How To Make Triggers Work For You As An Entrepreneur

September 4, 2015By
Dayne Shuda Alaska Coffee

It’s morning. Time for coffee.

Triggers occur to most people every day.

These psychological triggers can be the result of many things including:

  • Good & Bad Emotions
  • Senses
  • Habit
  • Stress
  • And more

Triggers seem to happen subconsciously.

We don’t even realize they’re happening until we’re in the middle of something or done with something.

I know I have a few triggers – both good and bad – in life.

One would be that the first thing I do every morning is brew a cup of coffee. I’m often still in a sleepy daze when I roll into the kitchen to push the start button.

Opening my eyes is the trigger to starting the morning coffee.

Triggers seem to happen for various reasons.

A negative reason could be a traumatic event from any point in your life. Suffering a fall from a tree during childhood could result in a trigger that gives you a fear of heights. Getting bit by a dog could result in a seeing dogs triggering fear for years.

Other triggers seem to happen as a matter of routine and habit.

That’s where the coffee trigger for me would fall. The same would be true for checking the news every morning on my computer the moment I open it or maybe checking email without even thinking about it every time I open my phone.

It can be challenging to control your triggers, but you can control them if you’re aware of how triggers form. For entrepreneurs, triggers can be a powerful too to finding success.

Here are some examples.

1. Positive Feedback Mondays

I’ve found that we often overlook the power of positive feedback to those we work with. It’s incredibly important for entrepreneurs and managers to get the most out of their employees.

That often includes feedback that is negative (You did this wrong…).

That can certainly work, but people respond well to positive feedback as well (You did this right…).

It’s like training a pet. You can either scold them in some way when they do something wrong or you can reward them, perhaps with a treat, when they do something right.

As bosses, we often overlook that learning happens just as well or better with positive feedback.

Start with Monday morning as your trigger.

Every Monday open your computer and send positive feedback to about 3 or 5 people that you work with. It can be a great way to get your own week and the week of your employees off to a great start.

And it should lead to improvement as well.

2. Negative Email Walking

Have you ever gotten an email that makes you feel bad? Maybe someone called you or your business an insulting name?

If you’re in business it’s bound to happen.

The first reaction (trigger) response is often to fire off an email defending yourself.

A better way to handle the situation could be to instantly close your computer and go for a walk. Even a 10-15 minute walk can give you time to process the email and figure out the best course of action.

And you’re giving yourself some good exercise in the process along with fresh air for your brain.

And you could do this with other (hopefully more frequent occurrences) like positive emails, lunch time, etc. Walking is great for entrepreneurs who are often stuck in the office for long hours.

3. After Dinner Reading

For many people (raising my own hand) it’s habit to eat dinner in front of the TV or moving to the TV right after finishing dinner.

Maybe it’s just me and I’m saying “many people” out of hope that I’m not alone.

Either way, I’ve been working on this one. Now the trigger for me is to try and finish dinner, eat it at the table and then move to another more positive activity like reading.

I like reading biographies and business books and they often help me with my business much more than a TV show ever could.

4. Inbox Zero Sales Emails

Sales has always been a struggle for me, but I’m working on getting better. One way I’ve tried to do this is by creating positive triggers.

A new trigger I’m doing is that once my inbox reaches zero I will send out a sales email or followup on a previous sales email or reach out to a current client in some way.

I have to be careful with this one because I don’t want to avoid getting inbox zero as a way not to do sales emails.

And inbox zero happens to me fairly often so it’s a good mix for sales emails, but if you don’t work off inbox zero then another trigger that happens more often would be better.

As entrepreneurs, it’s important to use positive triggers to help us with the aspects of running a business that come harder for us.

5. Song Stretch

I listen to Spotify while I work. Something I thought could work well would be to get up and stretch or move around whenever a song by a certain artist comes on.

Obviously you’ll have to pick an artist that gets played often. Or you could do it by songs that have a certain word in the lyrics that makes you get up and stretch.

You could get really active if your trigger word is “love” from a song. “Life” could be another good one.

Either way, it’s good to get up and stretch from the desk once in a while and you can train yourself to do it without even thinking by using positive triggers.

Conclusion

Triggers are often associated with negative aspects of our lives like addiction. Those are serious things, but the more we understand our brains the more we can use our tendencies, like triggers, to our advantage.

You can use triggers to build new habits that positive affect you and your business. I’m trying a few of the ones mentioned above and they work pretty well. You could start with those or I’m sure you can come up with your own that will be positive for you.