Who wouldn’t want to open their mailbox and find a government grant check, payable to you, waiting there? The bigger question is whether you can get sufficiently motivated to assess your situation, make plans, learn what you need to, and take steps to do what it takes to get that government grant. (If you’re already my student, you know that I get you a hand with many of those.)

The key to getting the big payoff—whether it’s literally a payoff, or an intangible reward of another kind—is to establish and sustain the motivation that it takes to get there. Omar Periu, who is a motivational speaker, developed a list of 13 strategies that will help achieve that. We’ll take a quick look at them and see how they can relate to the goal of securing government grants.

  1. Condition your mind to think positive thoughts and avoid negativity. If you’re optimistic about your prospects of receiving a government grant, you’ll be motivated to do what it takes to achieve it. Sometimes, with government grants, there can be periods of nothing happening, then a big burst of a series of successes. Positive thoughts will get you through the dry spells.
  2. Condition your body because it takes physical energy to take action. Get your food and exercise regimens in place and follow them as you would a business plan. Many of us know what it’s like to set goals, such as applying for government grants, but be too exhausted at the end of a workday to do anything but just vegetate. Take care of yourself, and your elevated energy level will enable you to do all you want, throughout your day.
  3. Avoid negative people, who will just drain your energy and waste your time. This is a big one to keep in mind in the area of government grants. Many of my current and prospective students have naysayers in their lives who try to convince them that they’d be better off not even trying to get government grants. Fortunately, I have a long list of true-life success stories of government grant recipients to help dispel those negative ideas.
  4. Seek out those who are similarly motivated. The effect is that the positive energy is infectious, you help each other, and there’s a synergistic effect. This is evident at my live seminars—the level of positive energy there is inspiring, especially when everyone hears from audience members who have gotten government grants already.
  5. Have goals, but remain flexible. Remember, achieving the goal is… well, the goal. Don’t get bogged down in following a set of steps that aren’t working for you. I tell my students that if one thing’s not working, to try another. Government grants are always changing, so you should be prepared to be flexible too.
  6. Act with a higher purpose. Any activity or action that doesn’t serve your higher goal is wasted effort, so why bother with it? When you’re applying for government grants, keep your higher purpose in mind. For instance, filling out paperwork for school grants is kind of tedious, but your higher purpose is probably a good education, a meaningful career, and a comfortable life.
  7. Take responsibility for your own results. If you blame or give the credit to luck, fate, or divine intervention, you’ll always have an excuse. Remember that quote from Thomas Jefferson: “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” Government grants go to those who are qualified, well-prepared, and ready to work. Luck is not the deciding factor.
  8. Stretch past your limits on a daily basis. On my office wall, I’ve posted right at eye level, “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.” Seeking government grants is new for you (and once was for me too), but take the plunge and give it a go.
  9. Don’t wait for perfection. Do it now! That’s not to say you shouldn’t strive for excellence, but if you hold out for perfection, you’ll be on the sidelines of life and won’t achieve a thing. I’ve seen some excellent government grant proposals, but no perfect ones, ever. Did they get funded? You bet they did.
  10. Embrace your failures. It’s little trite, but the best lessons really do spring from falling short. Once you understand how you can do better, success is within reach. Here’s a quick statistic: With government grant proposals, on the first attempt, some are funded, some not. On the second submission, the odds improve. If there’s a third time needed, the odds are dramatically in your favor that your government grant will be approved.
  11. Don’t take success too seriously. Success can breed tomorrow’s failure if you use it as an excuse to become complacent. The testimonials I especially love are the ones from my students who say, “Now that I know how easy it is to get government grants, this is only the beginning!” They’re the ones who really get it.
  12. Avoid weak goals. Goals are the soul of achievement, so skip “I’ll try” or “I hope to” and get straight to “I will” or “I must.” This isn’t just a philosophy, it’s also nuts-and-bolts instructions I give my students for their government grant proposals because wishy-washy stuff doesn’t succeed.
  13. Treat inaction as the only real failure. If you don’t take action, you fail by default and can’t even learn from the experience. Just get started and, as mentioned already, don’t try to be perfect and don’t fear failure. Your first draft will likely be bad and your initial ideas will later be replaced by better ones, but they serve the function of getting you off the starting block. If you get going now you’re that much closer to your goal of getting your first government grant.

You have it in you to get motivated and keep going. Keeping these tips in mind will help you every step along the way on your path to success.