Potter's final few months at Bradford were on a volunteer basis as the English Super League club plummeted into administration.
However, the attitude of his Bulls players, who didn't know when their next pay cheque was coming from, reminded him that it's not money but a desperation to win which should motivate the game's stars.
Since 2005, the Tigers have struggled to match their enormous potential with results, despite having stars like Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah on their roster.
Potter says his team need to be accountable for their own performances and set an aim to retire with no regrets.
"Not taking anything for granted is a key message there," Potter told AAP.
"These opportunities don't come along all the time.
"You're not going to be there at the top level for ever so you need to make every year count.
"Perhaps people have some regrets but you don't want to have any regrets about your performance."
Potter says his experience coaching for the love of it at Bradford, who have since been resurrected, made him a better coach.
The former Canterbury premiership winner says he's gained a unique insight into what really drives success at football clubs.
"When it went into administration, you realise that your motivating factor is you love the game," he said.
"You still did the same thing with your preparation.
"There were no shortcuts, just your drive and will to win is the motivation, whether you get paid a lot of money or you don't get paid.
"Our ability to achieve had been taken away from us because we were deducted points that put us out of contention for the semi-finals.
"But it was a learning experience for me that the players still want to win regardless that at the end there was going to be no prize for them."
After six years coaching Catalans, St Helens and Bradford, Potter is feeling good about his Australian coaching debut.
Despite the step up in standards and the extra pressure and scrutiny involved, Potter is confident the NRL will in fact be easier to coach than the Super League.
"The players (in the NRL) are pretty intelligent... In England it's virtually yourself and an assistant coach," he said.
"Here you have staff to help you and you're more in a managing type role where your assistant coaches and performance guys are doing a lot of hands on, individual stuff."