Staying motivated as a leader or a business professional takes a lot of effort. Many times, someone might find themselves struggling to point their goals in the right direction, whether in their profession or in their personal life. In both of these cases, inspiration dictates the drive someone has to accomplish their goals.

But how do you know when you or someone on your team might need a boost in motivation? What happens when you lose that compass that points to success? Here, 13 members of Young Entrepreneur Council share some of the clear signs that someone might need a motivation boost, and discuss the best methods to deal with this lack of direction.

1. Poor Performance

One telltale sign of a lack of drive in someone is performance. Their performance in work and life in general will be the bare minimum, or not meeting requirements. Someone who is highly motivated will do more than what is asked of them. They will also likely be an assertive problem-solver when issues come up. Motivated individuals take charge of their responsibilities. 

John Hall, Calendar

2. A Drop in Activity

It is imperative to be honest in any organization to build a cohesive community within your team. Once you have that, you can tell by their participation level how motivated they are. If their activity level has suddenly dropped in a week, then that’s clearly a sign that something is up. Talk to them but don’t try to be intrusive, give them space. It’s normal. People will have off days.

Liam Martin,

3. Decline in Work Ethic

You can tell someone needs motivation when their work ethic and/or passion start to decline. From there, it’s easy to go downhill and stop caring about your goals and what you’re working toward. In times like these, a pep talk from someone you trust is a great way to reset your mind for success. Everyone falls off the horse at some point, but it’s getting back on that matters.

Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

4. Lack of Passion

Motivation comes from passion. When someone has no hobbies or interests outside of work, it’s likely that they need a boost. People are usually not rockstars at work while being a slug in their personal life. To get someone back on track, help them get in touch with the things that used to excite them. Getting a demotivated person to think about the feeling of engagement will spark enthusiasm. 

Hajmil Carr, Trueline

5. Lack of Energy and Caring

Lack of energy and caring is a good way to detect a low motivation. Getting to the root cause is the only way to remedy the problem long term.This requires the person to be very honest with themselves and identify what is making them feel this way. If that’s unsuccessful, a visit to a therapist or doctor can help pinpoint potential problems that are causing issues.

Josh Awad, Flywheel Commerce

6. Hesitant Body Language

The body is a mirror of one’s state of mind. A person who is feeling down takes up less space, constantly avoids eye contact, folds their arms and acts submissively — these are clear signs of low motivation. And don’t make the mistake of forcing them to socialize or open up more to others, as this can make them more nervous. Instead, assign tasks that require voluntary participation and group engagement.

Kelly Richardson, Infobrandz

7. Silence

Silence is one of the greatest signs of demotivation, apathy or an unwilling attitude. Trying to encourage a demotivated person to start new activities or to once again take up those they like in order to recover their enthusiasm are both favorable solutions for encouraging someone at a professional level. The support represents a very important factor in cases of demotivation.

Kevin Leyes, Leyes Media & Team Leyes, by Leyes Enterprises

8. Indifference

When someone starts feeling indifferent to the things that used to make them excited, that’s a sure sign they need a boost, but not necessarily in motivation. Motivation in the broad sense is fleeting. It comes after action, not the other way around. In most of such cases, the problem is not motivation. The problem is exhaustion. Let them take a break to recharge their inner creative battery. 

Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

9. General Irritability

General irritability and increased dissatisfaction with things in life that normally feel good are a sign that we need change. Such changes can reflect a deeper desire to grow and this should be nurtured by going out of one’s comfort zone. Try taking a course in something you have no experience in or learn a new language. Making yourself uncomfortable can bring motivation back in life.

Blair Williams, MemberPress

10. Inappropriate Comments

A sign of lack of motivation is making inappropriate or negative comments. Hurting people hurt other people. Demotivated people will also try to demotivate others. You can’t really solve this without admitting to yourself that you are hurting, and from there, change the situation that hurts you or do something about the hurtful situation.

Daisy Jing, Banish

11. Anxiousness and Hopelessness

You can tell that someone needs a boost when things that would normally make them happy have the opposite effect. Loss of motivation has many faces, but feelings of anxiousness and hopelessness when you’re doing something you love is the first sign. If you get to this point, you need to take some time away from everything so you can relax and recharge.

Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

12. A Rise in Negativity

A sign that anyone can pick up on is a rise in negativity. I find that when people look unhappy and focus on what’s wrong, they’re likely feeling stuck or overwhelmed. A good way to deal with this is by taking time to reset. Take a few days off and spend time journaling and taking long walks to think. This can help a person face what’s bothering them and take the right steps to go forward.

Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

13. Running Up Against Deadlines

Constantly running up against deadlines is a clear sign. If an employee is turning in work right at the deadline week in and week out, then there is likely a motivation problem. The same is true if they’re showing up to the office late or to teleconferencing meetings past the start time. Another giveaway is if you’re receiving emails time stamped late at night, which indicates they’re not getting enough sleep.- Amine Rahal, IronMonk Solutions

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at


  • Scott Gerber

    Founder and CEO

    Young Entrepreneur Council

    Scott Gerber is the founder of YEC, an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. Learn more at