How Do I Motivate Them When I Can’t Motivate Me?

Dear Barb:

Missed hearing you last year. I need my annual “Bruno fix” in order to stay motivated and enthusiastic which leads me to my question for you. How do you stay motivated and positive as an owner of a staffing and recruiting firm?

There are days when I just want to tell everyone around me to stop talking and go away. There are days when I don’t want to pick up the phone, so how do I motivate others to do what I don’t want to do? My team depends on me to motivate them and quite frankly I’m tired of motivating everyone else. I have three full-time jobs and I’m not enjoying any of them. How do I motivate myself daily, get off the hamster wheel and start hiring people who are not so dependent on me?

Dennis N., Sarasota, FL

Dear Dennis:

Your frustration is felt by many working owners in the staffing and recruiting profession. I remember once making a statement that I felt all my recruiters were attached to me by an umbilical cord. I then realized I had created the monster I was complaining about. If your recruiters are too dependent on you for motivation and answers, you need to ask yourself why.

Goals board - pakorn - freeWhen you are asked questions, do you instantly provide an answer or do you ask your recruiter for their solution first? If you always provide solutions, your team will continue to be dependent on you. Regarding motivation, you can’t motivate another person, especially if they choose not to be motivated. The best you can do as an owner is create a motivating environment where they can motivate themselves.

Article Continues Below

Ask your team to write down 10 non-negotiable goals followed by five dated action items. Then have them post the goals where they can see them as they work their desk. If your contests can help them achieve any of their goals, they will be more than motivated to achieve them. People do things for their own reasons.

You now have to ask yourself why. Why do you own your business? What type of legacy are you trying to build for yourself and the people you love? I would also suggest that you figure out the 20% of what you do that provides you with 80% of your results. Then focus most of your time on that 20% and begin to delegate other tasks that are not the best use of your time. If you can’t afford to hire an assistant, consider hiring an intern or a virtual assistant; that can be very cost effective. When you focus on your why you will be consistently motivated to figure out how.

I would also suggest creating a Mastermind Group. These individuals should not be from our profession, but must be at your level or higher. This type of accountability can also help motivate you to achieve goals set and not get caught up in the daily grind of owning a business.

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

Image: pakorn /

Barb Bruno, CPC, CTS, is one of the most trusted experts, speakers, and trainers in the Staffing and Recruiting Professions. If you want to receive FREE training articles from Barb, sign up for her NO BS Newsletter! Barb has spent the last twenty years focused on helping Owners, Managers, and Recruiters increase their sales, profits, and income.

Her Top Producer Tutor web-based training program jumps-starts new hires and takes experienced recruiters to their next level of production. Barb's cutting-edge program, Happy Candidates, provides you with a Customized Career Portal in less than 10 minutes. Happy Candidates allows you to help the 95% of candidates you don?t place and eliminates the greatest time waster in your business.

If you'd like to contact Barb, call (219) 663-9609 or email


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *