We Asked 5 Incredibly Motivated Women One Very Important Question

Do you feel like you’re in the driver’s seat of your career? Even if you work for someone else, you don’t have to be an unwilling passenger. You have the chance every day to create something great. 

So we wanted to know: What Drives You?

What are you motivated by? How do you remain encouraged in cut-throat, 9-9 all-the-time working world?

Read through and then go ahead— take the wheel. You career is all about the journey. 

“My biggest motivation is remembering that it’s not all about me, but the people who may view my work.  It’s easy to get caught up in the selfishness of creating something because at the root of it all, it *is* my name attached to the piece, but ultimately, i’m doing everything for those that don’t know how to use their voice and talent just yet. i also have to remind myself that this path was the only path that i wanted to take when i was a teenager and if 14-year-old Courtney woke up everyday knowing she’d eventually photograph musicians for a living, then the least I could do is fulfill that dream. even when life gets a little rough.” — Courtney Coles, photographer

“I don’t know how to slow down so I am driven by the desire to create something bigger and better every single time we produce a conference. That comes in many forms.  Panels that push the conversation further, mentor power hours that really deliver, and cultivating relationships with brands onsite. There is so much that happens over the phone or email, that when you’re actually able to build relationships with a brand in person, it’s amazing. For instance, Volvo drove their new XC60 into our NYC event but they also provided VIP transport for our panelists and speakers in their XC90. And after seeing ways to integrate in New York – now they are planning something cooler for Seattle. Integration can happen on so many levels and figuring out how creative a brand is willing to be is so much fun. You just never know what a brand will bring to the table and every single moment brings a chance for opportunity. It’s up to me (and you) to grab ahold of the wheel.” —Jaclyn Johnson, CEO Create & Cultivate

“Past professional (and personal) experiences, each with its own lesson, have an amazing way of building on each other and coming together over time. Seeing big ideas come to life by making unexpected connections (and a lot of hard work), drive me to keep on going and see what’s next.”  —Emily Atlier, Marketing Associate, Goop 

“What drives me is the knowledge that the state of the world today was caused by men and women who were not engaged enough in their communities and political processes. That somewhere along the line the narrative of “powerless” was believed, that we still hear the statement of “my vote or voice does not count” when in fact that same vote (or lack thereof) is what got us here today. It is a mere belief that stops most of us from taking our future and lives into our own hands. To change that, I don’t have to cause a mass movement, have millions of dollars, lobby in Washington or convince a senate and the 1% to all of a sudden start looking out for me. No. All I have to do is go into my own family and community and have an empowering conversation, and then another one, and another one...and what’s a simpler solution than that? To make people realize that the future, their future, is not in some politicians hand, but that it is truly and only up to us. Just like it always has been.” —Ann Kleinhenz, co-founder & executive director, Up To Us 

"I always ask the people I meet what they're passionate about, what makes them wake up in the morning; I've found that this is a better indicator of who someone is versus asking what they do for a living. The thing that drives me with my work is the fact that I get to do what I'm passionate about: support artists, build community and use the arts to give back. I recognize that it may not be possible for me to change the whole world, but if I focus on what's in my hands each day (instead of getting bogged down by superfluous details and the "what ifs" of the future), I can make an impact in the world around me; and ripple effects are real.”— Michelle Young, Founder of The Box Presents

So what drives you? Tell us in the comments below!