I’ve been a student of personal development my entire life. I’ve read all the books, owned all the tapes and watched all the videos. I’ve taught salespeople and “motivated” more than 100,000 people across the country through speaking engagements. I’ve written an inspirational novel, The Tinderbox Tapes.

So it makes sense that my agent asked me if I’ve thought about writing a ‘true’ motivational book.

I answered “no” so quickly that he threw his back out in the midst of his violent double take.

In 1994, at age 25, I was a newly minted sales manager without the slightest idea how to interact with independent health insurance agents. And it was painfully obvious. My manager sat me down one day to say, “You know that people are gonna do about what they’re gonna do. You can’t make people successful.”

That’s why I can’t motivate you. For years, we’ve been attempting to motivate with contests, cash awards, trophies and prizes. But have you noticed that the same people always win the contests? Why?

Because motivation is internal. People are gonna do what they’re gonna do.

Trophies don’t do much for me. Honestly, neither does money. But you run a contest that sends me to the Caribbean, where a driver will meet me at the airport and drive me to a resort in a sedan that looks like I’m the President or something; where I’m treated like I’m Oprah freakin’ Winfrey, and I’ll kill myself to make that trip.

That’s why we do varied contests. The trophies and the cash and the trips appeal to people differently. We’re not trying to motivate you. We’re trying to inspire your internal motivator. See the difference?

That’s why I write books and columns and travel the country to speak to salespeople. I’m hoping to say something that will inspire your internal motivator; something that will make you look at a topic a little differently.

It’s also why I often tell audiences, “You don’t have to read my stuff, but you better read someone’s.” We never know which book, audio, video or live talk is going to inspire our internal motivators, so we have to go after all of it.