Goblin Mindset: Motivation and burnout

So, we have defined the goal of gold making. Today we will step down one level. Our overall strategic goal is set, but we need to set lower level tactical goals and priorities to make the right short term decisions. The most important thing in gold making by far is to make sure you keep doing it. Consistency is the key to riches. Gold cap is a marathon, it is not a sprint.

Background: Gold making takes time

Making gold takes time. There is no getting around the fact that you need to dedicate time to gold making continuously if you want to get results. This doesn’t mean you need to grind for long hours or anything. Just that you need to stick to posting your auctions. And to restock items when you’re running low.

The fact that gold making requires a continuous time commitment means that burnout is a potential risk. We really want to avoid feeling burned out. WoW is a game, so if you get burned out doing something that is supposed to be fun in your sparetime, then you have really gone wrong.


Motivation is one key to avoid burnout. As long as you like what you are doing and feel motivated you will be sticking to it. As many of you will know we have to forms of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic is motivation that comes from within. The pride in a job well done, a feeling of accomplishment are two examples. Extrinsic motivation is motivation based on external rewards.

Generally speaking intrinsic motivation is always more powerful than extrinsic. Genuine enjoyment is a much better motivator than something you view only as a means to an end.



Goal setting is a valuable tool to make sure you are going in the right direction. Sadly I think a lot of goals out there actually decrease motivation. Specifically this is true for goals based on achieving some end-state. For instance “I want to make 2 million gold to buy the spider mount”. You will feel compelled to work harder and harder until you attain it. Then once you buy the spider you are likely to deflate and feel bored of the entire thing.

The goal is completely externally focused, and this is much less powerful than intrinsic motivation.

Goals should focus on the process

To alleviate this goals should focus on the process of gold making, rather than the results. Good goals can be to make more sales this month than the last one, to add new markets to your operation or adding new realms.

Focus on improving yourself and the markets you are in.

Building and maintaining motivation

Time to go into some tactics you can employ to help keep up your motivation.

Small goals

Set your short term goals small. This ensures that you can exceed them fast and build momentum. The idea has been used by loads of people all over the world to get into the “flow” of things.

Stick to what you like

There are tons of gold-making methods in WoW. Stick to the ones you enjoy the most. Enjoying something more than your competition is an incredible competitive advantage. Whether this is farming, tinkering with TSM, cancel-scanning, finding material suppliers in trade chat or something else entirely only you will know.

Time is the most limited resource. So prioritize accordingly. Hating your life to make an extra 1k an hour is never worth it.

Test new things regularly

Don’t get stuck only doing the same things over and over. Try out new markets. You should also do new things in game. Run some old dungeons or do some PvP. It helps keep the game fresh. You DO want to have fun don’t you?

Know yourself

Why are you a gold maker? If you want long term success the answer has to be “Because I enjoy making gold”. Otherwise you will get bored eventually. Some of you will likely find that once you start mastering the gold making side of the game it becomes the most fun you can have. Emptying a mail box with 1 million gold in it feels amazing.

Celebrate milestones

Don’t forget to spend gold every once in a while. I’ve celebrated milestones with mount purchases, cause I like mounts. Make sure you splurge every now and then., whether on yourself, your guild or your friends. Gold is meant to be spent.

Build small scale habits

Turn your gold making into smaller habits. Once you have it down as a habit it becomes second nature. The results will help reinforce your motivation to keep at it. I do not advocate going hardcore and farming 24/7. This is for a very small minority.

Optimal is whatever you will stick to

It really is that simple.

Find your advantages, put them to work. And make sure you enjoy your system enough that you will stick to it. Once the gold starts rolling in motivation will often take care of itself.

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