9 Motivating Factors for ATM Business Entrepreneurs

Motivating factors are those reasons why we do, well, anything. Specifically, though, motivating factors are important to consider when it comes to motivating yourself (or your team) to keep working hard!

Remember when you eagerly quit your day job to pursue your career as an IAD? Now, if only you could operate your ATM business with the same drive and vigor you had that day you said Goodbye 9-5. Hello passive income!

If you’re feeling bored, bogged down, or bummed out, consider these 9 motivating factors to see if you can identify the root of the problem. We’ll also provide you with tips and next steps to help you get that motivation back!

What are Motivating Factors?

Motivating factors are important when it comes to running a business. Whether you operate your ATM business alone or employ a team, you must make sure that everyone involved in the business is motivated to work hard, reach goals, and achieve success. Otherwise, the business doesn’t reach its full potential—and neither do you. 

There are two main categories of motivating factors: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic factors are external. These are the physical, verbal, material things that motivate us. These are the rewards we receive from others. Extrinsic motivators can include praise and recognition from others, monetary rewards, and deals and discounts. 

For example, the owner of your ATM location says that you are the best IAD he or she has ever worked with. This praise feels good and encourages you to maintain that relationship. This praise motivates you to continue to work hard to please your location owner. Extrinsic motivation is based on conditioning: the rewards you receive from others motivates you to continue your behavior.

Intrinsic motivation is internal. Rather than receive rewards from someone else, intrinsic motivation involves you rewarding yourself. Pride, accomplishment, and enjoyment are examples of intrinsic rewards. If you are intrinsically motivated, you are motivated to behave a certain way because of how it makes you feel rather than because of what you get.

9 Motivating Factors

There are strategies and incentives we use every day to keep us motivated. The smell of coffee motivates us to wake up. Direct deposits motivate us to go to work. Buying a new pair of tennis shoes motivates us to walk more. It’s important to note that not everyone is motivated by the same elements. So what motivates you?

1. Financial Benefits

We’ll start with the obvious: money. Would any of us really do our jobs if we didn’t get paid? Maybe if we were intrinsically motivated to do so! But usually that isn’t the case. We work because it puts money in our pockets, food on the table, and gas in our vehicles. 

Yes, money pays the bills, but it also allows us to treat ourselves. Rather than think of money as a necessity, think of it as a reward. Save up for a new vehicle, vacation, or retirement. Once you see that travel fund start to grow, you’ll be motivated to put in the work it takes to purchase that plane ticket!

2. Job/Career Advancement

You might have your heart set on a career goal. Maybe you want to add more ATM machines to your route, manage other IADs, or change careers altogether when the time is right. You can’t get to any of these places without first giving your current position your all. Progressing toward the next stage of your career can motivate you to keep working hard. 

3. Work Schedule

Work schedule plays a large role in motivation. If you’ve been feeling unmotivated lately, re-evaluate your work schedule. One of the best perks of the ATM business is a flexible schedule. 

Is your cash pick-up time too early? If you have trouble motivating yourself to get out of bed in the mornings, adjust your schedule so that it isn’t such a burden. Are your vaulting hours too late? See if you can make an adjustment to better accommodate your other obligations (including sleep!). 

After getting a good feel for your ATM business, you can start to make adjustments. For example, maybe you decide that a greater revenue share is worth it to have the location owner load the machine for you. If you are unhappy with your work schedule, you aren’t going to be motivated to do the work. So make changes as necessary.

4. Peer Pressure

Contrary to popular opinion, we actually want you to compare yourself to others on social media! Join a community of other ATM business professionals and see what they’re doing. You might discover an opportunity you hadn’t considered, find a solution to a problem you’ve been having, and gain encouragement from others’ excitement and success.

Peer pressure can be a great motivating factor when used constructively. Sharing in the joy and success of others can motivate us to try to achieve our own goals. Sometimes, when we feel unmotivated, it helps to know that we aren’t alone, that others share our experiences, and that if our peers are making it happen, then so can we!

5. Recognition and Appreciation

It’s great to celebrate the success of others, but don’t forget to congratulate yourself! What have you accomplished lately? Reflecting on how far you’ve come, all of the hard work you’ve invested, and all of the goals you’ve reached can motivate you to keep going!

Receiving praise from others is a wonderful feeling, but you don’t have to rely on it. Remember to recognize and appreciate yourself even if no one else does. 

6. Fear

Fear is a legitimate motivating factor. Not only are we motivated by things we hope to achieve and receive, but we are also motivated by things we try to avoid. What are you afraid of? What are you working to avoid?

Fear has a way of protecting us. For example, if you’re afraid of losing money, then you make sure you are careful when handling business processes and procedures to minimize your risk. If you’re afraid of choosing a location that isn’t profitable, you will do more extensive research and testing. 

While fear can be a powerful motivator, don’t fixate on it. There are many positive motivating factors to consider.

7. Meaning and Purpose

Many of us are motivated by doing meaningful work and fulfilling our destined purpose. How is your ATM business meaningful and purposeful for you? As an IAD, you provide a service to your community. Your ATM machine provides your customers with convenient access to their bank accounts. 

In underbanked communities, this service is felt even deeper. For some people, your operational ATM machine is a valuable lifeline. This knowledge might motivate you to keep your machine up and running as much as possible in order to provide your community with this reliable service.

8. Pride

Pride extends into multiple areas of our work. We can be proud of our work in general (meaning and purpose), or we can be proud of specific goals and milestones we reach. We can also be proud of our ability to overcome obstacles. If you have ever failed and tried again, you should be proud of yourself. Let that pride and your passion for your business motivate you to keep trying!

9. Fun

Do you enjoy your work? If not, you need to make a change. When we enjoy our work, we are motivated to keep doing it! It’s not work any more if you genuinely have fun. If your business lacks this, and you’re motivated by fun, what are some ways you can make your work more enjoyable?

Ways to Stay Motivated

Now that you know what factors motivate you the most, you can take some steps to create more of these opportunities. 

Be honest with yourself.

Motivation ebbs and flows. You might not be motivated 100% of the time. But when you really start to struggle, just return to these lists to remind yourself why you do what you do and how you can get energized again.


Join a community of like-minded individuals and ATM business professionals. Make new friends who have been where you are. Exchange ideas, tell stories, ask questions, and offer your own expertise. 

Most importantly, share in others’ successes. Enthusiasm is contagious. When you’re feeling down, jump onto social media and read some success stories to motivate yourself to get back out there!

You might also seek professional development opportunities. Are you motivated by learning more about your industry? Becoming better and more knowledgeable?  

Focus on your goals.

Write them down. Display them. Share them with a close friend or family member, someone who can monitor your progress with you and hold you accountable. Your goal is your light at the end of the tunnel. A goal becomes your “why”, your reason. To increase your chance for success, turn your goal into a SMART goal so that you have a plan for achieving it.

Reflect on successes and failures.

Take some time to celebrate your successes. Display positive reviews. Reward yourself. Identify the things you are doing well, and keep doing them. And don’t let failure discourage you. Don’t be afraid to fail; learn from it. 

Take a break!

Don’t overwork yourself. It’s important to slow down, take a break, get some rest, and get some perspective. Make sure you take a break within your day most days. Schedule some time off throughout the year. Plan a vacation. Whatever your preference, don’t forget to refresh and restart. 

Stay focused on the customer.

Remember that you are providing a service to your community. People are counting on you. Knowing that you made someone’s day just a little bit easier can help get you through the day.


What motivates you? What motivates you today might not motivate you tomorrow. And some motivating factors might never apply to you. That’s okay. As long as you can identify motivating factors that work for you, you can keep building your business without the threat of getting bored, bogged down, or bummed out. 

If you’d like to join the ATM industry’s only business development membership, you could be one of many successful IADs, distributors, business people, and independent investors who enjoy special equipment pricing; first alerts to specials, sales, and timely discounts; a comprehensive array of ADA and network compliant ATM solutions; and special proprietary forms, sales tactics, and mentoring.

Join ATM Depot’s Member’s Area today and get the support you need to stay motivated!