Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it“.

Lou Holtz

Ability. Motivation. Attitude. Three key ingredients to help you to achieve your goal. I like this, because none of them work without the other two.

It doesn’t matter how much ability you have if you have no motivation or attitude. All that talent just won’t get used.

It doesn’t matter how motivated you are if you have no ability or attitude. You need to be able to do something and have a can-do get-to-the-finish attitude to keep going.

It doesn’t matter how great your attitude is, if you have no ability or motivation then you’re not going anywhere. You need to be able to do something and feel motivated enough to do something with it.

So you need all three. Yes, really.


This is about your skills. What can you do? What’s your talent? What is it that you are so good at that people ask you to do it all the time? Don’t be modest here, what are you really skilled at? You might even have testimonials, star ratings, an award, social proof or something else to prove it.

When I’m working on strategy for my clients I ask their strengths and 90% of the time I find it entertaining that they share so many of their strengths and forget to say that they’re good at the thing that they do. Of course the strengths they mention will feed into that thing.

They have so much ability and they do so much with it. So can you.


This is your why – why you do what you do. What makes you get up in the morning? Why do you keep going? What’s the vision you’re working towards? What’s your inspiration? Maybe it’s your kids, or you want to help orphans in India, or you want a holiday to the other side of the world to visit your best friend or you want to help others or share a specific message?

Write it down. Put it somewhere you’ll see it all the time. Knowing this gives you focus so you can keep going even on those days when you just want to sleep. Knowing your purpose, vision and mission is another aspect of your brand strategy which you can use to inspire your brand going forwards and to help you set goals and move towards achieving that vision.


Not to be confused with motivation (WHY do something), attitude is how WELL you do the thing you’re doing. This is about how you FEEL while doing your thing. If you have a positive attitude then you’ll feel good about getting going and making progress. If you have a negative attitude then you’ll not feel good about doing it, so the ideal is of course to have a positive can-do attitude. A bit of oomph that you can push with your motivation and nudge with your abilities to make amazing things happen, so that you can deliver an amazing service.

Unfortunately, it’s quite difficult to wake up with a good attitude every day, so if you wake up in a funk, try this:

  • Fill your head with good stuff. Music that makes you smile. Speakers that help you feel inspired.
  • Keep a gratitude journal. I bet you can think of ten good things each day. Start with three and build.
  • Write about your perfect life and business – and imagine it.
  • Move. Do some yoga. Go for a walk. Dance while the kettle’s boiling. Whatever it takes.
  • Be kind to other people. Hold doors open, say thank you, share compliments.

Ability + Motivation + Attitude =


What does this look like for you? What will happen if you use those skills that you’ve got, if you know why you’re using them, what the benefits are and you do your thing gladly.

Success doesn’t always have to be measured in money or things (although that’s usually an important part of it) it might be more time, a happy family, freedom, satisfaction from helping others, contentment, paying for a holiday or being able to take Wednesdays off or quit your job. So many reasons.

Ability + Motivation + Attitude = What?

What’s your definition of success?

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