We know a wonderful girl, she has a dream, a big big dream. She wants to live a life according to her own rules. A life that looks like her, a life where she doesn't have to ask for permission or to compromise on who she is. She wants to build something around her talent and her passion and she wants to be financially independent. She thinks she even deserves a luxurious holiday every now and again. She wants to live a bigger life!
The girl we know, she's planning to build a baking business. Or a sports rehabilitation practise. A match making agency. A condiments business. A yoga practise. An events company. A luxury spa. A publishing business. A consulting company. A PR agency. A children's clothing business with a travel angle. An art nanny business. A new career. A new degree. A new life. Simply, she wants to win!
She knows that to have what she wants she has to give up the seemingly certain pattern of everyday life that has been created by others. She is fearful of the state of her future finances, and whether she is going to make it. Is she going to be a failure? We know she won't fail because she has all what it takes to win within her, and the rest she can learn. But she will learn only if she accepts that she has to not only step outside of her comfort zone but to start actively pushing herself towards new influences. She has to get herself plugged into a new power source!
And that's really how she should think about the future, the exciting unknown. All she needs is a new power source to propel her into success. She needs to get plugged in!
What does it mean? What should you do if you are in her shoes?
1) Accept that your talent & passion creates your comfort zone.
If you love baking - that's all you want to spend your time on. If you love the world of beauty - that's all you want to spend your time on. If you love designing kids clothes - that's all you want to spend your time on! That's the talent you should be building on, but spending your time doing only what you love is not going to take you to your destination, it's probably only 20% of what's going to make you successful. You have to start expanding where you get your influences from.
2) List three new skills you need to acquire in the next 12 months to realistically move towards your dream.
I had no idea about social media, internet business or audience building three years ago. I can't say I'm an expert now but I simply decided I was going to learn everything (apart from coding!) there is to learn not to be left out. You can't really build anything meaningful these days without having at least a basic understanding of this wonderful digital universe. It's not like we are going to go back to fax machines, right..! So accept it and start digging in.
I suggest all things digital should be at least to some extend on everyone's list, but what are the other skills you need to learn in order to make your new venture or career successful?
3) List 5 people with whom you spend most of your time right now (this week).
Are they going to help you to get to your goal? Are they going to influence you to move forward? Are they going to teach you new skills? If not, what kind of people do you need around you and where are you going to find them?
4) Accept that just doing what you love is not going to cut it!
If you ONLY want to do what you love you better find a great job. There is nothing wrong working for others, quite contrary. It gives you the freedom to really focus on your core talent and be passionate about your skill or craft, be it baking, sports, marketing strategy or beauty. If you work for someone else you can do what you love and leave the rest to others.
But if you want to build a flexible life around your passion and make decisions on every detail of it, if you want to keep all the monetary upside of working hard and make an impact in the world, then you should be ready to pay the price. The price is to get plugged in, to acquire the right attitude and necessary skills that make up a successful business or a project. It's the price of stepping outside of your comfort zone and actively learning things you are not good at but which are crucial for your success.
5) Don't wait for a miracle, do the following this week:
- Buy a note book and carry it anywhere you go. I personally keep an A6 notebook as it fits all my handbags! If you are improving your life, building a business or figuring out what to do next - you must write down your influences and your thoughts. These are the most valuable assets you have right now.
- Pick up magazines, read new books and blogs, follow links, watch TED talks search Twitter and find out information on the three areas you listed you need to learn to be successful. Read our earlier post 'From Vogue To Wired' on this topic. Be interested and make an effort!
- Write down all the names (people, websites, Twitter accounts). Look for webinars and live courses on the important topics. Download podcasts. Listen to video links. This is your new evening entertainment. You don't have time for TV or Netflix anymore. And this is your new 'me time' or replaces your music in your car. Yep. Sorry, no excuses.
- Make this your habit. Actually go back to your notes. Follow links. (You girls are still not clicking through on the links on this blog as you should!) Look up things again and again. Set up reminders for yourself. Put time in your calendar to do these things. It's good to accept that it takes months (even years) before any of this will start to make any sense. But it will. I promise!
There is no short cut. There is no other way, no magic pill, no pixie dust that is going to transform you to the new life. Sorry to break this news to you! As long as your influences are the same as they were last week - be it friends, books or TV programs - your life will remain exactly the same. SAME.
The school has done us disservice by teaching us that what we needed to know was acquired with the degree, the diploma. No, no, no, no. You need to learn what you need to learn. And there will be no diplomas, no exams, no graduation ceremonies. Except the one you will throw for yourself for graduating to your new life!
Have a plugged in week girls!