First, note this post is about motivation, not inspiration (they are related, but different). I’ll get to inspiration in another post.

Definition of motivate:

to provide with a motive or motives; incite; impel.


Without knowing your “why” in life, you’re not likely to be motivated to accomplish much (Kevin Spacey touches on this in this video). Which is exactly the reason I’m so cognizant of fully understanding my why before doing anything (except travel) in life.

Same as in life, knowing why you are doing what you are doing is often the difference between success and failure in business. I already wrote a post about my motives for building Oh Hey World. In short:

My motives for building Oh Hey World revolve around solving a real world problem I face while traveling – the inefficient nature of finding and connecting with friends and other similar travelers while on the road – teamed with making the world a better place for millions of people. In the travel context, making the world a better place means getting more people to travel.

I’m not motivated to flip a company in 2-3 years. I’m certainly not motivated to waste people’s time with the next mind-numbing application that provides entertainment and not utility (see Seth Godin’s post on the topic). Money doesn’t motivate me (though it’s certainly a nice byproduct of success).

What motivates me in life is simple.


I want to touch the lives of millions and inspire them to reach their full potential — and ultimately to do the same thing themselves. Accomplishing that, in my mind, involves broadening their minds with amazing travel experiences all over the globe. If you’re a travel addict like I am, it probably doesn’t surprise you that I believe travel leads to happier and more balanced lives due to the perspectives gained by experiencing foreign cultures, people, and experiences with your own eyes. It’s my experience that those that understand we are the privileged and not the norm in this vast world, live their lives differently than those who live under a rock. The more people with that global mindset on earth, the better off we’ll be – both as a society in the United States and the world at large. Building a global brand that truly means something to people decades later is the best way to accomplish those goals.

Role Models

Who are my role models? Pierre Omidyar, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Bill Drayton. Plus all of these social entrepreneurs. It absolutely blows me away that Bill Gates’ legacy is going to be philanthropy — even though he has built one of the most successful software companies this world has ever seen.

When all is said and done, impact is what it’s all about – at least for me. I keep going back to the quote by Will Smith:

If you’re not making someone else’s life better, you’re wasting your time.

What motivates you in life?