Author Daniel Pink explains what motivates people in his book "Drive." Surprisingly, money is not a motivator for everyone, and is pretty low on the list overall. What motivates people the most is the ability to have control over their time, to direct their own lives, mastering skills that are important to them, and having a purpose and doing things that matter in the long run. Pink refers to these three issues as autonomy, mastery, and purpose.
In an interview on CBS MoneyWatch.com, Pink makes a great example out of Steve Jobs in that money is not the greatest motivator, especially for entrepreneurs. Jobs wanted to change the world, to change the way people communicate, and to have an impact on people's lives. His vision for the iPhone was "to create a device that is an extension of the self." Money was not the sole motivating factor in Jobs' life - creating meaningful change was most important to him. Other entrepreneurs are motivated by creating a product people didn't know they needed or perfecting a process to be more time, energy, or financially efficient. Most Americans spend over half of their waking hours at work and they want it to matter - to have a purpose.
Pink refers to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and that people need to feel that their work is worthwhile, which coincides with the upper part of the pyramid of esteem and self-actualization. He explains that there has always been monetary motivation, but money in and of itself doesn't reward innovation - a sense of purpose is much more important to some people.
Daniel H. Pink is the author of five provocative books about the changing world of work -- including the long-running New York Times bestsellers, A Whole New Mind and Drive. His books have sold more than 2 million copies worldwide and are available in 34 languages. See the CBS MoneyWatch interview here.