: Plants vs. Zombies. 

Now, I wouldn’t at all consider myself a gamer, but I find that with healthy once-in-a-while usage, these silly temptations oddly calm my mind and help me to think more clearly if I’m feeling overwhelmed. For some people it’s the shower, or right before bed. Me, too, but the game works the same way. You don’t really have to think a whole lot if it’s the right game, and it’s the tuning out (a la TV) while still being a little engaged that makes the games appealing. 

episode nineteen of the Photo Business Help Podcast with Natalie Jennings
Trouble Getting Motivated? This Will Help.

But if the balance tips too far and I get sucked in, I lose time. I start to feel guilty, the peace of mind a few mins on a game is supposed to help with has now turned into 30+ minutes and now my little nagging mind-voice is getting on my case. Once that happens, it’s over. The game no longer serves the purpose it was intended to serve, and instead of a window of enjoyment, I’m feeling poopy. Plus, I’ve let a window of time slip by where I could’ve edited a photo session, or recorded a podcast.

It’s like deciding to eat pizza when you’re also pretty health conscious. But you (or maybe I’m still talking about me) LOVE pizza. You were active today, you’ve been eating well. And you enjoy the hell out of a couple of slices. But there’s that balance thing again: you decide to have a third or fourth and the naggy-mind voice is now berating you instead of the joyful first piece vibe. 

My point here is balance. Maintaining a healthy balance in life allows you to enjoy yourself and push yourself with going overboard. But it’s not easy, especially if you have a hard time staying focused and on-task. 

So what do you do if you keep putting off the things you SHOULD be doing, and instead being really lax about the things that are keeping you from doing them? Like phone games if you should be working or extra pizza for lunch if you’re planning to work out that evening?

We have this amazing capacity to talk ourselves straight out of what we originally intended as the best way forward. I can work later…I’ll skip today’s workout and start fresh tomorrow. Sound familiar?

The longer we give into the hedonistic tendencies, the FARTHER we are from the motivation to do the good stuff? Even with a great work plan or work out plan or whatever it is, it’s like the motivation shrinks to a tiny whisper. Before you know it you’re annoyed by work and a few pounds rounder because the healthy balance and motivation are nowhere to be found.

It’s SO easy to fall off into the abyss, no matter what area of life we’re talking about. But some part of us wants to be balanced, wants to be on track, right?

Where then to we find the motivation to go for the run or sit down to write the 10 blog posts that are late?

So check it out. There’s a book you might’ve heard about by Mark Manson called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. Subtle, right?

natalie jennings photo business help

Despite it’s harsh, in-your-face style, there are some gems in this read. My favorite, total life-changer for me? This:

“Action isn’t just the effect of motivation, it is also the cause of it.”

Pause here please. Or I’ll just pause for you. Think on that one more time:

“Action isn’t just the effect of motivation, it is also the cause of it.”


You’re smart people, you get where I’m going here. We have this strange addiction to motivation as the thing that causes us to act. To clean out the garage, go for that run, write that email…somewhere we WAIT and WAIT for the motivation to, I dunno, give us permission almost, to act.

But let’s think about this again. You guys know I’m a huge proponent of the power of perspective and how the way you look at something can completely change your life.

Here’s the quote again:

“Action isn’t just the effect of motivation, it is also the cause of it.”

So don’t wait for the motivation people! If you’re waiting and waiting for it to strike, flip it on it’s own head and CREATE your own damn motivation.



Once you put the running shoes on and get outside, so often it’s enjoyable.

Once you sit down and start writing, so often you get lost in it.

Once you pick up the guitar, start cooking the long, slow meal, weeding the garden…you catch a whisper of motivation, and then maybe a wave or two.

Even though we’re all standing around like idiots waiting for the motivation to suddenly arrive, it’s the action, the doing, the getting up and going where we attract the motivation.

“Action isn’t just the effect of motivation, it is also the cause of it.”

I hope this helps you. It helps me tremendously when I’m in a slump. I just get started, no matter how passionate or blasé I’m feeling, it’s the skill of those first steps that has attracted waves of motivation my way.

And hopefully yours.

I’d love to hear how this episode, or any others, strikes you. Join us in the FB group where our small community is growing and the conversation is always open! As always, it’s not just for photographers, but any creatives wanting to grow in business. Head to FB and search Photo Business Help with Natalie Jennings. I’d love to hear your voice in the group! That’s FB, Photo Business Help with Natalie Jennings.

In everything you want to achieve, consistency is key. Peace.



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