Women – Are We Motivated by Money, or Not?

October 18, 2011

in Business

women-motivated-by-money

In my new sales job, money is often referenced by management as a motivator. They acknowledge and basically teach that we are all motivated by money (or should be, if we want to make money in sales).

Here’s my thing: I don’t know how much I am motivated by money, really. I have spent the last 4 1/2 years teaching myself how to live on what I have. Although I am pretty good at sales, I don’t know that I’ll ever be the best, and I wonder if it is because I am simply not as motivated by money as other people are.

Reality: Yes, I am motivated by money.

Question: How much?

I’m motivated by money just enough to earn a living. I wouldn’t say that I’m motivated by the idea of a fantastic or amazingly wealthy lifestyle, though. When given the option to either work harder and make more money, or work to make just the amount of money that I want to make, I would choose the latter.

Money as a Motivator in Business

I wonder how much of a role money as a motivator plays in self-employment or entrepreneurship. Are those who are motivated by money more or less likely to succeed on their own? What do you think?

Getting Really Real

It’s been shown time after time, and it’s a hotly debated issue, but there is a (rather convincing) idea out there that when compared to men, women are not as motivated by money.

For those of us who buy into that idea, is it really that surprising?

Not to me. If I were to ask my girlfriends what they would choose between

  • Not having to work at all because their spouse/significant other/family makes a boatload of money
  • Making a boatload of money on their own by working for it

I’m certain that more than half would choose the first option. I just wonder how many men would. Now, since that’s not usually ever a realistic situation for the majority of people, the choice is usually between the options I stated earlier:

  • Work harder (or more often) and make more money
  • Work less hard (or less often) and make just enough

Are women really that different than men in terms of what motivates us to succeed? My opinion: yes, especially those who are mothers. I do feel that it’s important to make a distinction there, however fair or unfair it is. Before I was a mother, I wanted to make as much money as possible and worked 60 hours a week with only minor complaints about that. Now that I’m a mom, I’d walk away from a job like that faster than you can fry a pancake.

What would you choose? What do you think your female friends and family members are choosing? Do you think that’s a fair question?

Image: Ambro

Tia Peterson October 24, 2011 at 6:57 pm

@Jeanie@Facebook Templates Hi Jeanie – Thanks for your comment! I love it. You’re right that we’re all motivated by so many different things.

Tia Peterson October 24, 2011 at 6:56 pm

@RSA Course I really do think some people are motivated by money. But I also think they are motivated by what money buys. So it is both and for some people, they seem to be motivated by the freedom that money can provide.

Tia Peterson October 24, 2011 at 6:55 pm

@JackiePurnell At work, every now and then money as motivation helps. It just doesn’t seem to help me as much as it helps the guys.

You know what does help? Sheer competition. Money itself doesn’t motivate me nearly as much as the chance to beat my fellow salespeople. lol Money then simply becomes the awesome side benefit.

Tia Peterson October 24, 2011 at 6:54 pm

@JulieG Hi Julie – You make a very valid point. This is why there are great groups out there to help women become more self-sufficient and I’m such a big supporter of those groups. Let’s move money around!

Tia Peterson October 24, 2011 at 6:53 pm

@Brankica I share that same perspective. The older I get, the less important money is and at the same time, the more real it is. I need a certain amount to survive obviously, and without that, things get scary. On the flipside, enough truly is enough. I’m not motivated by money so much that I would sacrifice other things to get more of it (like time, relationships, etc.).

Brankica October 19, 2011 at 11:55 pm

That is an interesting one. I have to say I grew up in a poor country and although I like having more money and always work towards that goal, I can be happy with very little of it :)

JulieG October 19, 2011 at 6:10 pm

A post that definitely gets the brain juices flowing. I wouldn’t say that I am motivated by money however I am motivated by the things that money allows me to do: vacation with the family, helping friends in need, new wardrobe ;-), supporting local charities.

My opinion, don’t limit your earning potential to live a modest life but push your limits. Typically women revinvest their monies in their families, community and charities. What better way to improve the world around us than putting additional disposable income into the capable hands of smart, intelligent, and caring women!

JackiePurnell October 19, 2011 at 10:25 am

Hi Tia really interesting question.

I would agree that in broad terms most women don’t feel as driven towards monetary objectives as men, but I think that comes back to social conditioning.

It depends on your overall goals and objectives how strongly money is going to motivate you. I don’t think its unhealthy to use money as a motivator, so long as you’re doing it with honesty and integrity.

Thanks for the opportunity to discuss and read others opinions on this.

RSA Course October 19, 2011 at 3:52 am

I wonder if anyone is really motivated by money, or is it just their motivation that results in money or not? eg is it the money or is the status of having a high paying job. Is it the money or is it the expensive holidays someone can go on. For you is it about money or is it time with your family or no time with your family that is the motivator and the money is just the result of this motivation.

I suppose some people do a job just for the money even though they hate it and would rather do something else, but feel they can not afford to take a lower paying job. So even in this case is it money that is the motivator or the desire to pay bills?

Jeanie@Facebook Templates October 19, 2011 at 2:41 am

Very hot topic) If I ask all my girlfriends, then I’m sure that their thoughts will be completely different about it. And the reason of it is that all of us have our own goals. Some want to create only a career, because family isn’t important for them – so, of course, they will prefer to work harder. others – prefer to stay at home and even not to work, because they will be busy with householding and children etc. And all of them have their own motivation) Thanks a lot for this post and giving us an opportunity to express our thoughts on this topic

Tia Peterson October 18, 2011 at 6:45 pm

@Kristi Hines So you got the best of both! For two years, that was great motivation for me. My son is now almost four and I just re-entered the working environment again. It’s funny that we have so many primary and secondary motivations for doing what we do. Enjoy it because it’s really nice to have that freelance income when your kids are very young. It was definitely the best setup for me, personally, so I have reason to believe you will be very happy with your decision!

Congrats on starting a family soon! :)

Kristi Hines October 18, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Ironically, I just turned in my notice at my job so that I could start a family next year. At the same time, I’m going to start full time freelancing which should equal about the same amount of income with less work (hard work, granted, but more productive work in a shorter time period). So I feel like I was motivated to go it on my own because the money was better and because I would have a better setup to starting a family. :)

Tia Peterson October 18, 2011 at 5:59 pm

@onhighheelzPRtiapeterson Thanks, Donina! I agree with what you’re saying about understanding money’s role in business. Sometimes I wonder if I had a different perspective about money – and success, really – if I would not be rolling in it by now.

“There is no nobility to poverty.” Well said!

onhighheelzPR October 18, 2011 at 5:47 pm

tiapeterson Oooh, Tia, the “hot button” topic: women and money. Two notable women entrepreneurs that I admire and follow online would say that women aren’t aggressive enough to get more money. I think it’s true. And what you point out as a mom has so much to do with the “non-aggressive” way in which career women and entrepreneurs go after money. Though I don’t believe that money should be a motivator for anything, admitting to the fact that money is a very valuable and important aspect of our careers and business endeavors is a first step to releasing that mindset that money in and of itself is a bad thing. There is no nobility to poverty, and neither is struggling to make ends meet every single month. A healthy perspective on the value of money (not as the end), and the freedom and choices it gives to someone is how I look at money. Great post!

onhighheelzPR October 18, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Oooh, Tia, the “hot button” topic: women and money. Two notable women entrepreneurs that I admire and follow online would say that women aren’t aggressive enough to get more money. I think it’s true. And what you point out as a mom has so much to do with the “non-aggressive” way in which career women and entrepreneurs go after money. Though I don’t believe that money should be a motivator for anything, admitting to the fact that money is a very valuable and important aspect of our careers and business endeavors is a first step to releasing that mindset that money in and of itself is a bad thing. There is no nobility to poverty, and neither is struggling to make ends meet every single month. A healthy perspective on the value of money (not as the end), and the freedom and choices it gives to someone is how I look at money. Great post!

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