Revealed: The ultimate motivational tool

by Martin Reed on 3 December 2007 in Articles

Use emails as a motivation tool

Developing an online community is hard work – you can slave away on the never-ending task of creating content and wonder if it is all worth it when the fruits of your labour bring less than ideal results. One great motivation tool comes from the most important part of your community – its members.

Keep a ‘nice emails’ folder

It sounds crude, but keeping a ‘nice emails’ folder can be a great motivational tool. After around 10 months, I still consider myself an amateur blogger. Writing on a regular basis is often hard work, and very often I struggle to find the motivation to write – after all, this blog is not monetised and is currently run more as a hobby than anything else.

I read every single email sent to me by readers of this blog, and reply to all that require a response. I have been very lucky in that many emails I receive from readers are complimentary of the articles I write. These are the type of email that everyone loves to get; you are being appreciated for all the hard work you are doing, and you get a nice warm feeling from reading such messages.

This feeling is only ever temporary though and is soon forgotten. For this reason, it is important for you to keep a record of all the nice emails you receive – the next time you are feeling low, unmotivated or unappreciated you can delve into your ‘nice emails’ folder. I guarantee you that after a few minutes you will soon be reinvigorated and ready to start the next task on your ‘to-do’ list.

Are you approachable? Can your members contact you?

Building an archive of nice emails is impossible if your members don’t know how to contact you. Similarly, if your members find you unapproachable they will be hesitant to email you. As I have said before, it is essential to the success of your community that you are both approachable and easily contactable.

To come across as approachable, you need to be involved in your community. You need to be personable and caring. You should be actively inviting feedback and suggestions from your members and you need to show you appreciate their membership. You also need to ensure that it is easy for your members to contact you; if they don’t know how to do this, how can you expect to receive those nice, appreciative emails?

Your thoughts

Do you keep a ‘nice emails’ folder? Has it helped to motivate you? What are your thoughts on this idea? Share your thoughts and opinions by leaving a comment below.

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Amish Made Furniture December 3, 2007 at 3:03 pm

My blog is nonmonetized and exclusive for my friends and family. I however keep three email folders which help me a lot in forwarding just the right message to someone who is need of some cheering up let us say! 1. Humor – all the jokes and funny stories that I receive. You will be surprised as to how many I get every day! 2. Inspiring messages – all the stories that keep getting forwarded by well wishers. 3. Serious stuff like articles on economics, politics, management etc. The recipients all wonder how I can send just the appropriate message at the right time. It takes time to find the right one and you have to have a fairly good memory to scroll for it, but it can be done if you care enough.

HIrsutism December 5, 2007 at 2:19 pm

I totally agree with you, it is very essential to keep a folder with all your good emails. I also have a folder in my email where I have kept all good emails till now and it is great once in a while to open the folder and read the mails.

wireless December 5, 2007 at 4:37 pm

But I don’t think it’s as easy as you describe. you have to do a lot of work for motivation. anyway nice post.

Martin Reed - Blog Author December 6, 2007 at 2:20 am

Ramana – Thanks for the great comment! You make a good point that a well organised email inbox can hold many advantages.

Hirsutism – I love reading through the ‘Nice Emails’ folder, too. Just make sure you don’t spend all your time massaging your ego and failing to get any work done!

Wireless – Remaining motivated isn’t always easy. I wasn’t trying to say that all one needed to remain motivated was a ‘Nice Emails’ folder – that would be ridiculous! I was simply sharing a simple way of giving yourself an easy motivation boost with minimal effort.

web tools December 6, 2007 at 11:12 am

Martin. I have not been that organized, But I think I too require to organize and keep such a folder.

Martin Reed - Blog Author December 7, 2007 at 12:07 pm

web tools – Go for it; let me know if it helps motivate you. I imagine just being more organised will help out no end!

Sam December 14, 2007 at 1:21 pm

This is a great advice and surely a good motivation tool! It’s really very simple, but the idea didn’t occur to me until now. I’ll definitely create such a folder.

Martin Reed - Blog Author December 15, 2007 at 5:14 pm

Sam – Thanks for your comment. Let me know if you find that having a ‘nice emails’ folder helps motivate you.

James November 24, 2009 at 8:01 am

This is a good idea – if it works for you. I’ve tried something similar to this before, however, after I’d read the same positive emails again and again, it just stopped working. This is a good method if you’re constantly getting a steady flow of positive emails, but if you’re only a small business, still getting positive comments but not bucket loads, then it doesn’t work so well.

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